By Keith Idec
Miguel Cotto came to the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin fight last month in Las Vegas and openly discussed fighting the winner.
It appears, though, that Cotto has chosen a far less dangerous opponent for his farewell fight. The newly crowned WBO super welterweight champion reportedly will face welterweight contender Sadam Ali on December 2 at Madison Square Garden.
ESPN.com reported Saturday afternoon that Cotto and Ali have agreed to terms to meet in a bout HBO will televise live on the network. Cotto and Ali both are promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
Puerto Rico’s Cotto could’ve faced a more appealing opponent in his final fight, but apparently wasn’t willing to take on former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs).
Cotto isn’t willing to box beyond the end of this year, either. The former four-division champion has stuck to what he began stating in January, that 2017 will be his last year in boxing.
The 36-year-old Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) ended a 21-month layoff when he dominated Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2, 24 KOs) in their 12-round fight August 26 at StubHub Center in Carson, California. Cotto claimed the then-vacant WBO 154-pound championship by winning that fight.
Before facing Kamegai, Cotto hadn’t fought since losing a 12-round unanimous decision to Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) in their November 2015 battle for the WBC middleweight title in Las Vegas.
The 29-year-old Ali (25-1, 14 KOs), a 2008 American Olympian from Brooklyn, has won three straight fights since Las Vegas’ Jessie Vargas (27-2, 10 KOs) stopped him in the ninth round of their March 2016 bout in Washington, D.C. Vargas captured the then-unclaimed WBO welterweight title by beating Ali in a bout HBO televised.
In his previous HBO appearance, Ali upset Argentina’s Luis Carlos Abregu. Ali defeated Abregu (36-3, 29 KOs) by ninth-round technical knockout in November 2014 in Atlantic City.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.