Cotto failed to add a 42nd win to his record last night, losing to Ali in a unanimous points decision as the American claimed the WBO super-welterweight title.
The Puerto Rican had already confirmed that he would hang his gloves up after the bout at Madison Square Garden, win or lose, but his chances of retaining the belt took a blow when he suffered an injury to his left biceps during the fight.
And Roy Jones Jr, himself a six-time world champion, believes no-one should have been surprised to see the 29-year-old Ali emerge the winner despite starting the fight as a significant underdog.
“You can’t consider that a huge upset, because let me tell you why: because when you respect boxing and you have two Olympians in the ring together, anybody can win the fight,” Jones told Boxing Scene.
“Now we didn’t expect that Sadam was going to beat him, because Sadam lost to Jessie Vargas.
“However, when Cotto tore his bicep during the fight in the seventh round, then Sadam Ali better win a decision or there is something wrong with him.
“You are an Olympian and a guy tore his bicep in his best arm, he’s left handed, and he fights with that hand forward – you better beat him or there is something wrong with you. So no – it’s not an upset in my eyes.”
Cotto himself though refused to blame the injury and seemed satisfied with the account of himself he had given.
“I’m feeling good with the performance,” Cotto said.
“Something happened to my left biceps but I don’t want to make excuses, Sadam won the fight.
“It is my last fight. I am good and I want to be happy in my home with my family.
“I am proud to call MSG my second home.
“I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport.”