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Saul Alvarez vs. Jose Miguel Cotto

Saul Alvarez vs. Jose Miguel Cotto Fight Preview and Prediction
When: Saturday, May 1, 2010
Where: MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: PPV at 9:00 p.m. (EST)
Weight Class: Welterweights: 10 Rounds

By Scotty L of

Saul Alvarez, 31-0-1 (23 KOs), Janacatlan, Jalisco, Mexico. Vs. Jose Miguel Cotto, 31-1-1 (23 KOs), Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Fight Odds: Saul Alvarez (-800), Jose Miguel Cotto (+500)
Over/Under: Over 7.5 (-120), Under 7.5 (-120).

Analysis: Welterweights Saul Alvarez and Jose Miguel Cotto will do battle on May 1, underneath the Mayweather-Mosley PPV main event. Two fighters with 1 loss in 65 fights and a combined 46 knockouts usually make for fireworks and that should be expected here. Alvarez is only 19—already a contender when most fighters haven’t even turned pro yet. Cotto is 13 years older at 32. He is Miguel Cotto’s older brother. He returned in August of last year after a 2-year layoff.

Alvarez is known as “El Canelo” which means cinnamon—a reference to his red hair. He is already making noise in boxing circles. Those in the sport who are always on the lookout for new blood can’t help but get excited over a 31-0 19-year old, especially one who looks like he can fight. Alvarez is a strong fighter, a big welterweight, and a genuine prospect. His team, Golden Boy Promotions, has big plans for him. It remains to be seen if this man-child will end up competing against the current crop of standout welterweights or if he will head up the next wave of great talent in the division.

We’ll have to wait and see if this will be a step up in class for the teenage phenom. On paper, it should be. Cotto has only one loss and is a technically capable fighter. At the same time, he never really beat anyone that good and his only two forays into world-class waters resulted in zero wins. He lost soundly to former lightweight titlist Juan Diaz and appeared lucky to get a draw with Thai Prawet Singwancha in Puerto Rico for the vacant WBA lightweight title. He recently resurfaced as a welterweight, with three wins over sub-par opposition.

One must look at this from a realistic perspective. A top-notch promotional firm like Golden Boy Promotions doesn’t get to where they are by getting their key talent exposed in high-risk/low-reward fights in front of a worldwide audience. This is a showcase fight, meant to give fans a taste of the future. The name Cotto has a lot of P.R. value and his record looks menacing. If Alvarez can blast him out, it serves notice that a new kid might be in town.

Cotto figures to not be an easy touch, however. While not setting the world on fire, he has shown himself to be a competent, if not overly flashy boxer with sound skills, good defense and power. But why the two-year layoff after a draw in a title fight? Why the two-division jump in weight? Why didn’t he try his hand against at least a high quality journeyman before jumping in with a big and talented welterweight like Alvarez? It rings of the same vibe a losing gambler has when he tries to win one big blackjack bet after a losing session to even the slate. Alvarez’ career trajectory, conversely, appears more sensible. He has beaten a slew of decent “B-” level fighters, and now he takes a little step up with a solid “B” fighter. It’s a natural and well-thought-out plan of attack.

Scotty's Pick to Win: One has to figure that even a mature 19-year old will be bursting at the seams to make a statement on the biggest PPV event of the year. I think Alvarez will box patiently, but once he senses Cotto no longer represents a robust threat, he will step on the gas. I see Cotto keeping it together for several rounds or perhaps even the first half of the fight. After that, Alvarez’ greater size, height, reach, youth, and power will begin to become too tough of a package for Cotto to handle. Alvarez will be putting some good bodywork in the bank early, while increasingly tightening his grip on the fight. By the ninth round, Cotto will have run out of answers. Alvarez will try to close in style, getting Cotto out of there around the ninth or tenth round. Take Saul Alvarez to win.

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