By Ryan Burton
On Saturday night Sadam Ali (26-1) shocked the boxing world when he defeated Miguel Cotto (41-6) in the final fight of the former four-division champion's certain Hall of Fame career.
Ali was a heavy underdog in the fight and really picked up momentum in the second half of the fight to secure the victory. With the win he captured the WBO 154 pound title.
Jessie Vargas, who handed Ali his only career loss in March, 2016, had nothing but good things to say about New York native's performance.
"I think he performed well. He showed that he was the hungrier fighter that fight and that was the Sadam Ali that I have known him to be - a very good boxer, a very good counter puncher. He likes to outbox his opponents and that is what he was able to do with an older Miguel Cotto. You gotta give the guy credit. He fought very well. That is his style and has always been his style. That was his style when he fought me. That has been his styles in both his amateur days and his pro days," Vargas told BoxingScene.com Monday evening.
After the fight was over Cotto revealed that he ruptured his left bicep in the seventh round. The classy Puerto Rican didn't want to use the injury as an excuse but it clearly hindered him in the second half of the fight.
Vargas agreed with Cotto, saying that injuries are a part of the sport and a fighter simply must do the best he can with the hand that is dealt to him.
"That could be a factor that played against Miguel Cotto and worked in Sadam Ali's favor. Unfortunately what happens in a fight doesn't change the outcome. A win is a win and a loss is a loss. I have learned that as a fighter and many others have as well. I think we all would have liked to see Miguel Cotto go out with a victory in his last fight because we have a lot of respect for him," he explained.
"He was up against a good fighter and I tweeted it a while back, I think in response to Sadam Ali's tweet about people doubting him and I said anything can happen in boxing. I said and you can see what happened Saturday night. Anything can happen - especially when you have a younger fighter that is talented against an experienced fighter and Sadam was able to capitalize but like I said he didn't show anything different than what he did in the past."
At the post fight press conference both Ali and his trainer Andre Rozier said that a rematch against Vargas would have a very different outcome than their fight. Both the fighter and the trainer believe that Ali is a much better fighter now.
Vargas, who has held titles at 140 and 147 pounds, said that he would have no problem facing Ali again and said that he might finish off Ali faster than he did the first time around when he stopped him in 9 rounds.
"If he wants a rematch and it is something that he desires I am ready for it, anytime, any day, any place. Last time we fought on his side of town in Washington DC so it shows that I wasn't intimidated at all from fighting Sadam Ali. I said I was going to knock him out before the fight and I did what I said I was going to," Vargas explained.
"If he wants the rematch we can do it anytime - today, tomorrow or whenever - and the result will be the exact same thing. He got knocked out once and probably the only difference is that he would get knocked out sooner."
Send questions or comments to [email protected] You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter