Cotto-Canelo: Who has improved the most?

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Miguel Cotto - Saul Canelo AlvarezFormer light-middleweight titlist Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KO’s) is preparing for the biggest fight of his career as he prepares to take on WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KO’s) at a catch-weight of 155 lbs. on Saturday, November 21st, from the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Since losing a wide unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Sept. 2013, the 25-year old Alvarez has improved in each of his last three fights, which have included victories over Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, and James Kirkland.

Although some feel that the Mexican was beaten by the crafty Lara. However, Canelo remains one of the few fighters that have managed to land some solid shots on the Cuban.

As we’ve seen in many Lara fights, he’s not a boxer who engages his opponent for too long. He’ll pepper with you the jab, land a straight left to the body, perhaps land a solid combination, and then he’s gone.

There’s a reason for that. Lara was notably dropped by Alfredo Angulo twice from devastating left hooks to the head. However, Angulo spent the rest of the fight thinking KO while Lara was thinking of boxing, and he stopped Angulo in the 10th.

While Canelo took some good shots, he was never reckless, and 73 of his 88 connected power punches were to the body. It was a close fight that could have gone either way, but Canelo certainly earned the victory over Lara.

Canelo also stopped Angulo in the 10th round a fight prior to his matchup with Lara, but unlike his nemesis, Canelo dominated Angulo from the opening bell and never allowed his fellow countryman to mount any momentum.

Did Canelo face Mayweather too soon in his career? It depends on your perspective. But from my perspective, I think facing Mayweather too soon and getting dominated, served as a benefit to Canelo.

Canelo looked phenomenal against James Kirkland in May, but also keep in mind that Kirkland was not only out of the ring a year but was without his regular head trainer in Ann Wolfe.

Sometimes a good beating from a great fighter can be embarrassing from one end of the spectrum, but can serve as a tremendous benefit to the one receiving the beating.

While admitting he has been in some pretty tough fights, Canelo admitted to Fight News that the Mayweather experience was not only helpful but a surprise.

“I have had tough fights as well. I learned a lot from the Mayweather fight and have matured as a fighter,” Canelo said. “He caught me by surprise in the first round, but I learned a lot from that fight.”

Cotto and Canelo are notably Floyd Mayweather’s 43rd and 45th victims as a professional fighter. Who has shown more improvement – No. 43 or No. 45?

Under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, Cotto has had a resurgence of his own, but November 21st will be his biggest test to prove just how much Roach has polished his skills.

Victories over Delvin Rodriguez, an injured Sergio Martinez, and a shot Daniel Geale aren’t exactly high-caliber wins.