The good news: There’s a really great boxing fight tomorrow night featuring a legend of the sport (Miguel Cotto) and the heir apparent to Mayweather and Pacquiao as the sport’s biggest star (Canelo Alvarez). Bad news? That UFC card in Mexico is directly opposite said fight. In fact, it’s a 3+ hour card, so you’ll have some multitasking to do if you want to watch both.
Anyway, the BE staff is unanimously picking Canelo to become the WBC middleweight champion over Cotto, whose belt was vacated after he didn’t fork over a preposterous amount of sanctioning fees to the “non-profit” WBC. Cotto is no longer the champion, and only Canelo can win the belt. If he doesn’t win, then interim champ Gennady Golovkin gets promoted to full champion. Oh yeah, and if Canelo wins, then Golovkin is supposed to be his mandatory challenger, but this is boxing, so don’t think that’s happening next.
More boxing coverage: Bad Left Hook
Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) vs. Canelo Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs)
Mookie: This is a bad matchup for Cotto. Canelo is going to look 3 weight classes bigger than him tomorrow. If we look at Cotto’s last three fights, they’re against a heavy underdog in Daniel Geale (who looked like James Irvin’s cousin at the weigh-ins), a Sergio Martinez without functioning knees (Martinez has since retired), and career journeyman Delvin Rodriguez. Is it a career resurgence or just matchmaking that makes it seem as such for Cotto? Because he looked close to done against Austin Trout. I firmly believe Cotto is still a good fighter, but his absolute best days were arguably 6-8 years ago. Canelo should have the upper hand here on his crisp punching, very good defense, and just being flat out younger and just physically superior. Freddie Roach can do all he wants, but I don’t see Cotto turning back the clock against a man 10 years his junior, especially not one as talented as Canelo. I predict a slow start, then the action picks up, Canelo wears Cotto down with body shots, possibly scores a couple of knockdowns with his combinations, but Miguel will survive to the final bell. Canelo Alvarez by unanimous decision.
Stephie: Cotto’s last couple match-ups have been favorable, and while Canelo has also had his own share of those, and arguably a gift decision against Erislandy Lara, I feel he’s got more than enough of a size and youth advantage to handle Miguel. Alvarez: TKO R6
Fraser: These two match up in a way that seems destined for a great fight – yes Canelo can be in some slower fights, but against someone who pushes the action, he tends to be really exciting, and that someone is Cotto. That said, while some are thinking this is a bit of a pick ‘em fight, I lean more and more towards Canelo by a pretty easy margin. I love Cotto, as any self-respecting boxing fan does, and I think he’s looked very good in his Roach career, but I am also in the camp who thinks he’s looked that good against a certain level of semi-broken down fighter. Neither Martinez nor Geale were remotely close to what Canelo will bring to the ring Saturday. At the same time, I’m a big Canelo fan who thinks he tends to get underrated often. He’s got more technical skill and heart than given credit for, with his only questionable outings being a bad strategic decision against Mayweather (but that’s Mayweather, so it’s forgivable) and a very close fight with the exceptionally talented Lara. And yes, Canelo beat Trout, let’s put that discussion to rest. Add in that he’s younger and will be noticeably bigger, and I think this is the big signature win Canelo needs to make his star rise even higher. Canelo Alvarez, KO, round 9
Tim: It’s not that Cotto’s getting old quickly or anything, but he’s definitely not in his prime anymore. He still starts fast though, and that’s exactly what will make this exciting. As Fraser said, Canelo’s at his best when guys come at him, and that’s exactly what Cotto will do. It’ll be a war early. But size and youth will be the deciding factors later in the fight. Canelo will wear down Cotto as the fight goes on, and will take over down the stretch. Unlike most I don’t think the fight will get finished before the final horn, but I see Canelo winning nine or ten rounds. Canelo Alvarez, unanimous decision (117-111)
Staff picking Cotto:
Staff picking Alvarez: Mookie, Stephie, Phil, Fraser, Tim, Nick
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