The year 2017 has seen a number of top-level fighters walk away on the top and by themselves terms– Andre Ward, Juan Manuel Marquez (though his last battle was 3 years previously) and Floyd Mayweather being 3. WBO extremely welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto intends to join them by beating Sadam Ali at Madison Square Garden, his spiritual boxing house far from house where he has actually assembled a record of 8-1 (5 KO) because June 2005. The last time he combated at the “Mecca” he scored an amazingly dominant decision over Sergio Martinez to capture his 4th divisional crown, the very first Puerto Rican to attain such an honor.
In Ali, a Brooklyn resident of Yemeni extraction, Cotto is dealing with a once-beaten fighter who is making simply his 2nd appearance at MSG (he decisioned Francisco Santana on the Wladimir Klitschko-Bryant Jennings undercard in April 2015). While Ali will have some support, it will be drowned by a tidal wave of nationalistic pride and sentiment. Will the crowd get its pleased ending? Or will the rigors of “The Sweet Science” inflict a sour tasting of sequential truth?
Struggles Against Stars, Succeeds Against Others
All Cotto’s 5 defeats have actually come against fellow champions in Manny Pacquiao, Antonio Margarito, Mayweather, Austin Trout (who notched the only MSG defeat for Cotto) and Saul Alvarez. The three latest losses came against “Money,” “No Doubt” and “Canelo,” and in those battles the per-round margins were telling (15.9 vs. 11.6 total, 3.7 vs. 3.1 jabs, 12.2-9.4 power) as were the link percentages (29% -24% overall, 16% -15% jabs, 40% -29% power).
However against non-superstars like Delvin Rodriguez, Daniel Geale, a paralyzed Martinez and a difficult however outplayed Yoshihiro Kamegai in his latest outing, the numbers turn heavily in Cotto’s favor (23.2 to 10.5 overall links per round, 6.0 to 2.4 jab links, 17.2 to 8.1 landed power shots per round and portion leads of 44% -25% general, 40% -17% jabs and 46% -30% power). The Kamegai effort showed that Cotto had plenty left in the tank as he threw a career-high 809 punches (69.9 per round) and landed & tried a career highs for power punches (251 of 601). He out-landed Kamegai 339-156 general, 88-11 jabs and 251-145 power and developed enviable percentage leads of 40% -23% overall, 37% -8% jabs and 42% -26% power. He went beyond 30 total links per round 5 times (complementing at 38 in round two) and landed 20 or more in every round other than the 11th where he landed 18. Additionally, he surpassed 40% power accuracy 6 times and landed 50% two times (in the seventh and 12th rounds) while Kamegai was stuck in the 20s in 8 of the last 9 rounds.
Even in his late 30s, Cotto remains efficient versus a lower level of fighter. The only question is whether Ali qualifies as a lesser light or whether he can lift his video game to a higher level. Offered his history, Cotto needs to supply a fitting litmus test.
Gaining back Form
Considering that suffering a spectacular TKO loss to Jessie Vargas for the uninhabited WBO welterweight belt in March 2016, Ali has actually gone 3-0 with one KO win against challengers with a combined 67-22-4 record, a. 720 winning percentage. His first fight back saw him drop and dominate a passive Saul Corral en route to a 10-round decision that saw him lead 155-56 overall and 131-42 power while averaging 64.7 punches per round to Corral’s 27.8. Corral took pleasure in brief minutes of success in rounds 8 and 10, however it wasn’t nearly sufficient to hinder the Ali train.
As for his newest battle, a 10-round choice over Johan Perez, Ali experienced a bit more resistance as Perez was busier (64.2 per round to Ali’s 46.2) and stayed in the fight up until Ali staged a surge in the final 2 rounds (31-18 total, 26-14 power) to pin down connect leads of 114-103 general and 95-74 power in addition to 25% -16% general and 35% -18% power. The scores were broad (98-91, 97-92 twice) but he did little bit more than what was expected. Will he raise his level here?
Inside The Numbers
Cotto, in his last 10 battles (at 152 lbs or higher), landed 39.7% of his power punches. Ali’s referred to as a fighter, but landed just 3 jabs per round among his 14 landed punches per round in his last 5 battles.