A superstar enters the ring for the final time when HBO Sports presents WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: MIGUEL COTTO VS. SADAM ALI AND REY VARGAS VS. OSCAR NEGRETE on SATURDAY, DEC. 2 at 10:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from Madison Square Garden in New York City, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will call the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
The fights will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.
Fighting for the 24th time on HBO, ring legend and certain Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs), from Caguas, Puerto Rico, will take on one last challenger in a 12-round junior middleweight championship showdown before hanging up his gloves after 17 years. The 37-year-old has fought nine times at the Garden before a combined crowd of 140,000 fans, registering an 8-1 record. A four-division, six-time world champion, Cotto has held titles in the super lightweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight divisions.
Brooklyn-born Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs), 29, looks to spoil Cotto’s retirement celebration and take his 154-pound title. Starting to box at age eight, he’s a two-time New York Golden Gloves winner (2006, 2007) and represented the U.S. in the 2008 Olympic Games before turning pro, going on to win his first 22 fights. Following his only ring loss, in 2016, Ali is on three-bout win streak; defeating Cotto would establish him as a central player in the talented junior middleweight division.
The opening bout is a battle of undefeated boxers, as Rey Vargas (30-0, 22 KOs) from Mexico City takes on Oscar Negrete (17-0, 7 KOs), originally of Tierra Alta, Colombia, in a scheduled 12-round super bantamweight contest. Vargas, 26, who will defend his title for the second time, was last seen on HBO in August with a dominant victory over Ronny Rios. Negrete, 30, who turned pro in 2013, has been on a fast track to a title shot and will be moving up in weight to take on Vargas.