To put it plainly, the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KO) vs. Miguel “Junito” Cotto (40-4, 33 KO) bout on Saturday from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas is the biggest non-Floyd Mayweather fight in the last three years.
The Mexican-Puerto Rican boxing rivalry is set to get another chapter added to its long line of high-profile bouts. Alvarez is without a doubt the most popular and successful active Mexican fighter in the sport, and the same can be said about Cotto in relation to his Puerto Rican heritage. He is the only fighter from Puerto Rico to win world titles in four weight classes.
The entire boxing world will be watching, as will many casual fans, and that’s when you know a fight and its hype have gone to the next level.
When: Saturday, November 21, at 6 p.m. PSt
Where: Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
TV: HBO pay-per-view
What’s at Stake?
The title situation surrounding this fight has become complicated. Cotto was stripped of his WBC title after he refused to pay $1.1 million in sanctioning fees, per Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times. Now the title will only be on the line for Canelo, who has a chance to gain his first piece of the middleweight crown.
Another huge payday could be on the horizon, as the winner would be expected to take on WBA and IBF champion Gennady Golovkin. A win by Cotto could muddy the picture. Because he wouldn’t be the WBC champion, there wouldn’t be any obligation for him to face the feared Kazakh slugger.
It seems more likely that Golovkin would face another top middleweight for the vacant crown, which would probably be a less intriguing bout. If Canelo wins, then a bout between him and Golovkin would be logical sometime in the first quarter of 2016.
That would be a big-money bout, as Golovkin would be getting the biggest test of his career, and Canelo would be facing the best fighter he’s fought since he was outboxed by Mayweather in September 2013.
This is an intriguing battle, assuming the 35-year-old Cotto doesn’t look his age in the fight. He’ll be the most experienced body puncher Canelo has ever tangled with. That could be significant, because Alvarez’s midsection has never been tested.
Cotto is tough as nails, and he’s shown the penchant for getting off to fast starts in his last three fights. Fast starts are not normally a part of Canelo‘s makeup.
He can’t afford to allow a veteran like Cotto to get the drop on him early.
In the end, most like the bigger (5’9″ to 5’7″) and younger Alvarez by decision. He should have a slight edge in speed, and if he utilizes his jab, he could seize control and have Cotto hurt late.
Out of respect to Cotto‘s toughness, we’ll tab Canelo as the winner by decision, but the final four rounds will likely favor the Mexican star. Bet on Canelo going away.