Miguel Cotto – Saul “Canelo” Alvarez Fight Prediction
By Tom Mauriello
This weekend brings a matchup between two of the biggest names in boxing as Miguel Cotto (44(33)-4-0) takes on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45(32)-1-1) at the Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas. This fight has the blueprint to be a classic. Two men not afraid to exchange who have the boxing IQ, heart and power to put on a show for the ages on the Vegas strip.
Miquel Cotto has already cemented himself as one of the best fighters ever to lace up the gloves. This fight will show if Freddie Roach’s Miguel Cotto 2.0 belongs on the Mount Rushmore of boxing taking out the face of Golden Boy Promotions. Since coming off two back to back defeats, Cotto has been a wrecking ball, stopping his last three opponents with impressive fashion.
Since taking his first loss to Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez has taken out two of the most vicious punchers in the sport, as well as working his way to a decision victory over arguably the best natural boxer in his weight division.
Someone’s streak needs to end, lets break down the strengths and weaknesses of both fighters and see who will emerge as the winner.
The biggest threat here is the size of Canelo. Canelo has a 3 inch reach advantage over the 5’7 Cotto and is certainly looking to utilize it. Cotto will have a tough time getting past Canelo’s jab to rough up the young Mexican fighter on the inside. The key to Canelo’s success will be the jab, which leads us to the excitement.
As the late Emmanuel Stewart once said, Miguel Cotto’s footwork was an absolute mess. This was exposed in the Antonio Margarito fight as Cotto attempted to get inside the bigger fighter, and rough him up as he had done to countless opponents in the past. He hit a road block (see what I did there… block) and was exposed. Pressure was the key to putting Cotto down, even Floyd stepped on the gas pedal against him and Austin Trout embarrassed him in front to a loud pro Puerto Rican crowd at Madison Square Garden with extreme pressure.
Since taking back to back losses, it seems that Cotto has fixed his flaws and cleaned up his footwork. The angles he took to stop his last three opponents have been an image of beauty. Fighting east and west, slipping and ripping and making fighters pay for every wrong step they took against him. This is how Cotto beats Canelo. He must move his feet, keep his back off the ropes and dominate the pace of the fight. Standing in front of Canelo would be a bad decision in this fight. Cotto must ignore the cry for blood that the fans are demanding, and fight a flawless fight by coming underneath Canelos jab, taking the proper angles, and dropping the beautiful left hook to the body over and over again.
Canelo needs to keep his jab moving and keep it in Cotto’s face. Cotto will look to use his speed and agility against Canelo, so Alvarez needs to cut off the ring and make it as small as possible while putting constant pressure on the smaller fighter (Cotto). We have seen Canelo fade in later rounds, and this is due to him chasing his opponent. By cutting off the ring you conserve energy and it will allow Canelo to keep Cotto in front of him. Canelo needs to utilize his size and bully Cotto around the ring. He has amazing accuracy with his punches, and must let his hands go off the jab. By cutting off the ring, he will take away the angle attacks where Cotto is most dangerous and be able to stalk down the smaller fighter, and get off first.
When it is all said and done, this will be the coming out party Golden Boy hoped for with the Floyd Mayweather fight. Canelo is bigger, faster and stronger. On top of all this he is hungry to fill the void as the best boxer in the world. Miguel Cotto is my favorite fighter of this generation. I have cheered for him for years, and have even had drinks with him in the past, so it hurts me to say that this may be the last relevant fight we see him in. Saul Alvarez will eventually get the timing down, control the pace of the fight with his jab, and eventually stop Cotto. Final prediction, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez via late round stoppage.
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