By Miguel Rivera
Four division world champion Miguel Cotto will be looking to go out with a bang on Saturday night, when he steps in the ring for the final fight of his long Hall of Fame career.
Cotto, with a record of 41-5, with 33 knockouts, will face Saddam Ali ( 25-1, with 14 KO's) at Madison Square Garden in New York City. HBO will televise.
Cotto captured the WBO junior middleweight world title in August with a dominant twelve round unanimous decision over Yoshihiro Kamegai.
Not everyone is happy about the fight.
Ali is moving up from the welterweight division to take the fight. His chin has also been labeled as questionable after suffering a knockout loss at the hands of Jessie Vargas last year. It was only the tenth knockout for Vargas in 29 fights and his first since 2011. Ali has also been down in other fights. Cotto is a big puncher and has fought as high as the middleweight division.
"The easiest thing in the world is to criticize, criticize and criticize. I feel that I've had an excellent career in which I have achieved the main thing, which is to offer a future to my family, and I never stopped to think about what others think or what others say, or expect someone to feel satisfied since my sole purpose throughout my career as a boxer has been to try to provide the best for my family," Cotto said.
"I do not feel anything special [about this fight in particular], it's been too many years in boxing. I started when I was almost a kid, I went through amateur boxing, I became a man, I had my first son being a boxer and it's time to be with them. I missed great events in their lives due to boxing and the time has come to never miss another of those moments.
"Everything has been the same, the normal things, the fact that it is the last fight has not affected the preparation, the motivation. Everything happens when it must happen, and this is the moment of my retirement. I am in excellent shape, the preparation has been very good, I can not complain and I only hope that the day will come. [Ali] is a great fighter, a tremendous fighter, but in my case, as always, I will offer the best of myself and I'll get to December 2 ready to face him."