The days and weeks before Miguel Cotto’s final bout were a curious, wandering period. Immersed in nostalgia and solemn reverence, writers and ring side observers seemed to succumb to the narrative that Sadam Ali’s selection, and the sense of underwhelm they felt toward him and duly projected to their own parishioners, would assure Cotto’s career enjoyed a decorative final triumph. Without a perceived threat in the opposing corner, or, as they determined, even the prospect of a competitive bout, they opted to start the party early.
Such was the extent of this homage the actual fight became an inconvenience, an after thought, akin to collecting the discarded paper plates and half-empty champagne flutes when all you want is a taxi or your bed. As the great and good of the written and spoken word laid their respective garlands at Cotto’s feet and fans bowed their heads in respect, Boxing grew tired of this veneration and the disrespect to Her final commandment, that nobody leaves on their own terms, the tsunami of obituary represented. Sincerity was increasingly sacrificed in the media’s quest to draw the most emotionally laden tribute to Cotto’s career, great as it was, slipped into the apocryphal.