Ali dethrones Cotto, seizes WBO 154lb title

Ali dethrones Cotto, seizes WBO 154lb title

Ali dethrones Cotto, seizes WBO 154lb title

Centre in Nassau, the Bahamas.

His legacy will surely be remembered as good as any Puerto Rican boxers in history and as one of the most fearless and well-loved boxers of his time. "The Greatest" was a paunchy and career-high 236¼ pounds, his once-wondrous hand and foot speed perceptibly diminished. I fear nothing, and I don't hold back.

"But on Saturday, I will be the same Miguel you have watched for the last 16 years".

Ali now buries his March 2016 knockout defeat to Jessie Vargas, improving to 26 wins, 1 defeat, 14 knockouts, while Cotto supposedly bows out from the sport for good, with his decorated career closing with 41 wins, 6 defeats, 33 knockouts. But the eye test should and usually does supersede statistics.

And therein lay an immutable truth of boxing. He just hopes those that dismissed his fighter's chances before the fight give him the commensurate credit now that he has proved them wrong.

The 27-year-old from Puerto Rico was back fighting for the first time since his first loss. The punch that he once would have landed now misses by inches, and the punch the other guy would have missed now finds the target.

"I had him hurt here and there", Ali said. "Something happened to my left bicep in the seventh round, but I don't want to make excuses". Sadam won the fight. It is my last fight.

He's taking on Ali at Madison Square Garden in New York City. "But this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I took the challenge against a legend", Ali said.

It was the sort of no-frills, refreshingly honest pronouncement that the boxing world has come to expect from a serious man whose only concession to the look-at-me mindset that is so prevalent in the sport is the extensive body art that presumably has made his favorite tattoo artist wealthy. A largely Puerto Rican crowd of 12,391 was on hand Saturday.

Ali knew he was the big underdog going into the fight and embraced the role.

The 2008 Olympian's surprising win was especially gratifying for Ali's longtime trainer, Andre Rozier.

Earlier, Angel Acosta dominated Juan Alejo before knocking him out in the 10th round for the WBO junior flyweight crown that Japan's Kosei Tanaka vacated last Friday. And it came in front of so many fans rooting on one of their own.

From the outset, Cotto seemed determined to put an exclamation point to his valedictory effort. Ali moved away, smiling, but he was hurt from the shots. A right hand by Ali staggered Cotto in the second round, as did a left hook in the fourth round. "Something happened to my left biceps, seventh round". He won all three of those rounds on all three scorecards.

For Ali, who earned $600,000 for Saturday's work compared to $750,000 for Cotto, it was a career-altering night signaling a star on the rise.

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