PUERTO Rican icon Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) and Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) hosted a press conference yesterday to formally announce their 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBO super-welterweight title. The action will take place at the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden, and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Cotto will make his 24th appearance on the network and his 10th showcase at MSG in the final fight of his historic career as one of the most decorated and significant Puerto Rican fighters in boxing history.
It will be the final fight of Cotto’s glorious 16-year professional career that has seen him conquer four weight divisions.
Below is what the fighters and their teams had to say at the press conference:
Miguel Cotto: “It’s nice to be back. It is nice to be at this place; it made me the big boxer than I am now. All I can say is that I’m going to Los Angeles tonight to start my training camp. I’m going to do my best with Freddie, as always. I know Sadam Ali will do his best. We are going to bring a good show here on December 2.”
Sadam Ali: “I know I’m the underdog. I know a lot of the media are throwing bad words at me. But if you work hard, you never know what’s going to come. It’s not about the money. It’s about the opportunity. I know if I want to win, I have to come at 100 percent and fight smart. Cotto has tremendous power, so I’m going to fight smart. I’m going to use all of my abilities, my speed, my strength, my feet. I’m ready to shine. For those of you who don’t think I have a chance: all you got to do is wait and see. I promise you that you will see a great fight.”
Andre Rozier, Trainer to Sadam Ali: “We wanted to show the world that Sadam Ali is a special athlete. He is a special boxer. At this point, it’s been written that he doesn’t belong here or stand a chance. but we’re going to show the world that he does. He’s coming to win. It’s not a money thing. I told him, if he didn’t want to win the fight, then we don’t want the fight. It’s nothing more than. There is a stern test before us, but we plan to ascend to that challenge. We will be victorious.”
Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions: “This is a classic event: as one star says goodbye, another tries to fill the void. What can you say about Miguel Cotto that hasn’t already been said during his two decades in boxing?On December 2, Cotto will look to go out as a champion as he defends his WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship. Sadam Ali is a hungry fighter who is young and fresh, and he knows this is an amazing opportunity against a great legend. I know he will put on a great show. I’m very happy to announce that for every ticket sold, a portion of ticket sales will go to various charities that Miguel Cotto and his promotional company will choose.”
All photos: Matt Easley/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions