The much-loved Miguel Cotto brings his career to an end in the early hours of Sunday when he takes on Sadam Ali at Madison Square Garden. Our man Frankie Monkhouse picks out the value...
"Ask any professional boxer who they admire in the fight game and there’s no doubt Miguel Cotto will feature in the top-five of just about every list. He’s a real pro, lives the life, gives value for money and loves the sport with a passion."
Cotto v Ali
Sunday, 03:00 GMT
Live on Box Nation
Modern day boxing legend Miguel Cotto takes part in his 47th professional contest on Saturday when meeting Sadam Ali at Madison Square Garden, a venue he has made home during an illustrious 17-year career.
The WBO super welterweight world title is on the line, but the odds suggest this is little more than a chance for fight fans to see the great in action. Backing Cotto - the 1/18 favourite - to win the fight won't give punters much to shout about, but there's value to be had when working through the specials, including method of victory market, where we jab at a nice price.
Junito fancied for the knockout win
Cotto is fast-approaching the end of his time in the game, a comfortable points defeat suffered at the hands of Saul Alvarez two years ago proving as much, but he does duck between the ropes on the back of an impressive win, beating Japan's Yoshihiro Kamegai on points. That victory in Carson earned Junito Saturday's title, 120-1108, 119-109, 118-110 the scores back in August.
Cotto boasts a 72% knockout average, but hasn't halted an opponent since the summer of 2015, Australian Daniel Geale downed in four rounds, sent to the canvas twice before being pulled out. Despite that barren spell, Cotto to win by KO/TKO is favourite, 8/13 available on the Sportsbook to those wanting to take a chance.
Playing the same outcome on the Exchange returns [1.41] at the time of writing. The points cheer goes as a more attractive punt, top price 7/4 through the Sportsbook.
Sadam looking to cause an upset
Sadam Ali isn't exactly a household name in the world of fight fans, but he can change that with an upset win on Saturday in front of a bumper audience. The 29-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, brings a record of 25 wins against one defeat, the spare suffered last March, battered into submission in nine by Jessie Vargas, dropped in both the eighth and ninth. The WBO welterweight title was on the line that night. Will he get any more luck at the higher weight, against an opponent who has mixed it with the best at middleweight?
We think not, and traders are in a rush to oppose World Kid, despite three victories in his three starts since that reverse. 8/1 (Sportsbook) is available to players expecting an upset. The underdog does carry a bit of bite in his work, knocking Mexican Jorge Silva out in three in his penultimate start, before edging Johan Perez on the scorecards over 10 rounds in July.
Sadam to wreck the party, inflicting a third career KO on Cotto, has been laughed out of town, with [16.5] available the Exchange, and [9.0] for a points decision. Ali to win the fight by any method is the same price as Ali to do the business on points, so be mindful of that if going for the 5ft 9in orthodox.
Cotto is slowing down
Ask any professional boxer who they admire in the fight game and there's no doubt Miguel Cotto will feature in the top-five of just about every list. He's a real pro, lives the life, gives value for money and loves the sport with a passion. He enjoys what he does, and is still good enough to compete for major titles, despite having already achieved it all. He'll win again, the question is how will he get the result?
There's no doubt the aging warrior is slowing down, now 37 years old, eight years his opponent's senior. He has spent the bulk of his career at the top of the tree, taking big fights with the best in the business, and that catches up with every man. He'll score, but the all-action, fast starts are a thing of the past. Expect the fans' favourite to work himself into the bout. The value looks to be in backing Cotto to record an eighth points nod. I certainly expect this one to progress into the second-half.
Back Cotto on points @ 7/4 (Sportsbook)