On a night that Madison Square Garden and the boxing world bid farewell to a boxing legend in Miguel Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs), Sadam "World Kid" Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) stole the show, winning a unanimous decision victory and the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship in front of 12,391 fans and televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing. The final scores were 115-113 twice and 116-112.
Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian from Brooklyn, hurt Cotto twice in the early rounds and used slick defense and solid counterpunching to keep Cotto at bay throughout the 12-round bout.
Cotto, a six-time, four-division world champion and the fighting pride of Caguas, Puerto Rico confirmed his retirement after the bout.
In the co-main event, despite suffering severe gashes over both eyes caused by accidental headbutts, WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Rey Vargas (31-0, 22 KOs) defended his title a second time,rolling to a 12-round unanimous decision victory over a very game Oscar "El Jaguar" Negrete (17-1, 7 KOs). The scores were 119-109 twice and 120-108.
In a battle pitting Puerto Rico against Mexico for the vacant WBO Junior Flyweight World Championship, Angel "Tito" Acosta (17-1, 17 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico landed huge shots throughout the early and middle rounds before knocking out Neuvo Leon, Meixco's Juan "Pinky" Alejo (25-5-1, 15 KOs) with a vicious left hook in the 10th round of a scheduled 12.
Santa Ana, California's Ronny Rios (29-2, 13 KOs) used a combination of left hooks to the body and right hands upstairs to dominate Monteria, Colombia's Deivis Julio (19-4, 11 KOs) over 10 rounds in a match up of featherweights. Rios took home a unanimous decision by the scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 97-93.
In the opening fight of the evening, welterweight prospect and Brooklyn native Zachary "Zungry" Ochoa (18-1, 7 KOs) landed early and often, en route to a unanimous six-round shutout decision over Tijuana, Mexico's Erick Martinez (14-10-1, 8 KOs).
Cotto vs. Ali was a 12-round fight for Cotto's WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship, and was presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. Vargas vs. Negrete was a 12-round fight for Vargas' WBC World Super Bantamweight Title and was presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions in association with Promociones del Pueblo. The event was sponsored by Tecate, "THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING," "Hennessy: Never Stop. Never Settle," and Casa Mexico Tequila.