After being in discussions to face middleweight puncher David Lemieux for the final fight of his career, Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) has changed course and will be taking on Sadam Ali instead. Ali (25-1, 14 KOs), whose sole defeat came by knockout to Jessie Vargas last year, will be moving up from welterweight to junior middleweight for the contest.
Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy, confirmed to RingTV that Cotto and Ali have reached a verbal agreement for a December 2nd HBO card that will take place at Madison Square Garden. As for the Lemiuex negotiations, one source says that Cotto realized in his most recent bout with Yoshihiro Kamegai that fighting at the 160lbs was just too much of a stretch.
You'll recall that Cotto recently whitewashed Kamegai on the scorecards a couple of months ago, but Cotto hit Kamegai with everything but the kitchen sink and still couldn't keep Kamegai from applying non-stop pressure over the course of the fight. That, of course, was hardly enough for Kamegai to actually win the fight, but it apparently left an uneasy impression on Cotto regarding the effectiveness of his punching power against larger men.
So now Ali will get the nod instead, but Ali was not atop neither Golden Boy nor HBO's (nor any fan's) list of potential opponents. So Cotto, who will be turning 37 this month, is ready to pack it in with a fight that leaves something to be desired.