In this world, talk is cheap as actions always speak louder than words. The sport of boxing is dominated by back room politics and promoters which sometimes deprives fight fans of the action that they truly want to see. On May 9, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defeated James Kirkland via knockout in the third round of a junior middleweight fight. Alvarez is only 24-years of age and he already has a record of 45-1-1 which has some folks looking at him as being the future of boxing. 34-year old Miguel Cotto has seen the boxing wars for a long time as he has won titles in four different weight classes and he is currently the WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight Champion. There have been rumblings about Alvarez and Cotto getting it on for nearly a year, and now it is time to put the chatter aside and let the pugilist do the talking.
This past Saturday night, Cotto scored a fourth-round TKO of Daniel Geale at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York to retain his titles and improve his professional record to 40-4. Cotto is 34, but since coming under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach, he has looked like a revived Cotto.
After losing consecutive fights to Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout, Cotto began working with Roach and since then, he is 3-0 with none of his fights going the distance. Roach has Cotto relying on speed, power, and agression which were all vital elements that allowed him to win his first 32 professional bouts. Cotto’s four professional losses came to Antonio Margarito, Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather, and Trout. And with the exception of Margarito, Cotto simply ran out of gas in the latter part of each contest which was his demise. But with Roach, Cotto has dictated the pace from the opening bell and thus we’ve seen Miguel Cotto 2.0.
With neither Alvarez or Cotto being “fully” open to getting into the ring with WBA and IBO Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin, it makes total sense for these two to face each other as the boxing world is starving for a big fight that will be headlined by someone who’s last name is not Mayweather or Pacquiao. There are those fight fans that weren’t pleased with last month’s bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao as they felt that it lacked action. That wouldn’t be the case for a showdown between Alvarez and Cotto and both fighters have built dynamic reputations for their punching power and their ability to go toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring and by the looks of things we can expect to see them square off at some point later this year; it’s just a matter of finding out whether Alvarez will move up to the welterweight division or would he meet Cotto at a catch weight?
With Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions representing Alvarez and Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports representing Cotto, you have two sharp business minds that will find a way to make the numbers work for this fight. And led by the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, there will be plenty of venues in the United States that will pay top dollar to host this event that you can anticipate being televised on pay-per-view. Overall legacies would not be at stake for either Cotto or Alvarez, but it would mean bragging rights for two countries with rich boxing histories as Cotto represents Puerto Rico and Alvarez is drapped in the red, white, and green of Mexico. This would also be a huge test for both fighters as it would give us a chance to see how far that Alvarez has come since tasting defeat in 2013 after failing to keep up with the speedy hands of Mayweather while this showdown will also let us truly know how much of an impact that Roach has had on the career of Cotto. To be the best, you have to defeat the best to be considered as one of the greatest and the winner of a potential fight between Cotto and Alvarez will have another feather in his respective hat.