Miguel Cotto, who made his name with nine previous appearances at Madison Square Garden and for traditionally fighting on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, will write the last chapter of his career Saturday at his home away from home.
In what is billed as his final professional boxing match, Puerto Rican boxing icon Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) will defend his WBO junior middleweight championship against Canarsie’s Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round title bout. The HBO-aired event is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m.
“All I did in my career was try to do my best at every moment,” said Cotto during Thursday’s press conference at the Garden, “so for me, my legacy now is with my family.”
While the 37-year-old remains steadfast in his decision to retire, Cotto plans to leave opinions of his career to the public and promises to continue to be a fighter that New York City fans appreciate.
“It’s been a pleasure for me to go out and entertain you all,” said Cotto, a former four-division world champion. “All I can say is that next Saturday, I will be the same Miguel you’ve watched for the last 16 years. I’m going to be a warrior inside the ring, and I’m going to do my best, as always.”
Ali (25-1), the 29-year-old challenger and current WBA international welterweight champion, hopes to spoil Cotto’s going-away party and deliver in his hometown.
“You’re fighting Miguel Cotto, and if you’re not ready, you’re going to be in trouble,” Ali said. “So, I know what I’m stepping in there against, and you’re going to see an amazing fight.”