He's not going to exactly shake up the world, but WBO super welterweight champion Miguel Cotto will be ‘a bad man' on December 2 against Sadam Ali.
After damn near killing himself while beating the hell out of Yoshihiro Kamegai on August 26 (same date as the forgettable Mayweather V McGregor, but more on that in a minute) to capture the title, Cotto gets the right ham to go with the cheese he'll receive for bludgeoning Ali.
It says here that Cotto may even score the greatest KO of his career, probably within five beautiful rounds of a guaranteed action fight. Cotto will get Ali floating like a butterly after he's stung by what will feel like 1000 bees. It will be worth the price of admission, considering Golden Boy almost always produces a great undercard. Cotto was wise to avoid the explosive Jermell Charlo, which will allow arguably the greatest fighter in Puerto Rican history to end an illustrious career in scintillating fashion. His bouts with Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito and Sergio Martinez (to name just a few) will live on in boxing lore for all eternity.
I'll never forget Miguel Cotto for the time I spent around him and his family in September/October 2009, prior to his superfight with Manny Pacquiao. I was a member of the Fight Factory Gym, where he prepped his ass off for a much better version of the Pac-Man who annihilated his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, less than a year before.
They weren't aces then, so let's call a spade a spade right now.
THE CLOSET SCENE
Or just the closing scene to this article in very editorial fashion.
To this day, that scene from The Breakfast Club stays with me, as it will for the rest of my life. Today, I wished I could be Vernon pushing Bender into the closet, before looking him deep in the eyes and telling him: “You're a gutless turd!”.
In any ring of life, passive aggression can get you killed. I can't imagine a fighter thinking about whether or not he needs to hit an opponent. With that in mind, I have to strike Golden Boy Promotions and its handling of the international conference call for this fight. Anyone can understand ESPN's Dan Rafael being granted the first line of questioning– and even a second, given his position and very hard work for the ‘worldwide leader in sports'. But he was allowed to ask in excess of 20 questions. Keith Idec essentially held an interview with Cotto and De La Hoya. Even though the fight is in New York City and I represented NY Fights.com (which is a pretty badass site if I must say so myself), do you know how many questions we were able to ask?
This comes on the heels of writing a very flattering portrait of De La Hoya and Golden Boy for its charitable works. Not for brownie points, kickbacks, or perks… But because it was the right thing to acknowledge. It raises the question as to whether or not Golden Boy took articles like “Gennady Golovkin, 38-0, Is A Winner”, or “Miguel Cotto Ducks Into The HOF” personally. We all want to see fair competition, which includes fair writing. As a good journalist, it is never a concern with the perception of right or wrong– because that is entirely subjective, only that a modicum of fairness is being pursued. Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto never ducked any tough fighters capable of killing them, so why bob and weave on tough questions?
We were the only media that raised the issue of the plight in Puerto Rico in connection with what can be expected to be a large Puerto Rican turnout for Cotto's Dec 2 farewell. De La Hoya indirectly acknowledged this in his opening address. He stated that an undisclosed portion of the proceeds would go to the unfortunate victims of Mother Nature, which, of course, is admirable. I wanted to ask Miguel how excited he was to be fighting in his last professional bout in New York City (Puerto Rico is basically a 6th borough of NYC). But we didn't get to ask. Incidentally, Miguel Cotto mentioned nothing on the subject during the call and was as vanilla as possible, despite being pressed by Rafael for flavor throughout.
I wanted to ask De La Hoya, he was serious about fighting Conor McGregor? Or, was it merely an attempt to take a dig at Floyd Mayweather's performance, while getting a measure of revenge for stealing some thunder from Cotto V Kamegai and Canelo V GGG? While we're at it Oscar, have you been sparring with either Canelo or Cotto over these last months of ‘secret training' to give yourself the impression that you're “better than ever”?
If I'm covering Cotto V Ali from the rooftop of Madison Square Garden with a face graced by snowflakes, now you know why.