Only Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao received more hype this year than Saturday’s fight between Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez. While the mega-fight from May 2 was considered to be a boring disappointment by many casual fans, the upcoming middleweight title fight could end up being one of the most exciting fights of 2015.
Because of Mayweather’s style and defensive prowess, fans never had much of a chance to see the best boxers of their generation go blow for blow. But Saturday’s fight could turn into a slugfest, considering the styles of Alvarez and Cotto.
There wasn’t a dull moment in Alvarez’s last fight, as he and James Kirkland traded punches for less than three full rounds until the latter was knocked out. Alvarez has won his last three fights, getting two victories by early stoppage.
Cotto might not have as much power as Alvarez, but he’s won his last three fights by knockout. Cotto’s last opponent, Daniel Geale, didn’t make it past the fourth round. He previously knocked out Sergio Martinez in the 10th round and Delvin Rodriguez in the third round.
Alvarez is a bigger favorite than Mayweather was, but Saturday’s fight is certainly tougher to call. After starting out the week as a -300 favorite, Alvarez’s betting odds are down to -260 at Bovada.lv. Cotto is a +200 underdog.
If Cotto pulls off the upset, it might be with an early-round knockout. His career has seen a resurgence since linking up with trainer Freddie Roach, and he has the ability to end any fight early with his devastating left hook.
But Alvarez has never been knocked out, and his size advantage could help keep him upright for the entire fight. At two inches taller with a 3.5-inch reach advantage, Alvarez weighed in at 1.5 pounds heavier than Cotto on Friday. He could be more than 20 pounds above the catch weight of 155 pounds when he actually steps into the ring on Saturday night.
Alvarez is 10 years younger than the 35-year-old Cotto, and he’ll gain the advantage the longer the fight goes. If Alvarez can make it through the early rounds, he can wear Cotto down and score a late knockout.
Prediction: Alvarez by knockout