Canelo and Cotto
Canelo and Cotto
By Igor Frank
It seems like yesterday, but it was actually seven years ago when I was ringside at Morongo Resort and Casino in Southern California to observe eighteen year old Saul Alvarez make his debut in United States.
Already a very popular fighter in Mexico, Canelo had a vision to become a super star in America. The redheaded prodigy won a ten round unanimous decision over tricky veteran Larry Mosley, but most ringside observers felt that he was lucky to come away with the win that night.
Few months prior, I was ringside at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas when the 28-years-old superstar from Puerto Rico, Miguel Cotto suffered his first professional loss at the hands of Mexican hard man, Antonio Margarito.
Seven years in a life of homo sapiens is a short period, but it is almost a lifetime in dog years and in a life of professional boxing. In the last seven years the sweet science has gone through two changes of the guard. The face of boxing, “Golden Boy,” Oscar De La Hoya retired in 2008. He was replaced by Manny Pacquiao and Floyd” Money” Mayweather. With Mayweather recently announcing his retirement and Pacquiao currently planning his farewell fight, Cotto became the sport’s biggest attraction.
In the past seven years Cotto had to reinvent himself at least twice. In the process he became a world champion in four different weight divisions and one of the most beloved fighters of his home Island of Puerto Rico. His latest resurgence under tutelage of the world renowned trainer Freddie Roach, included winning the much coveted lineal middleweight championship that has fans and pundits buzzing.
Right behind 35-year-old Cotto is the 25-year-old Mexican phenom, Canelo Alvarez who in the past seven years has been working very hard to fulfill his vision of becoming a global superstar. He wants to become a new face of boxing. He is almost there. Beating Miguel Cotto on November, 21st, 2015 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas should get him there.
He is expected to win. Odds makers have him as three to one favorite. He is naturally bigger and stronger and if seven years in boxing is a long time, 10 years age difference is monumental, but not according to Canelo.
“Age is not my focus,” said Alvarez during international media telephone conference call on Tuesday. “My focus is my great preparation for ‘Cotto and Canelo’. Age is not an issue. This is a very difficult fight. It’s a 50/50 fight, so training is going to have a lot to do with it.”
Canelo’s promoter and mentor, Oscar De La Hoya has a lot of confidence in his charge. He doesn’t think Cotto can hang in there with young Canelo for 12 rounds.
“Freddie Roach is going to have Cotto probably stay on his toes,” said De La Hoya during international media telephone conference call on Tuesday. ”The question is, how long can Cotto stay on his toes? That’s the million dollar question.”
Another question is if Cotto cannot stay on his toes, will he start running or are they going to engage in toe to toe combat? Considering the storied Mexico/Puerto Rico rivalry the boxing world is expecting a violent bloodbath. Will we get it?
“When you get Puerto Rico versus Mexico,” said De La Hoya:”What's involved is passion, passion and the fighting spirit, and fighting with a lot of heart, you know, that's what we're going to get on November 21st.”
HBO PPV will televise this event live. Don’t miss it.
Contact Igor Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter (Fightmonger)