Now this is a super fight! This can and will be everything that Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao was not.
For all of Mayweather’s status as the sweetest scientist of the art of self defense, boxing fans, especially the casual ones-who are the ingredients that elevate a big fight into a super one, are salivating over this fight.
And when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KO’s), fresh off this highlight-reel knockout of tough-as-nails James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland, dukes it out against the venerable Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KO’s), the vaunted Mexico vs. Puerto Rico ring rivalry will be renewed!
Viva Mexico! Viva Puerto Rico! War Canelo-Cotto!
In the chin department, neither man has a decided advantage but if I had to give one man the edge, it would be Alvarez. He has never been stopped nor been dropped in a fight to-date while Cotto has been stopped twice and dropped on a few other occasions.
No one would call either fighter a defensive stalwart, and that’s part of the reason that folks are looking forward to this fight. We are looking forward to a violent confrontation between two offensive fighters. However, the boxer with the better defense will have a decided edge in this fight. The verdict: even.
I feel that Miguel Cotto has a solid advantage in the area of ring generalship, as I have seen him stalk and walk down notable foes like Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi and Sergio Martinez while also being able to outbox the great Shane Mosley.
Canelo Alvarez is no slouch in this department either, as we’ve seen him blast away the aforementioned Kirkland and other contenders like Kermit Cintron and Alfredo Angulo. And he’s also done enough to best slick boxers like Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara.
Miguel Cotto has fought a who’s who of ring champions and contenders, including Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, Sergio Martinez, Joshua Clottey, Zab Judah, Austin Trout, Paulie Malignaggi and Antonio Margarito. Very few boxers can match this resume of competition, and that includes Alvarez, despite having Mayweather, Mosley, Trout, Lara and Kirkland on his resume.
Conditioning has been an issue for both boxers. Both are fairly slow starters who heat up after about two/three rounds, then fight at a brisk pace in the middle rounds, but often fade a bit in the championship rounds. Oh man, can you imagine these championship rounds if they both make it there?!?
When it comes to speed, Cotto has the faster hands (I think) and he also has the quicker feet. Canelo is a little plodding and this slight speed differential will serve Cotto well when both men meet in two months.
Where Canelo has an advantage is the power and size differential. Despite the catch-weight, Alvarez is the naturally bigger man with the heavier hands. Cotto actually has scored one more knockout in three less fights but his power hasn’t gone up with his increase in weight. Being that he started his career at 140, while Alvarez began his at 154, the latter is naturally more powerful.
An ex-factor could be the fight locale. It was well-chronicled that Cotto wanted this fight to take place in his adopted “home ring” of Madison Square Garden but Golden Boy and it’s strong relationship with the MGM Grand Arena ultimately prevailed. And if the fight goes to the scorecards, the partisan (in favor of Alvarez) Las Vegas, Nevada crowd could be a highly-influential factor.
On paper, this fight is a pick ’em. Both fighters have their fair share of advantages as well as disadvantages. And that’s why this is a super fight! It pits two highly-skilled boxers meeting with the outcome not predetermined.
The final verdict: Buoyed by his renewed zeal for the fight game, inspired by a competitive loss to Floyd Mayweather and a surprising stoppage of the (former) lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, look for Miguel Cotto to channel his wealth of experience and ring generalship and give Canelo Alvarez a boxing lesson in a highly-competitive, entertaining majority decision victory!