By Steve Kim
It was a disappointing farewell for Miguel Cotto, who lost his final career fight to Sadam Ali at the Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
Cotto, a future Hall-of-Famer and a four division world champion, leaves the sport with a record of 41-6 (33 KO's).
The Puerto Rican star faded down the stretch and said he suffered a torn left bicep in the second half of the contest.
According to his trainer, Freddie Roach, he was notified by Cotto,"After the seventh round, I know he was in a little bit of pain and no one said nothing. So I was just giving him instructions as usual. I kept telling him to,'back this guy up, he cant win the fight running like he is, keep the pressure on him.'
"In the eighth round he said, 'my forearm, my forearm is sore' and I looked at his forearm and it looked OK and then at the end of the fight I looked further up to the bicep, I saw what the injury was and it had just rolled up completely," Roach said.
Roach was pleased with how the fight was going till the late rounds.
"I thought we were winning at that point and the thing is Sadam just came out with a power shot in the second round and he did hurt us and then he hurt us twice in the fight and then after that we did hurt him a few times also," Roach said.
Despite the injury and some issues, Roach felt his boxer did enough to win the fight by at least two rounds (115-113). Ali was given the win with scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112.
"The thing is I wouldn't give (Ali) enough to win the fight though. We were the aggressor all night long, chasing him all night long. He's a little bit of a counter-puncher, I knew that - but at the end of the night I thought it was a very close fight. I thought we won by two rounds," Roach said.
"I was disappointed that we lost the fight. Miguel smiled and told me he thought he won the fight, but he told me it wasn't going to change anything. It's over."
Not only does this end the career of the 37-year old Cotto but his union with the renowned trainer, who helped guide him the past few years.
"He was very nice to me, he came up to me and we spoke a couple of times in the locker room, here and there about who's going to fix the arm, the surgery and so forth. He gave me a big hug and said, 'thanks for everything,' and then he hopes to be, in the future, in business, where he's going to promote fights and I'm going to train some of his fighters," Roach said.