Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defeated Miguel Cotto by a wide margin on the scorecards this past Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The win crowns Alvarez as the WBC middleweight champion, the featured bout was televised live on HBO-PPV, and presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Roc Nation.
The fight was well fought, and a very tactical approach was used by both fighters. Cotto was effective in the opening round using his jab, but Canelo did well countering in what was a close round.
A patient Canelo kept a safe range in round two, landing a solid body shot to open the round. The constant jabs thrown by Cotto were landing and kept Canelo at a safe range, but Canelo stayed calm and landed a stinging left that caught the attention of Cotto.
Fighting at a safe range, Canelo began landing his shots on Cotto more clearly in round three. Cotto continued to make use of his jab, which served him well and kept Canelo at bay for the most part.
The real action started in the mid-rounds as both fighters traded punches. Cotto, still using his jab managed to get on the inside of Canelo from time-to-time and deliver an uppercut. Canelo worked the ring well and did an excellent job cutting off the ring at times and making use of his combinations. The fight was still close as both fighters fought with caution and used boxing skills and smarts.
The stronger Canelo was fighting with more confidence as he found his range going into the later rounds, landing uppercuts and well placed body shots with extreme precision and preventing Cotto from using his signature hard left, a deadly weapon if unleashed. Cotto worked his jab very well and worked the body of Canelo, although the aging Cotto was behind in the fight and was being out boxed he fought like a warrior.
Late in the fight Cotto was still very much in this fight. It was reported that Cotto was going to throw a high punch count, but that didn’t happen. In round ten, Cotto had good footwork and an effective jab going, landing a heavy handed right to win the round.
Rounds eleven and twelve are strong rounds for Canelo, he makes use of combinations. Cotto would land a few good shots on a slightly swollen face of Canelo, but Canelo always answered back in the exchange. A cut above the left eye of Cotto in the final round was proof of battle. As the fight ended, a great show of respect by both fighters as they embraced. It may have not have been the fight we expected, but it was a great display of boxing skill.
In the end, the judges score the bout 117-111, 119-109 and 118-110 in favor of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez by unanimous decision and the WBC middleweight title which was stripped from Cotto just days before the fight due to a disagreement on the fees.
For Canelo, the win solidifies him as a great fighter and even further, places him in line for a match with Gennady Golovkin, a fight that all boxing fans want to see, Golden Boy Promotions is surely already working on making this fight happen.
For Cotto, he has nothing to be ashamed about. He lost to a younger, stronger fighter, the heart of Canelo may have been the difference in this win. Although Cotto is passed his prime, he proved he is still very much a threat in boxing. His fight with Canelo was good for boxing, it may have lacked the excitement casual boxing fans wanted to see, but for true boxing fans it was a display of pure boxing skill.