One of boxing's modern greats will lace gloves for the final time on Saturday at New York's Madison Square Garden.
Miguel Cotto defends his WBO light-middleweight crown against local man Sadam Ali, the sixth world title the 37-year-old Puerto Rican icon has won across four weight divisions.
Since representing the boxing-mad Caribbean island at the 2000 Olympic Games, Cotto has fought 46 times as a professional, taken on all-comers and inspiring the devotion of thousands.
Here we look back of some of his most memorable performances across a thrilling, all-action career.
One last stand for a legend. @RealMiguelCotto caps off a remarkable career in one final fight at MSG this Sat! https://t.co/ju5pBW4XI9 pic.twitter.com/oe3iyV8dx7— MSG (@TheGarden) November 28, 2017
Cotto v Ricardo Torres – September 24, 2005.
Cotto blazed a destructive trail through the light-welterweight division to collect the WBO title and was 24-0 by the time of his fourth defence against Colombia knockout artist Torres. A barnburner ensued at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, with Torres down in the opener from a left hook. Cotto tumbled to the canvas halfway through a torrid second but was firing back with reckless abandon by the bell. The Puerto Rican's trademark left to the body forced the challenger to take another count in four before the tables turned again – Cotto wearing several bludgeoning punches in the fifth session. A straight right decked Torres once more in six and the next round descended into ferocious close-quarters trading. It was Torres who ultimately buckled as Cotto hooks landed crisply upstairs and downstairs.
Cotto v Shane Mosley – November 10, 2007
Two more defences followed Cotto's Torres ordeal before the strain of boiling down to the 10-stone limit proved too much. He stepped up to welterweight and found an extra gear in what would prove to be the prime of a majestic career. Countryman Carlos Quintana was halted inside five in Cotto's first fight at 147lbs for the vacant WBA title, while a storming second defence against former unified champion Zab Judah set up an epic encounter with Shane Mosley at Madison Square Garden. Two of the era's defining figures engaged in high-quality, engrossing back-and-forth action. Compubox registered both men as having landed 248 punches apiece after the 12 completed rounds but Cotto, displaying more rounded boxing skills than he had been previously given credit for, overcame a ninth-round crisis to take a close, unanimous decision on the scorecards.
[email protected] will cap off an incredible storied-career here at The Garden this Saturday night! Here’s a look at some of his most impressive bouts at The Mecca of Boxing.
What has been the most exciting fight you’ve watched #MiguelCotto take part in? pic.twitter.com/YgyTPTq7HR— MSG (@TheGarden) November 27, 2017
Cotto v Antonio Margarito II – December 3, 2011
The Cotto juggernaut shuddered to a halt after 32 consecutive victories in July 2008 when rangy slugger Margarito broke him down for an 11th round stoppage. But the image of a battered, bloodied Cotto defeated on one knee would come to be viewed in darkly sinister terms when, ahead of his next fight against Mosley, Margarito's hand wraps were found to contain a plaster-like substance. The "loaded" wraps were cut off, Cotto's old foe stormed to a nine-round win and Margarito and trainer Javier Capetillo were banned in disgrace.
Cotto accused Margarito of using similarly sickening deception in their bout, claiming post-fight photographs of the Mexican's hands proved his point. Margarito strenuously denied any wrongdoing and a barely concealed resentment simmered between the two men in the build-up to their meeting for the WBA light-middleweight title. Once in the ring, Cotto's adoring public at the Garden saw him dish out merciless and brutal retribution. A shopworn Margarito was pulled out by the ringside doctor at the end of the ninth with his right eye swollen shut. Cotto wasn't done as he stalked over to Margarito's corner and stared coldly at the beaten man. "I wanted to look at him and taste my victory," said a usually impeccable sportsman. "He means nothing to me."
Before @RealMiguelCotto's final bout, take a look back at one of the biggest wins of his career as he avenged a controversial loss to Antonio Margarito.
Then, be sure to watch Cotto's last fight as he takes on @realworldkidali tomorrow night at 10 pm ET/PT. pic.twitter.com/guhrS2FVs3— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) December 1, 2017
Cotto v Sergio Martinez – June 7, 2014
Both Cotto and Margarito suffered at the blurring fists of a peak Manny Pacquiao before their rematch and the champion would lose his light-middleweight belt next time out, despite giving the great Floyd Mayweather Jr more problems than most. Dropping a unanimous decision to American southpaw Austin Trout added weight to the sense a fine career was on a downward curve. Joining up Pacquiao's mentor Freddie Roach rejuvenated Cotto and, after a three-round shellacking of Delvin Rodriguez demonstrated a return of the devilment of old, he stepped up to face WBC middleweight king Sergio Martinez. Roach sensed the stylish Argentinian veteran might be vulnerable early following to a 14-month injury layoff and so it proved. Cotto's trademark left-hook sent the champion tottering across the ring in an opening round where he was walloped to the canvas three times. Martinez gamely fought on but it was one-way traffic and, before the start of the 10th, his corner decided they had seen enough. Cotto was Puerto Rico's first four-weight world champion.