Canelo Alvarez is one of boxing’s top young stars, and he’s looking to cement his place among the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters when he faces Miguel Cotto on Saturday. The 25-year-old faces a tough challenge at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, but he’s expected by many to come out on the winning end in this chapter of the storied Mexico-Puerto Rico rivalry.
Oddsmakers made Alvarez a significant favorite when the fight was first announced, and that hasn’t changed with just a few days to go before the boxers square off. Alvarez is a -300 favorite at Bovada.lv, and Cotto has +230 betting odds to win the second-biggest fight of 2015.
Alvarez has just one loss in 47 career fights, losing to Floyd Mayweather by majority decision two years ago. Since then, he’s won three straight bouts, beating Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara and James Kirkland.
Cotto lost to Mayweather 16 months before the undefeated boxer faced Alvarez. He lost to Austin Trout later in the year, but has since found the Fountain of Youth with trainer Freddie Roach, winning three straight fights by knockout. With Cotto fighting at the top of his game, Roach can’t explain why his fighter is such a big underdog.
“Someone made a mistake.” Roach told HBO’s Max Kellerman, admitting that he’s placed a wager on the fight. “Those odds I can’t not bet. I have a lot of belief in my fighter, and we’re gonna come kick some ass and take some money home.”
“I do like that he is a favorite. I like being the underdog, and I love upsets.”
Roach predicts a win by knockout for Cotto, who has gotten his last six wins by an early stoppage. Cotto hasn’t won via decision since he defeated Joshua Clottey more than six years ago.
But the odds favor the fight going the complete 12 rounds, no matter who ends up winning. Cotto has +375 odds to win by decision and +450 odds to win by knockout. An Alvarez victory by decision is considered to be the most likely outcome with +125 odds, and the 25-year-old has +275 odds to knock out Cotto. Alvarez is 45-1-1 with 32 knockouts, and his most recent fight against Kirkland didn’t even get beyond the third round.
Alvarez and Cotto shared a few common opponents. Both boxers have lost to Mayweather, and Alvarez defeated Trout, who had beaten Cotto less than five months prior. Alvarez defeated Shane Mosley nearly five years after he was beaten by Cotto.
At 35 years old with much more experience than his opponent, Cotto has proven to be a great fighter with wins over marquee names throughout his career. Alvarez is one of the most talented boxers in the world, but he’s still looking to add big victories to his resume.
“This is a fight that, for me personally, beating Miguel Cotto is where I begin to write my place in history,” Alvarez told Kellerman.
A draw is by far the most unlikely outcome with +2000 odds. Cotto has never fought to a draw in 44 career fights, while Alvarez was involved in a draw in his fifth professional fight.