Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez: Predictions from Around the Boxing World

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Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez face off on Saturday in Las Vegas. (Photo Credit: Tom Hogan Photos/Roc Nation Sports/Golden Boy Promotions)

With only days until Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez’s middleweight world championship showdown at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, we survey the boxing landscape to gauge how writers, insiders, and experts are calling the fight.

“This is the ‘Fight of the Year’ that true boxing fans have been waiting for between two of the biggest stars in the sport today,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “Cotto vs. Canelo will be an epic showdown, full of non-stop action from the moment the first bell rings.”

Looking to cement his legacy as one of today’s elite fighters, Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) will put his RING Magazine middleweight title on the line versus hard-hitting Mexican prodigy Canelo Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) in a mega-fight encounter that continues the storied boxing rivalry between Puerto Rico and Mexico and is almost guaranteed to deliver drama and fireworks.

Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez will be broadcast live, on Saturday, by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. The price for the telecast will be $59.99.

Click here for the details and preview you need for the big fight, or read on for your expert predictions:

Billy C from the Talkin Boxing With Billy C TV & Radio Program tells us:

I love the match-up between Miguel Cotto and Saul Alvarez! My only hang-up is the fact that this fight is for the linear World Middleweight Title and its being fought at a catch-weight! With that said, I think Cotto will come out very aggressively and try to stop Canelo early. Cotto is 35 yrs old and if you look at his last few fights, all under Freddie Roach, that seems to be his Plan A and I believe its because both Cotto & Roach know that aging legs fail in the later rounds. Unfortunately for Cotto, I think his only shot at winning this fight IS to get into the late rounds and try to out-box Canelo. Alvarez is a fighter who has gotten better and better. I think his loss to Mayweather was the best thing for him because he has gotten A LOT better at throwing and landing punches without needing to be 100% set before doing so. His strength is when fighters stand in front of him and he is able to let his hands go at a stationary target. This is going to be exactly what Cotto will be doing. This fight is a classic youth vs. age and at this level, youth will prevail. I am picking Saul Alvarez in a later round stoppage in what will become his signature fight. Cotto takes a beating and will announce his retirement at the post fight press conference.

Niall Doran editor of Boxing News and Views told Heavy.com:

Canelo vs Cotto is one of those old school middleweight title fights, blood and guts but also excellent skillsets at both men’s disposal. The whole Puerto Rico vs Mexico rivalry just adds to the occasion, and no doubt will amp up both guys even more. It looks to me to be the classic young lion vs old lion, but in this case, the old lion is one experiencing a new lease of life. For all the potential it could have to explode into an all out toe to toe battle, which I think it will at times, I’d be expecting some quality sweet science from the fight too, perhaps coming more so from Cotto, forcing Canelo to perhaps make it a rough encounter, at times. Canelo moving up could see him finally shake off that problem of fading slightly in the later rounds, due to previous massive weight cuts. Despite Cotto probably having the superior boxing skills, I just think Canelo will get the W on the night.

Expert Angel Arroche says:

Floyd who? Manny what? Honestly, fight fans, I haven’t been this excited for a scrap in a long time. Why? Because these two proud warriors bring it every time and Saturday night promises to be no exception. Questions linger: Has Father Time taken the sting out of Miguel Cotto’s punches and left his chin vulnerable in return? Is Canelo Alvarez ready to ascend to the top of worldwide P4P rankings? We’ll find out soon enough. Personally, I see Canelo as the bigger, stronger, younger fighter at this point, and, in combination with the wear and tear on Cotto’s tires, this portends to be a long night for the hard puncher from Caguas. Look for Alvarez to start quicker than usual, establishing ring control and forcing Cotto to fight off his heels. Expect lots of heavy shots from Cotto in return, but nothing significant enough to slow the Mexican down. I see Alvarez eschewing headhunting in an effort to break down Cotto from the body up, taking control of a hard fought battle as the bout progresses past the halfway mark. I predict Canelo landing with greater and greater effectiveness into the late rounds, ending with a referee’s stoppage somewhere near the championship rounds. Alvarez, TKO 9

Analyst Jay McIntyre of A Neutral Corner Boxing writes:

I think that a knockout is entirely possible, but maybe not as probable given Cotto’s experience. Cotto will no doubt try to damage Alvarez with his left hook, but he won’t deplete himself entirely, nor will he stand in front of him for too long – Cotto is, after all, a very mobile fighter. In fact, if Cotto can get his punches off first, and invest in some body punching, than Alvarez will have a hard time using his attributes later in the fight when Cotto is often at his weakest. But that’s a long shot and the same money is on Alvarez for a reason. Alvarez will undoubtedly apply relentless pressure and tire out Cotto who is both older and more shopworn. Since he has power in both hands, Alvarez can rely on his right to defend against the left while using his own left (which is quite powerful) to take up some (though not all) of the slack when inflicting damage. Both men have good speed and power so game plans will – as is often the case – determine the outcome of this intriguing match up. Saul Alvarez by unanimous decision.

RINGTV.COM editor Doug Fischer writes in one of his Mailbags:

I see Canelo prevailing, but I also expect to see the 25-year-old Mexican star fight through a lot of adversity and punishment… I believe Canelo has the precision and power to split Cotto’s guard with jabs, straight rights and uppercuts, and I think these punches will do a lot of damage. (As will Canelo’s body attack.) I think Cotto will have the opportunity to come on strong in the late rounds because of Canelo’s tendency to fade down the stretch, but I don’t think he’ll be strong enough to get the job done. If Canelo is able to mount a late rounds rally, I think he can stop the older man.

Former IBF and WBO featherweight champion and WBO super featherweight champion Orlando Solido tells ESPN Deportes:

This kind of fight is a tradition among Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, where you give a hundred percent and you always want to win. We prepare better [for big fights with Puerto Rican opponents] than for any other opponents – which is good for the fans, because the [Puerto Ricans] say they are better and we also say that we are better. I think it’s an even fight. Cotto has the experience but there is some advantage in favor of Canelo due to his youth. I think it might be a fight like I had with Juanma, a competitive fight from start to finish, but Canelo’s youth and strength should give him victory, even by knockout, because he is strong and hits hard.

Future boxing hall-of-famer Shane Mosely told Fighthub.com:

It’s so close, I don’t know which way to go. I just think Cotto has a little bit of advantage of the experience. Cotto’s been around the block a little bit longer and he knows how to find ways to win. Where Canelo right now, I don’t know if he knows how to find a way to win. It seems Cotto has the edge.

Kevin McRae of bleacherreport.com writes in his article:

With much respect to Cotto’s warrior spirit and his in-ring accomplishments, and with a fair bit less than the normal certainty that accompanies such prognostications, Canelo will prove to be too young, fresh and strong for the future Hall of Famer to overcome. The early rounds of this fight are going to be interesting. That’s when Cotto is at his most dangerous, and it’s where the fight will be won going down the stretch. It will be a battle for time and space, power against power on the inside, and Cotto will have a real problem on his hands when he realizes he can ding but not dent the bigger man. Canelo will win the war in the trenches, and he’ll gradually break down Cotto over the course of the fight and bust him up to win a competitive, all-action war by late accumulation or corner stoppage. Canelo TKO 10.

Highly respected trainer Robert Garcia tells Dontae’s Boxing Nation

Canelo is young, hungry, very strong; physically, he’s fast. I still pick Canelo to win the fight. But the way Cotto has been looking lately, his last fights have been very good. He’s looked very focused, his skills are very good. So it’s a fight that will be hard to pick a winner.

World title challenger Gabriel Rosado told FightHype.com:

I give Cotto the advantage due to the styles. In the beginning I was thinking ‘Canelo is stronger, he’s faster.’ Cotto’s a really good boxer and I think it’s gonna be more of a box match. I think in a boxing match, Cotto is better.

There you have it, 8-2 for Canelo.

As for me? Like Freddie Roach once said: “There’s nothing stronger than youth,” and we can’t ignore Canelo’s 10-year age advantage over the reigning champ. Canelo, despite his remarkable 47-fight resume, enters the fight fresh in comparison and I expect him to withstand any punishment Cotto may fling his way and effectively cut off the ring on his fleet-footed opponent, back him into the ropes, and break down the veteran star with shots to the body until he is ripe for a late-round stoppage.


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