Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez have officially agreed to fight on November 21 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) and Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) are tentatively slated to clash at a maximum weight of 155 pounds.
Nicknamed “Junito,” Cotto most recently exited the squared circle on June 6 after recording a ferocious fourth round TKO over Australian Daniel Geale to successfully defend the WBC World middleweight belt. Meeting at a catchweight of 157 pounds, the 5-foot-7 Cotto manhandled the 5-foot-10 Geale (31-4, 16 KOs) from the outset and twice floored the drained challenger. Cotto expertly targeted Geale’s midsection and ended the mismatch with a sharp right hand. Geale, a former titleholder who possesses a 71-inch reach and was 5-1 in title scraps, indicated he was spent and referee Harvey Dock officially halted the beating at 1 minute, 28 seconds of the decisive frame.
“This fight is just another fight,” said Cotto, 34, who is 19-4 in championship bouts. “For me, Canelo is a victory for my career. Being the best Puerto Rican fighter is not of my interest. I’m happy with my career.”
Meanwhile, roughly a month before Cotto battered Geale, Alvarez rendered James Kirkland unconscious in the third round to win their explosive junior middleweight clash on May 9. The 5-foot-9, 155-pound Alvarez, who began boxing professionally at the absurd age of 15, badly bloodied the 5-foot-9, 155-pound Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs), earned three knockdowns, and finished the convicted felon at 2 minutes, 19 seconds of the conclusive stage.
“This is a fight I’ve been craving and wanting so bad,” said Alvarez, 25, a Mexican superstar who began boxing professionally at the absurd age of 15. “I am very happy that we have managed this fight. I am very grateful to all the fans.”
Cotto, the first Puerto Rican to win world titles in four weight classes, has looked revitalized and competed with a noticeable confidence since partnering with decorated trainer Freddie Roach in the spring of 2013. Alvarez will likely be favored over Cotto because the Puerto Rican icon is 10 years older and he has engaged in numerous bloodbaths. Still, although Alvarez was equally impressive versus the 31-year-old Kirkland, it’s hard to dismiss the rebirth Cotto has experienced with Roach in his corner.
“I don’t think Canelo is stronger than us and I don’t think that’s a factor in the fight,” said Roach, 55, who has been voted Trainer of the Year on seven occasions by the BWAA. “I think we’re stronger than him. I think we’re the better puncher and we’ll show that on fight night.”
Regardless of who ultimately triumphs, this is not “just another fight” and Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez will give the sport of boxing and its frequently mistreated fans a resounding victory this autumn.