Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto are two of the best boxers in the world, so it wouldn’t be a shock for either one to emerge victorious when they meet in Las Vegas on Saturday. But Alvarez is the betting favorite, and he has better odds for a reason.
Alvarez has barely tasted defeat in his career, losing only to Floyd Mayweather, who’s made every opponent, including Cotto, look pedestrian. Cotto has four career losses, and defeat No.5 could be coming on Saturday.
Cotto was stripped of the WBC middleweight belt on Tuesday for refusing to pay a sanctioning fee. He’s still the lineal champion, but Alvarez would be awarded the now-vacant belt with a victory.
Below are four reasons why Alvarez will beat Cotto in their highly anticipated fight.
Alvarez’s last three bouts have been at 154 pounds, while Cotto has fought back-to-back fights at catch weights of 159 pounds and 157 pounds. But Alvarez is naturally bigger, giving him a distinct advantage on Saturday.
The two boxers will fight at a catch weight of 155 pounds, and Alvarez will have the clear size advantage. At 5’9, he stands two inches taller than Cotto, and his reach of 70.5” gives him a 3.5-inch edge over his opponent. Considering Alvarez usually weighs around 170 pounds on fight night, he could be over 175 pounds when he steps in the ring with Cotto. That might be too much for Cotto, who is a smaller middleweight than most, to handle.
Following the mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao that bored many casual boxing fans to tears, promoter Oscar De La Hoya has promised a much more entertaining fight with non-stop action. If that’s the case and the fight doesn’t go the distance, Alvarez is more likely to score the knockout victory.
Both boxers have the ability to end the fight early, combining for 65 knockouts in 91 career fights. Austin Trout and Alfonso Gomez, both of whom have been in the ring with Alvarez and Cotto, told ESPN.com that Alvarez is the harder puncher. Cotto has been knocked out twice in his career, and he’ll be in trouble if the boxers engage in a brawl.
Cotto experienced a resurgence when he teamed up with trainer Freddie Roach, winning his last three fights by knockout. But he’s still 35 years old, and he’s at a disadvantage against the boxer that is 10 years his junior.
Cotto has had a Hall-of-Fame career, but he’s already peaked. Alvarez is getting better with every fight, and the boxing world still hasn’t seen the best he has to offer, even after going 45-1-1 to start his career. The betting favorite unleashed hell on James Kirkland in a third-round knockout six months ago, and Cotto won’t survive the same barrage of punches that Alvarez’s last opponent faced.
Both boxers obviously want to win on Saturday, but the fight holds a different level of importance for Cotto and Alvarez. Cotto doesn’t have much more to accomplish in his career, and when he retires in the not so distant future he’ll go down as one of the best fighters of his generation. Alvarez has only begun to write his legacy, and his quest for greatness begins with a win against Cotto.
Alvarez is recognized as the No.1 junior middleweight, but he’s looking for the first true marquee victory of his career. Cotto’s legacy is largely intact, and a victory is not nearly as important to him as it is for Alvarez.