The upcoming Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto fight on Saturday night may not be bigger than last May’s Mayweather-Pacquiao bout—but it might be better when it’s all said and done.
While the May 2 victory for Mayweather generated a record 4.4 million buys and made more than $400 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue alone, it was considered a disappointment among much of the casual public that paid up to $99.95 for it. Mayweather is a mastery of defense whose strategy of avoiding punches more than throwing them dictated the fight, making for less action and therefore a less aesthetically pleasing product to some.
Over the course of a 12-round bout, Pacquiao attempted 236 power punches while Mayweather threw just 168.
Neither Alvarez nor Cotto are especially known for their defense and have been known to engage in faster-paced fights with a high level of action. Both fighters have thrown more power punches in shorter fights than Mayweather-Pacquaio did and there is little doubt the action in this fight will surpass what we saw last May.
Cotto won his fourth title in 2014 after throwing 293 power punches at Sergio Martinez in a fight that ended in the 10th round. Throughout his career, Cotto has shown a willingness to take punches in order to throw them and it’s resulted in a fairly high rate of landed punches for his opponents at times. The Puerto Rican legend generally fights within an arms length, slugging it out with opponents and that may be unlikely to change at this stage of his career.
Alvarez has displayed more a diversified fighting strategy but is no stranger to activity in the ring. Alvarez threw 309 power punches at Alfredo Angulo in a 2014 fight that also ended in the 10th round but not before 1,283 punches were thrown between the two men. Prior knocking out James Kirkland in the third round of his last fight, Alvarez threw 122 punches through just two rounds. Perhaps more impressively, he landed more than half of them.
Every indication is that Saturday night at Mandalay Bay has the ability turn into an action-packed brawl with fists flying at a rate that will easily exceed what boxing fans saw from Mayweather and Pacquaio. There’s the storyline of an experienced but still up-and-coming young star against an aging warrior. Add in the spice that this is just the latest chapter in the long Mexico-Puerto Rico boxing rivalry between two fighters who are stars in the sport and their representative countries.
Between the quality and strategy and personality of these two fighters, it’s possible the “Fight Of The Year” takes place on Nov. 21 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.