Tapatio boxing legend Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) is back in action on Saturday evening with a mouth-watering WBC world middleweight title bout against Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) that many pundits are calling the fight of the year so far.
This will be the Guadalajara-born boxer’s toughest test since he lost on points to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September 2013, his only ever professional defeat.
A year earlier, Mayweather had also defeated 35-year-old Cotto in another lopsided decision.
Alvarez is the bookies’ favorite but Cotto’s manager Freddie Roach reckons an upset is on the cards. “We’re going to kick some [backside] and take some money home,” he said in one interview.
Oscar de la Hoya, Alvarez’s manager and promoter of the fight, sees it differently, though he acknowledges Cotto’s talents.
“People know this is a real fight. Stylistically, this is a fight that’s going to be guaranteed action, no matter what. Cotto is a warrior, he’s a fighter that just goes straight in, throws a lot of punches, has a great chin. Canelo, my guy, he’s the young bull. He’s a fighter who’s just as strong, he’s ten years younger. This is one of those fights where it can’t miss. And people know that.”
De la Hoya is not the only one who believes the fight will be close. “Saturday’s match is not likely to disappoint,” wrote Bart Barry in 15Rounds.com. “Canelo is best when his adversary attacks him, and Cotto knows he is best when attacking intelligently, stepping forward in an offensive flow.”
Defeat for Alvarez would be a massive blow to the Tapatio fighter and his millions of adoring fans in Mexico. It might also rock De la Hoya’s faith in his young charge, who some analysts say has yet to live up to his full potential. When he began his career at the age of 17, some predicted that Alvarez could become one of the greatest boxers ever.
Boxing sources say that Alvarez could land a match up with Manny Pacquiao in 2016 if he gets past Cotto on Saturday night.
The fight takes place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, November 21, with the evening’s program starting at 8 p.m.