The 37-year-old Puerto Rican great was here to say goodbye, one last fight for a six-time world champ in four divisions, spread from 140 to 160 pounds.
Miguel Cotto, who began boxing as an 11-year-old to lose weight, said farewell on Saturday night, closing out a glorious 17-year career, but not how most expected. "I am good, and I want to be happy in my home with my family".
This was not the way Miguel Cotto's legendary career was supposed to end.
Others, Ali suspects, still won't respect his upset victory over Miguel Cotto on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
"I worked hard for it", said Ali, who won by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113.
"I am going to be a warrior and do my best for the benefit of my family, as always", he said. I don't want to make excuses.
"Thank you for all the fans, I am proud to call MSG my second home. But this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I took the challenge against a legend", Ali said.
Ali did a fine job, not just outboxing Cotto, but doing the more damage, staggering Cotto with a straight right to the jaw in the 2nd, with a left hook to the temple in the 4th, and with another left hook in the 11th. "They could have taken an easier fight if they wanted to".
"I had him hurt here or there in the first couple of rounds", Ali said. I know how great I am and, moving forward, I know I'm gonna prove more. Or maybe Ali did the right thing, preferring to dominate the fight and not get greedy against a hard-hitting veteran? Sadam Ali didn't read that particular script however, claiming an tight unanimous points verdict after the fight went the championship distance. After seemingly winning a close ninth round, Ali had more success in the 10th round, catching a tiring Cotto along the ropes with a left hook and then a right hand.
Cotto's last fight is being shown by Box Nation, with coverage getting underway at 2am (Sunday morning). "I have been training since I was 8 years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown". Sometimes the burglars sneak up incrementally, taking advantage of an older fighter's loss of reaction time that can be measured in tenths, if not hundredths, of seconds. The Mexican champion improved to 31-0, while Negrete, of Colombia, lost for the first time in 18 bouts. Frugal with his money and mindful of his health and well-being, he steps away far better off than many champions who only considered the present and were never mindful of the potential pitfalls of the future were they to linger too long in an unforgiving game.
"It's taken me five years to get here, and I'm cherishing this moment for me and for Puerto Rico", Acosta said.