Sadam Ali: Been Huge Underdog Before, I've Proved People Wrong

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – This isn’t the first time Sadam Ali is supposed to get knocked out in a bout HBO will televise.

Three years ago, most experts expected Luis Carlos Abregu to demolish Ali in their welterweight fight at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Argentina’s Abregu is a powerful puncher who had lost only to Timothy Bradley, while Ali was unbeaten but untested against top opposition.

That didn’t’ stop Brooklyn’s Ali from dropping Abregu once apiece in the sixth and ninth rounds on his way to winning by ninth-round technical knockout in November 2014. The 2008 Olympian’s surprising stoppage legitimized Ali as a welterweight contender and helped him land a world title shot.

cotto-ali (4)

Beating Abregu gives Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) the confidence to feel he can pull off another upset when he challenges Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) on December 2 at Madison Square Garden. The 29-year-old Ali will move up from 147 pounds to 154 to fight for Cotto’s WBO super welterweight title.

“This is huge, definitely a big one,” Ali said before a press conference Tuesday at The Garden. “I’m really excited. I’m ready to step up and this is a big fight. I’m moving up in weight a little bit, going up against a legend. I know I am a huge underdog. I’d say about 90 percent of people are going for Cotto, but that’s understandable.

“But, I mean, I’ve been in this position before. It’s even worse now, but with the Abregu [fight], I would say 90 percent of the people thought I was gonna get stopped, get knocked out. But, you know, I proved them all wrong. I fear no man but God, and I’m coming out there to fight.”

Ali feels he can draw from the experience he gained against Abregu (36-3, 29 KOs) while preparing to face Cotto, a four-division champion who plans to retire after their scheduled 12-round fight.

“It definitely did help me,” Ali said. “I was really never used to being the underdog, honestly, coming up. So it was different for me. I have heart and I have that drive, so that helped me in a way and it opened my eyes to certain things. And this is just another step. I’ve just gotta do it again.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by JakeTheBoxer on 10-19-2017

Don`t make me laugh. Cotto finishes you in 4 rounds.

Comment by anonymous2.0 on 10-18-2017

When your best win is 3 years ago against fringe contender Abregu... Is there even enough material to make a highlight reel of Sadam Ali?

Comment by BucaRican on 10-18-2017

TKO in the 5th. Cotto rides into the sunset at the Garden.

Comment by rrayvez on 10-18-2017

So beating abregu gives you the confidence to beat Cotto? Yeah, that's a good comparison.

Comment by BrometheusBob. on 10-18-2017

It's funny in hindsight that Ali was a measurable favorite over Vargas

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (7)
Top Headlines Sadam Ali: Moving Up, Fighting Legendary Cotto "a Little Scary" Parker: Joshua's Chin is a Weakness; I Can Knock Him Out! Frank Warren: I Spoke To Haymon About Santa Cruz-Frampton 3 Jerwin Ancajas - The Traveling Man is Back on The Road Felix Cash, Ted Cheeseman Added To Taylor-McCaskill Card Haye: With New Coach I Feel Better Than I Have in Many Years Wilder: I'll Talk Until Joshua Wants To Shut This American Boy Up! Igor Mikhalkin vs. Doudou Ngumbu Trilogy on December 2 Carl Frampton: This Part of My Career Could Be The Biggest Yet Anthony Dirrell: I'm Now Ready To Face Anyone With a Belt Oscar De La Hoya's Hypocrisy is All About Floyd Mayweather Anthony Dirrell Cut Badly, Beats Douglin by Technical Decision Clark Edges Dolton By Majority Decision; Karl Beats Martin Parker: I Would Not Have Problems Knocking Wilder, Joshua Out! Liam Smith Keeps Close Eye on Cotto-Ali, Open To Kell Brook Clash Klitschko Leaves The Door Open For a Ring Return in The Future Video: Ellerbe Talks UFC Doing Boxing, Mayweather Promotions Photos: Ishe Smith, Julian Williams Face To Face at Weigh-In Oscar Vasquez Hopes To Land a Major Fight in 2018 BJ Flores Sets Record Straight on Alexander Povetkin Fight Photos: Sullivan Barrera Grinds Hard - Ripped, Ready For Valera Amir Khan: I Embarrassed Myself By Making Joshua Accusation Chavez Jr. Return: Alfredo Angulo Now The Frontrunner Denis Shafikov vs. Rene Alvarado, HBO Latino, December 9 Wilder's Trainer: Deontay Wants To Be First Heavyweight at 50-0 Dejan Zlaticanin Returns on December 14, Broadway Boxing Jessie Vargas vs. Aaron Herrera Finalized - Dec. 15, PBC on FS1 Ricardo Mayorga Rules Out Retirement, Plans February Return Diego De La Hoya vs. Jose Salgado - Golden Boy on ESPN, Dec. 14 Bellew: It's Disgusting That Wilder Insinuated Joshua is on Steroids UK News: Tommy McCarthy, Lewis Crocker, Ricky Summers Miguel Cotto Career Special on HBO, November 25 Photo: Carl Frampton, Horacio Garcia Ready For War in Belfast Joseph Parker: I Have 'A Lot of Options' Other Than Joshua, Wilder Frampton: All The Big Fights Interest Me, The Best is Yet To Come Shawn Porter: Crawford Beats Horn Easy, Everybody is a Target! Teddy Atlas Explains Why He Favors Lomachenko Over Rigondeaux Ishe Smith: I Asked For Julian Williams, Confident I'll Get The Win Nathan Gorman Welcomes Daniel Dubois: He Knows Where I Am Alexander Povetkin vs. Christian Hammer - Full Card is Set

Latest Active Forum Threads