Boxing legend Miguel Cotto has vowed to go out with a bang as he enters the ring for the final time this Saturday night.
The future Hall-of-Famer who has won world titles in four different divisions will fight for the last time against 2008 Olympian Sadam Ali, exclusively live on BoxNation.
Taking place at the iconic Madison Square Garden, for what will be the 10th time Cotto has fought there, the Puerto Rican superstar has been reflecting on his glorious career and promised one last big performance before hanging up the gloves.
“I enjoyed my whole career, and I can’t point at one fight. Every moment made me the boxer I am right now, the person I am right now. I would have to say my whole career has been amazing for me,” said Cotto.
“I have done everything in my career that I wanted to do. This is the final fight. My decision is to retire now and spend more time with my family
“But on Saturday, I will be the same Miguel you have watched for the last 16 years. I am going to be a warrior and do my best for the benefit of my family, as always,” he said.
Brooklyn’s Ali who has won all but one of his 26 fights stepped into face 35-year-old Cotto after unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and Mexican star Canelo Alvarez where unavailable.
Cotto’s trainer, the great Freddie Roach, believes his fighter would have been up for such a challenge against either man but is now ready to deal with what is in front of him.
“Triple G and Canelo would be great opponents, and we looked forward to fighting them, but they all have obligations, and the next best guy was the young guy coming up, the next generation,” said Roach.
“We are getting a chance at that, and we’ll see how good he really is. Miguel will be on top of his game. And, again, we would have loved to go out with one of the bigger names, but the thing is they’re not available at this point, and we want to stay busy,” he said.
29-year-old Ali is unconcerned about having to move up to super-welterweight for the fight having regularly operated at welterweight and is ready to crash the Cotto party as he looks to make a name for himself.
“I’ve been fighting since I was eight years old, and I’ve been in big arenas. Of course, it’s going to be a little bit more in this one. But this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I took the challenge against a legend,” Ali said.
“I dare to be great, like Oscar De La Hoya says. I fear nothing, and I don’t hold back. This is the opportunity of a lifetime in Madison Square Garden. It’s going to be amazing. I feel like we’re going to put on a great show, and I’m excited, and I’m ready.
“He is the biggest opponent in my career, and I’m also moving up to another weight class. But I love the challenge, and I’m ready to do whatever I have to do,” he said.
Mexican super-bantamweight talent Rey Vargas will also defend his WBC crown against Colombia's undefeated Oscar Negrete on the card, with BoxNation on air from 2am this Saturday night.