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  • By Miguel Maravilla Photos by Tom Hogan Hogan

Miguel Cotto's Farewell

Four-division, six-time world champion, and current WBO Jr. middleweight world champion Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) of Puerto Rico is nearing the twilight of his career as he goes up against Sadam "World Kid" Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) of Brooklyn, New York this Saturday December 2nd at New York's famed Madison Square Garden live on HBO World Championship Boxing.


"I am ready for this fight and I am happy to be fighting in New York. The people here have shown me so much love over the years. This is it for me," Miguel Cotto told Southern California

In what will be his final training camp of his illustrious career, Cotto is in the final phases of his preparation working with Hall of Fame Trainer Freddie Roach as he trained at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California.

“The preparation has been good. Freddie and I worked hard and ready for this fight. Freddie has changed me in the ring and also as a person," Cotto said about camp. "Though it has been my last training camp, everything has gone well and been the same. The fact that it is my last fight has not changed anything. I have always dedicated myself fully and have worked hard," Cotto added.

“We are mixing it up with a younger generation fighter. We have to take this fight serious. That’s why we have been training hard with solid sparring. At the end of the fight, I won’t cry but I will miss him after that. I rate him as one of the great Puerto Rican fighters.” Freddie Roach told Southern California

This past September Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Cotto will look to lift the spirits of the Puerto Rican people as he shared his thoughts.

“I trust everyone that we will overcome the disaster. We as Puerto Rican’s can bring Puerto Rico back!” Cotto said. "This fight is for them," Cotto concluded.

Coming off a dominant performance over Japan's Yoshihiro Kamegai this past August, Cotto won a lopsided unanimous decision over the Japanese warrior at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California delivering to Southern California fans a great performance. In a fight that Cotto threw and landed everything but despite all that Kamegai continued to come at the Puerto Rican like Jason from Friday the 13.

For his opponent Sadam Ali, a 2008 U.S Olympian from Brooklyn will be fighting in his backyard as he is coming off three straight wins since suffering his first defeat to Jessie Vargas as he is coming off a unanimous decision over Johan Perez.

“Sadam Ali is a good boxer and a great fighter. We will do our best,” Cotto said about his opponent Sadam Ali.

This will be Cotto's tenth fight at Madison Square Garden as he looks to close out his career in front of the Puerto Rican contingency in New York. Cotto recalls his best moments at the Garden from his victory over Muhammad Abdullaev, Cotto avenged his 2000 Olympic defeat in his first fight at the famed arena in 2004. Two years later in 2006 he defeated then undefeated Paulie Malignaggi. The following year 2007, Cotto won a pair of victories over former world champions, stopping Zab Judah and a decision over Shane Mosley. Two years later Cotto fought back to back at the Garden in 2009, stopping Michael Jennings and winning a hard fought decision over Joshua Clottey.

"The Mosley fight was my first big victory. The Mosley fight was the best one for me," Cotto on his memories at the Garden.

Sweet revenge was the case in 2011, as he avenged his infamous defeat to Antonio Margarito with a late stoppage. Cotto avenged his knockout defeat to Margarito as the plaster wrap controversy that followed in Margarito's next fight with Shane Mosley. His only defeat at the Garden was a decision to then undefeated world champion Austin Trout in 2012. Cotto returned to MSG in 2014 winning the WBC middleweight title over Sergio Martinez and picked up his fifth world title.

"I have had many great memories in the Garden," Cotto said.

Turning to boxing at the age of 11, Cotto began to box to lose weight and slowly became a decorated amateur in the enchanted island.

"I have been boxing for 26 years. I laced up the gloves for the first time in 1992. I can still remember the first time I walked into the gym," Cotto recalls

Cotto will have one more fight to cement his legacy at the Mecca of Boxing. In what has been a great career since turning pro after the 2000 Sidney Summer Olympics. Continuing the great Puerto Rican boxing tradition Cotto has been the islands best boxer in the last 15 years.

"I'm just grateful for what boxing has given me and for the life it has allowed me to give to my children for what it has done for me and my family. I owe a lot to boxing," Cotto said. “I am not sure what is after boxing. I am a father of four kids and I want to be part of their future. When I turned pro my goal, my only thing mind was to be the best provider for my house,"

What a great career and ride it has been for the Puerto Rican star as Cotto will certainly be a Hall of Famer.

"I have no regrets in my career. I appreciate my whole career, it was a tough career,"

Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla

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