12/2/2017, MSG-New York- I always get a little concerned whenever a fighter announces publicly, “this is my last fight”. I never know WHAT I’m gonna’ get. Am I gonna’ see a great, going out on his shield, a guy getting ‘old’ over night or a guy that gets drilled a few good shots and think, ‘do I REALLY need any more of this shit’? Last night, four weight champion and one of Puerto Rico’s greatest, Miguel Cotto (41-5-33K) took the challenge of fellow ‘Rican, New Yorker Sadam Ali (25-1-14K) Going off Cotto’s last brilliant performance against the indestructible Yoshihiro Kamegi (12/02/2017) while winning the vacant WBO Jr. middleweight strap. That damn Kamegi must get an erection every time he gets blasted with a clean shot. I thought if Ali, who’s not a bad fighter, catches THAT Miguel, he was gonna’ have ‘hell to tell the captain’. Well, he didn’t.
Entering the MSG ring to a well deserved and prolonged standing ovation, Cotto was half the great fighter he’s been. After a checking out first round, the once-beaten Ali (Jesse Vargas 3/05/2016 L TKO) located the chin of Cotto with a jolting right hand that put a little ‘funky chicken’ in his step, hushing the pro Cotto crowd. The champ was shook and looked like an ‘ol vet that had taken ONE fight to many. Experience enabled the future Hall of Famer to withstand the arrogance of the New Yorker and he survived the round. In the fourth stanza, Cotto was again rattled, THIS time by a sizzling left hook. This to me was the time a vet wonders about how much more of THIS shit he was interested in. There are some youngsters out there that would NOT have let Cotto off the hook, they’d LOVE to make a name off of stopping a great fighter. Round after round, the smooth boxing, and excellent footwork kept Ali out of harm’s way. There were times his corner was screaming at him for being too respectful of Cotto.
Ali was always a step or two ahead of Cotto and didn’t allow Cotto to park him on the ropes to unleash his notorious left hook to the body. Though the shot landed on occasion, Ali was in shape and prepared for a long fight. The crowd was buoyed in the eighth round when Ali seemed to be tiring and was cornered by Cotto and hit with some hard left hooks. But, Ali wasn’t fazed, smiled and backed Cotto up with his own two fisted attack, stunning Cotto. By the eleventh round, fading badly and with his family ringside (I LOVE looking at Cotto’s and Paquio’s wives, they really let the ‘girls’ enjoy a night ‘out’). Cotto was being drilled and was in full retreat and Sadam seemed to be looking for the ko. He ran out of time though, much to the pleasure of Cotto’s fans. The decision was a no brainer but there was always the thought of the judges sending Miguel into retirement with a W. The scores were 115-113 (twice) and 116-112, all in favor of the new WBO champion and somewhere, Jessie Vargas is screaming, ‘over here, Sadam’. The ever professional and gracious Cotto made no apologies BUT he showed a nasty looking swollen left bicep. I did notice throughout, that Cotto hook wasn’t as prevalent as it normally is. The big question, will he use that as reason to come back at ‘full strength’? Or will he bullshit and have four-five ‘retirements’ like Mayweather? Overall, this was a very entertaining fight and enjoyed by (most) of the large Garden crowd. Farewell, Miguel, your style , grace, courage AND professionalism will be sorely missed.
In the super featherweight semi between champion Rey Vargas (30-0-22K) at 5’10 ½” and mini me, Oscar Negrete (5’4”, 17-0-7K), I was expecting to see the champ open up an industrial sized bag of whip ass with dip. WRONG, this turned into one of those, ‘you think I lost, you should see the OTHER guy’. I was there when Vargas routed the very capable Ronny Rios (28-1- 13K), whom I think is better than Negrete. Negrete survived the early booming body shots from the praying mantis –like champion. The hard charging Negrete is as durable and persistent as they make ‘em but one can only IMAGINE how feels this morning. The blueprint for this one was established early. Negrete would burrow in like a boll weevil, inside the long reach of the champ and got away with all kinds of shit. This gut should’ve worn a glove on his head. Vargas suffered nasty cuts over both eyes early and things got worse as the fight progressed. There were so many doctor visits, I thought Vargas had him on retainer. There were low blows rabbit shots, head locks, loud complaints, the ref earned his keep tonight. I thought the fight would be stopped, due to the severity of the cuts and the fact they were caused by fouls. I guess there were so many infractions the ref didn’t know which ones to call. I never saw him indicate the head butts. So now, the long and lanky champion will probably have those cuts opened up in future fights.
Man, those Tecate girls were like grinning Hyenas fighting over prey, with the camera lens being the prey. They were all over the damn place, standing closer to the fighters than their trainers during the interviews. Cotto was talking about his injury and retirement and those two clueless girls were grinning away and looking for the Red light. I’ve been watching NGO all weekend AND I didn’t see ANY predators more relentless than those two were. Trust me, the Watsons have NOTHING on these girls, especially that dark haired one, they’re just trying too damn HARD.