HBO Commentator Gives Emotional Tribute After Cotto's Final Fight

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Victory for Ali over Cotto was a case of second time lucky in world title fights after previously challenging for world honours at welterweight.

After four brilliant rounds, Ali curiously took his foot off the gas, allowing Cotto to climb back into the fight.

In the second round, Ali appeared to stagger Cotto momentarily with an overhand right.

Pre-fight many within the industry were critical of this fight, stating it would be nothing but routine for Cotto.

Ali is 26-1. He started quickly, then was stunned by a big right from Cotto that staggered him.

Miguel Cotto's fight record ends on 41 wins and six defeats. Age and attrition, the twin thieves of any magnificent fighter's special gifts, do not always show up as obviously as they did the night when the remnants of Muhammad Ali were embarrassed by an opponent who could never have come close to defeating him in his prime.

"I had him hurt here and there", Ali said. The 12th round saw a reemergence for Cotto which may have saved the day given how close some of the rounds had been.

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BOXING legend Miguel Cotto has vowed to go out with a bang as he enters the ring for the final time this Saturday night (December 2). "I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport".

"Feeling good. Feeling good with the performance", Cotto said. "I knew I had to do something, or he would have dug in". His hand speed and movement around the ring made him formidable last Saturday night.

"I have the humility to say that I made my share of mistakes", Vargas said, "but I feel that Negrete fought very dirty and was not a very good boxer". Still, for all that, Cotto would have emerged with a majority draw and his title intact had he won the 12 round on the scorecards submitted by judges Steve Weisfeld and Julie Lederman. Or maybe Ali did the right thing, preferring to dominate the fight and not get greedy against a hard-hitting veteran? "I have been training since I was 8 years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown".

"I am proud to call MSG my second home", Cotto said.

Unless Cotto yields to some unforeseen urge to withdraw his pledge to stay retired, his legacy shall forever remain beyond reproach or cause for sympathetic tsk-tsks. Sadam won the fight. Even if he didn't end it with a win, he still left the Garden as a champion.

The 27-year-old from Puerto Rico was back fighting for the first time since his first loss. Ali won a unanimous decision to take his junior middleweight world title in a major upset. Frugal with his money and mindful of his health and well-being, he steps away far better off than many champions who only considered the present and were never mindful of the potential pitfalls of the future were they to linger too long in an unforgiving game.

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.

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