New York: Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto goes out a warrior, but not a winner, after dropping a unanimous 12-round decision Saturday to Sadam Ali in a world title fight he vowed would be his last.
Before adoring fans at Madison Square Garden, the 37-year-old Cotto just didn't have enough against his 29-year-old opponent.
Ali seized the World Boxing Organization light middleweight world title the Puerto Rican won in August with an undisputed decision over Japan's Yoshihiro Kamegai.
After a back-and-forth battle that saw both fighters hurt, Ali got the nod from all three judges by scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112.
Ali rocked Cotto with a right in the second, but the Puerto Rican veteran held on and gained the upper hand in the middle rounds, doing damage with his left hook and catching Ali with a punishing right to the head in the sixth.
"I had him hurt here and there," Ali said. "But I didn't want to get over myself and get caught with a shot. He has tremendous power."
Cotto continued to apply pressure in the seventh, but said that "something happened" to his left biceps in the round.