Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KO’s) will defend his WBC World middleweight title on November 21st against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KO’s) at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This firmly qualifies as a ‘super fight’ with the longstanding Puerto Rican star attempting to fend off the challenge of the young Mexican, who has risen to the same level of repute and hopes to achieve similar longevity.
The wait for the official announcement took longer than expected but now it has finally arrived everyone can start weighing in with their picks and opinions, which is what renowned trainer Joel Diaz did in a recent interview with Fight Hub.
“I love to see that fight, but I just think this is a perfect for Canelo at this moment. I just think youth will take over in that fight.”
With nine years in hand on Cotto and far less punishment banked, Canelo would seem primed to set upon the older man having racked up three impressive wins since his sole career defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013.
He decimated Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland (coming back from over a year of inactivity) on either side of a close -though in my opinion a deserved- decision win over the tricky Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara en route to this fight, and looks to be in the form of his life.
Cotto on the other hand, is three years removed from a competitive fight.
Since dropping a unanimous decision to Austin Trout in December 2012 Cotto has scored three knockouts over known names, but there are underlying factors that need explaining with each.
He beat Delvin Rodriguez in a comeback outing in his first fight with trainer Freddie Roach and looked sharp in scoring the win with that resurrected left hook of his, but against a level of opponent far inferior to himself.
A historic win over Sergio Martinez followed, but he became the first Puerto Rican to title in four weight classes against a forty-year-old with two bad knees and hence greatly reduced mobility. When that fact became clear, it was a rather sinister watch.
His most recent knockout win over former two-time champ Daniel Geale in June was marred by the fact that Cotto made the career middleweight suck down to 157 lbs. How much of an effect this had on his performance only Geale can say, but he looked drained at the weigh-in and lethargic in the ring on fight night.
This is a meeting of two men at very different stages of their careers, and Diaz feels it will be an even encounter for the most part. He expects Canelo to pull out the win, though not unscathed.
“It will be a great fight. I know Miguel Cotto will come and put up a fight because he’s strong, but I think Canelo will take a little bit of punishment. But at the end of the day he’ll be victorious.”
“I know it will be a great fight because they both have power in the fist but when it comes to endurance, I think Canelo has more endurance.”
This is an interesting point. Both fighters have completed the 12-round distance numerous times though it is Canelo who has been criticised for flagging in the later rounds, against Mayweather and Lara most notably.
Cotto can probably go the distance at a higher pace but as against Antonio Margarito(who was believed to have loaded gloves), Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather again, he struggles to hold it together once heavy shots begin to land on him. His face swells up badly and he gets cut more often than not after years upon years of taking shots.
He has stayed out of trouble in his last three fights but if Canelo begins to drop in those sickening combinations of his, Cotto could well be in trouble very quickly.