Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs)
When: Saturday, November 21, 2015
Where: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada
Weight Class: Middleweight: 155 Pound Catchweight
by Scott of Predictem.com
In a huge fight on November 21, middleweight champion Miguel Cotto takes on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. With both men better-suited for the junior middleweight division, this fight will be held at 155 pounds, despite it being for the linear middleweight title. As of press time, Alvarez is a -225 favorite, with Cotto getting an underdog price of +175. There is a lot to like on both sides.
Canelo being a favorite has a lot to do with perception. And age. Having just turned 25, Canelo’s best years are ahead of him. The same cannot be said for Cotto, who will be 35 by the time he steps into the ring in Vegas. And that’s not a young 35, it’s a 35 that has been fighting the best around for well over a decade. While he seems refreshed lately under the training of Freddie Roach, there’s a lot of mileage on those legs.
Cotto has enjoyed a great career, but he’s a man who has suffered a handful of big-time defeats—losses most boxing fans saw and remember well. Canelo only lost to Mayweather in a loss that can be explained away by Canelo simply being too young to beat the old master. By the same token, Alvarez hasn’t come near to facing the same level of opposition that Cotto has, so who knows how he would have done against all those great fighters?
Is the Cotto resurgence a mirage of sorts? While no one can argue that from naked-eye point-of-view, Cotto appears to be far better than he was a few years ago. But his opponents have certainly helped. He smashed Delvin Rodriguez in his first fight with Roach, looking fantastic in the process. Then as an underdog, he stopped middleweight champion Sergio Martinez to win the belt in a stirring display. And he again looked crisp and reborn in his first title defense against Daniel Geale.
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But Cotto benefitted from facing opponents who may have been on their last legs. Rodriguez was a capable battler whose expiration date had passed. Martinez was champion and Cotto an underdog, so hats off for a great win. But Martinez was in the midst of a precipitous fall from grace, with his knee no longer able to hold up. And Geale is a decent contender, but also a bit weathered and weakened by having to make the catchweight Cotto has started imposing on his challengers. Cotto has looked great--make no mistake. But in Alvarez, he’s facing a prime battler, one who isn’t compromised by wear or injury. It’s possible that in this spot, we may see Cotto not looking as fantastic as he has in his last three fights.
Canelo is solid. That’s the best word to describe him. He isn’t particularly flashy. And he’s one of those guys who does everything very well, without really doing any one thing great. He has been bothered by supreme boxer-types—losing to Mayweather and barely escaping Erislandy Lara. Cotto isn’t really cut from that cloth and Alvarez won’t have to go looking for him. His best attribute in this fight is his youth. He’s a fresher fighter. And his youth and lack of ring-wear are major assets. If the fight is a back-and-forth battle, Canelo may hold up better, as is often the case when a young lion takes on an old one.
This should be a dandy, a classic Puerto Rico vs. Mexico matchup that gets the fans pumped. It’s good for Canelo that the fight is in Vegas, as opposed to New York. He should be vociferously supported, though Cotto usually gets a lot of his fans to turn out in Vegas, as well.
One shouldn’t be so hesitant to blow off Cotto’s recent success based on the iffy status of the fighters he has been facing. We’re talking about a massive talent in Cotto, one of the best Puerto Rican fighters of all-time. Maybe we question his revival too much because he really has looked excellent. On one hand, we see that he is 35 with long history of wars. A few years back, he was looking to be approaching the end of the line, losing to a good, but unexceptional boxer in Austin Trout. So maybe we’re being reluctant in truly believing in his resurgence. But maybe our eyes do not deceive us. We see Cotto looking more energetic and precise, with greater efficiency in his movements. He is wielding that left hook with impunity again like he used to in his prime.
Cotto may be the more talented guy. He has reached levels that we’re not sure Alvarez can reach. But I have a nagging feeling that this fight will come down more to how well each men receives punishment. It figures to be a competitive two-way fight with both men having a lot of offensive success. Cotto is old in ring-age and the less-bankable force when it comes to getting through a really tough 12-rounder. I see his face not holding up particularly well and while he’s always been durable, he’s less-immune to punishment at this stage than the youthful Canelo, who will win a competitive decision.
My Prediction to Win the Fight:
I’m betting on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to win at -225. With all respect to Cotto, who has done a fantastic job is remaining relevant, he may be too old and worn-down to defeat a prime force like Alvarez. Bet your Cotto/Alvarez pick for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 50% sign up bonus at Bovada Sportsbook! (Deposit $200 and get $100 extra added FREE!)
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