After months of preparation and waiting, it’s finally fight night as Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez meet Saturday night in a highly anticipated middleweight bout headlining the HBO pay-per-view card form Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. While coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET, the fight should probably should start at about 11:45 p.m. ET or later.
Cotto (40-4, 33 KO) and Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KO) meet at a catch-weight of 155 points in what some expect to be "the fight of the year" after some casual boxing fans were disappointed by Mayweather-Pacquiao in May. Both boxers are fairly well-known, bring an aggressive brand of fighting to the ring, and are legends of sport in their respective countries. These two squaring off represents the latest chapter in a long rivalry of Puerto Rican and Mexican boxers.
When it comes to honoring those countries before the fight, actor and singer Jaime Camil will sing Mexico’s national anthem while Latin Grammy-nominee Pedro Capo will sing Puerto Rico’s national anthem.
Here are a 10 interesting facts about the fight set to take place at Mandalay Bay:
1) The judges selected for the bout are Burt Clements, Dave Moretti and Kohn McKaie. Clements has worked two of Canelo’s fights but none of Cotto’s. Morretti has judged four of Cotto’s bouts, including losses to Mayweather (2012) and Pacquiao (2009) and three of Canelo’s fights, including his last two wins over Erislandy Lara (2014) and Alfredo Angulo (2014). McKaie has never worked any of Alvarez’s fights but has judged two of Cotto’s, including his TKO of Zab Judah (2007).
2) Michael Buffer will be your ringside announcer, providing introductions and undoubtedly his famed catch phrase “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!”
3) Four days before the fight, Cotto was stripped of his WBC World Middleweight Championship belt. Sources told ESPN's Dan Rafael the action was taken as a result of Cotto refusing to pay a $300,000 sanctioning fee to have the belt on the line. Cotto reportedly felt the fee was "akin to extortion." With a win over the lineal champion, Alvarez can leave Las Vegas the champion and holder of the now-vacated belt.
4) In his last fight, Cotto won via fourth-round TKO over Australian Daniel Gael in June, bringing his knockout total to 33.
5) Alvarez's last bout ended in a third-round knockout of James Kirkland at Minute Maid Park in Houston. It was Alvarez's 32nd knockout.
6) Alvarez has won his last three fights after losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013. He beat Angulo (TKO) and Lara (split decision) before knocking out Kirkland.
7) Cotto has a three-fight win streak of his own following losses to Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout. Cotto, who credits new trainer Freddie Roach for much of his success, has beaten Delvin Rodriguez (TKO) and Sergio Gabriel Martinez via referee's stoppage before the latest TKO victory over Gaele.
8) Most fans are expected to be pulling for Alvarez with a heavy pro-Mexican crowd expected to fill the seats in Las Vegas.
9) Alvarez turned pro at age 15 and has fought 47 times, two more than Cotto, who is 10 years his senior.
10) Cotto became the first Puerto Rican boxer to hold titles in four different weight classes when he defeated Martinez in 2014.