Miguel Cotto has said his upcoming fight will be his last. The four-division champion now has an opponent after his promotional company looks to have made a substantial effort to secure the future Hall of Famer high-profile opposition.
After offers were made to pound-for-pound elites Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia, Golden Boy Promotions and Cotto went in a different direction. In his farewell bout, Cotto will fight former welterweight champion Sadam Ali on Dec. 2 at Madison Square Garden.
This junior middleweight title fight will be an HBO-televised main event, Dan Rafael of ESPN.com reports. The 36-year-old Cotto holds the WBO 154-pound title after his win against Yoshihiro Kamegai in August. The Cotto-Ali fight has been agreed upon but not yet signed, Rafael reports.
Fighters like Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez and David Lemieux were also mentioned for this fight. But with Cotto having lost to Alvarez and previously demurring when Golovkin was interested in fighting him, those matchups didn’t make as much sense. That said, Cotto’s had a reported preference to face one of the middleweight kingpins — especially now that their scrutinized draw links them for a logical rematch soon.
However, both Spence and Garcia — the latter willing to move up two weight classes to face Cotto — were offered at least $2 million for this fight, Rafael reports. That’s an extraordinarily high price for a bout of this sort, and Spence and Garcia not working with promoters would have made making those matchups easier, but each evidently passed. While the 29-year-old Ali is a recent champion, he’s not in those fighters’ league.
Cotto is the only Puerto Rican fighter to win titles in four weight classes — junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight — and will enter his December fight at 41-5. Ali is 25-1, but that loss came via TKO against Jessie Vargas in their title bout in March 2016.
Cotto will close out a career that’s included wins over Shane Mosley, Sergio Martinez, Antonio Margarito and Paulie Malignaggi, along with semi-competitive losses to the likes of Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Ali has never fought above welterweight but appears set to be paid well to do debut at 154 pounds.