This past Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (46-1-1, 32KO’s) and Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33KO’s) squared off in a highly anticipated bout for the vacant WBC middleweight title as well as the Ring Magazine middleweight title. The fight contained good action from both fighters, CompuBox punch totals relatively close (Canelo landing 155 of 484 and Cotto connecting on 129 of 629) but the judge’s scorecards had the fight a clear shutout (119-109, 118-110 and 117-111) in favor of the Mexican star, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
It was the boxer (Cotto) versus puncher (Alvarez) and no matter your style preference the fight was very close, verified by CompuBox totals of power shots: Cotto 40/145 to Alvarez’ 50/133 and jabs: Cotto 35/225 to Alvarez’ 26/122. The much bigger, younger (25 years-old) and stronger Alvarez had trouble locating the 35 years-old future Hall-of-Fame Puerto Rican star Cotto during the fight, Cotto clearly accomplishing what he hoped would result in the upset win. Throwing fewer punches but connecting with power, ‘Canelo’ felt the knockout punches he threw would be more than enough to sway the judge’s and that was apparently the case. Many observers felt that although the scores were far from the realm of reality, Alvarez deserved the win. Miguel Cotto disagreed, feeling his total punch output and controlling both the pace of the fight and clearly out-boxing Alvarez should have earned him the win. After the scores were read, Cotto was dejected and left the ring with no comment. He would later say, “I won 8 of the 12 rounds”.
Now that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is the WBC middleweight (160 lbs.) title holder, Golden Boy Promotions (Oscar de la hoya) stated Alvarez would follow the pattern of the (for now) retired Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and fight in May (Cinco de Mayo) and September (Mexican Independence) of 2016, capitalizing on the large Mexican following of ‘Canelo’ to the fullest. When pressed, de la hoya refused to commit to the Golovkin fight being in either May or September, leading to more speculation they are avoiding the Kazakhstan knockout artist. The previous controversy surrounding the ‘Canelo’/Cotto fight involved the refusal of Cotto to pay the WBC sanctioning fee (estimated at $300,000) and the confidential ‘step-aside’ money (estimated at $800,000) to Genady Golovkin (31-0, 28KO’s) is now over. The new (and expected) controversy involves ‘Canelo’ saying “I’m not afraid of any fighter. GGG (Golovkin) is a great fighter and a friend. If we do fight, it will be at my weight class. I’m the champion and I don’t have to do what he wants”. The middleweight weight limit is 160 lbs. and for the WBC, or any sanctioning body, to allow their champion to call the shots and set a new weight standard is not only absurd but contributes to the feeling of many that boxing is ripe with corruption.
The comments made by Oscar de la hoya following the Cotto fight reflect the same attitude of Alvarez and they will fight who they want, when they want, with Genady Golovkin nowhere on the immediate radar. Golovkin is the WBA middleweight champion and the WBC mandatory middleweight challenger. Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler and trainer Abel Sanchez have long said that fighting Alvarez at his desired ‘catch weight’ is not any problem. “We’ve always said that if there is a compelling fight Gennady would move up or down. We’ve talked about moving up to 168 for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. because that would be a pay-per-view fight and if it’s Canelo then I’m sure that we could work out a catchweight, if he wanted to work out a catch weight”, said Loeffler. Both Loeffler and Sanchez say 155 lbs. is the lowest weight they will entertain in any discussions with Golden Boy and Oscar de la hoya.
Should there ever be a Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Genady ‘GGG’ Golovkin fight, it won’t be in 2016 and most definitely won’t be at the true middleweight limit of 160 lbs. and once ‘GGG’ agrees to the 155 lbs. weight limit demanded by Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions (which may be sooner than one would believe), newer demands will surelysurface. Those demands will all be agreed to by Golovkin, Loeffler and Sanchez and we shall then see what the WBC does in establishing itself as a true and honest sanctioning body and demand Alvarez defend his title against Golovkin or remain steadfast in being recognized as ‘Home of Mexican Champions’, character and integrity be damned.