Saul "Canelo" Alvarez vs Miguel Cotto

Written by Jason Dewey for @HollywoodbetsFollow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

Miguel Cotto will head into his 24th career world title fight this weekend against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The two will go head to head for the WBC World Middleweight Title at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

 Tale of the Tape
Miguel Cotto
Saul Alvarez
170 CM
175 CM
170 CM
179 CM
40 (33 KOs)
45 (32 KOs)
4 (2 KOs)
1 (0 KOs)

To Win Fight
Saul Alvarez 3/10
Miguel Cotto 5/2

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
Alvarez heads into this fight as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world at the moment and his (45-1-1, 32 KO) record underlines his credentials. The ferocious Mexican’s only professional defeat came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather, in which he was comfortably defeated on points by the American superstar.

Since that defeat to Mayweather, Alvarez has gone on to win his next three fights against the highly rated James Kirkland (KO) as well as Erislandy Lara (SD) and Alfredo Angulo (TKO).

Amir Khan went on record saying “I think it will be an exciting fight, but I clearly think Canelo will win, and I even see him winning by knockout. I don’t think Cotto can deal with the youth, strength and speed on Canelo.”

Khan’s examination of the fight seems accurate. The 25-year-old Mexican is quick on his feet, possess immense strength and can wear even the best fighters in the world down with his sound jabbing technique. He tends to impose himself on his opponents, dominating throughout the early rounds with his power and control before looking for the stoppage or knockout later on.

This was evident in his last fight where he annihilated James Kirkland in three rounds. Having dropped American in the first, Alvarez was relentless in his approach, landing flurries at will. He would eventually floor his challenger in the third round after referee, Jon Schorle put an end to the bout.   

Aside from being the stronger of the two fighters, Alvarez is also less likely to fatigue in the earlier rounds. The Mexican has, however, had his stamina called into question on a few occasions. Freddie Roach, who trained Alvarez for three fights, came out earlier this week saying that he doesn’t train particularly hard and struggles with conditioning leading up his fights. Whether or not this will have any effect on how Canelo approaches his opponent remains to be seen.

Properly conditioned or not, Cotto should be worried when he steps into the ring with Alvarez on Sunday morning. Whenever the Mexican fighter knows he has the advantage in strength and reach he tends to run over his opponents in search of the knockout. Saul will have to be weary of going in all guns blazing, however, as Cotto possesses one of the best left hooks in the sport. The Mexican could well find himself staring up at the lights of the Mandalay Events Centre if he gets in too close to the Puerto Rican.

Miguel Cotto
At 34, Cotto is definitely past his prime, however the Puerto Rican is still able to mix it up with the best in the world on his day. That is exactly what will be required of him when he steps into the ring with Alvarez. Having turned professional in 2001, Cotto went on to take on some of the biggest names in boxing. As an upcoming prospect, he defeated the likes of John Brown, Justin Jukko, Victoriano Sosa and Cesar Bazan. He is the only fighter from Puerto Rico to win world titles in four different weight classes.

Cotto has built his reputation on reinventing himself after career-threatening losses. He first burst onto the scene as an aggressive puncher who enjoyed going to the body at 140 pounds. He would later move on to 154 pounds and honed his style to become more of an out-and-out boxer under Cuban trainer, Pedro Diaz. Under the guidance of Freddie Roach, he has evolved  into a immensely dangerous mixture of both. 

He’s going to need to call on all of his experience if he wants to defeat a fired-up Alvarez on Sunday morning. Freddie Roach was typically vocal about his fighter’s prospects, claiming “my fighter will win by KO”. This is something fight fans have become accustomed to hearing from Roach prior to any big fight, however, should we be taking it more seriously this time around?

Cotto has been working closely with Roach in the build-up to this fight. The world-famous trainer, who has spent time working with Alvarez, believes he’s identified a potential weakness in the Mexican.

The former prize-fighter claimed that Alvarez “is a bit of a lazy guy, and he doesn’t train hard” he would go on to say that “he trained at Wildcard West, I own that gym. I know, when he trained there, how many times he showed up, and how many times he didn’t. The kid’s not a disciplined fighter, and my guy is. We’ll break him down in the early rounds, and take him out in the later rounds, I promise you.”

Whether or not an aging Cotto will be able to mix it up in the later rounds with his younger opponent remains to be seen. He does come into this bout having won his last three fights against Daniel Geale (TKO), Sergio Martinez (RTD) and Delvin Rodriguez (TKO). One feels that if he is to have any chance of winning on Sunday morning, he will need to win by stoppage in the first six or seven rounds. The Puerto Rican does have a tendency to fade later on into his fights, something that was apparent his four career defeats thus far. 

If he fails to knock Alvarez out, Cotto will look to his supreme technique in order to stay in the fight. An incredibly accurate puncher who makes use of his lightening-quick feet to set up angles, he will be depending on all of his guile and experience to avoid getting drawn into a slugfest with the dangerous Mexican.

Verdict: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at 3/10
The only way I see Miguel Cotto defeating Saul Alvarez on Sunday morning is if he lands one of his trademark left hooks early on – knocking out the young Mexican. Alvarez, however, will be weary of this and will have worked hard on a plan to avoid such an outcome. You can expect an Alvarez win in typically devastating fashion.

The undercard for the main fight has been almost been finalised with Guillermo Rigondeaux set to take on Drian Francisco in a junior featherweight bout. You can see the full card below:

Hector Tanajara vs TBA - Lightweight, no belts on the line
Zhilei Zhang vs Donnie Palmer - Heavyweight, no belts on the line
Alberto Machado vs Tyrone Luckey - Featherweight, no belts on the line
Jose Martinez vs Oscar Mojica - Flyweight, no belts on the line
Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Drian Francisco - Super Bantamweight, no belts on the line
Jayson Velez vs Ronny Rios - Featherweight, no belts on the line
Randy Cabellero vs Lee Haskins - Bantamweight, IBF World Bantamweight Title
Takashi Miura vs Francisco Vargas - Featherweight, WBC Super Featherweight Title
Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez - Middleweight, WBC World Middleweight Title

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