Saturday, November 21, 2015, promises to be a great night for Puerto Rican and Mexican fans, and the entire boxing fraternity the world over, as Miguel Ángel Cotto defends his middleweight title against Saul Canelo Alvarez in a much anticipated super bout, which could easily be the fight of the year if it lives up to expectations.
The fight which was finally announced on Thursday, August 13, 2015 after months of seemingly endless negotiations, will stage the first Puerto Rican to win titles in four different weight classes (junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight), Cotto, matching up against former unified junior middleweight champion from Mexico, Canelo Alvarez. The fight will be held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, and it will be co-promoted by Roc Nation Sports owned by Jay-Z, and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
24/7: Cotto vs. Canelo – Episode 1 (HBO Boxing)
“I will give the fans the fight they want to see,” Cotto said. “As I have always said, during my whole career, I am here to fight the best names and the best fighters. This will be another chapter in my career, and I will be ready for him. Fans will enjoy a real fight, another classic battle in the Puerto Rico versus Mexico rivalry.”
The boxing rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico has produced world class fights which include historic bouts between Salvador Sanchez versus Wilfredo Gomez, Julio Cesar Chaver Sr. versus Hector Camacho, Felix Trinidad versus Oscar De La Hoya, and even Miguel Cotto’s two clashes with Antonio Margarito.
“Historically, mega fights are made because fans demand them,” Alvarez stated in an interview. “In this case, the fans have spoken out, longing for this fight, and it is my pleasure to say that it is finally happening.
“All fights at this level are very important, but this fight in particular has something more. It will hold a special place in history as part of the big rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico, and I promise all the fans that this is going to be an event that will not disappoint.”
“The great rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico has a rich history in the sport of boxing. Classic fights like Julio Cesar ‘J.C.’ Chavez versus Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho and Wilfredo Gomez versus Salvador Sanchez are prime examples of the history of that great rivalry,” Jose “Chepo” Reynoso, Alvarez’s manager, added. “Cotto-Canelo will become part of that history, a fight that most likely will be the biggest fight to date [in the rivalry] due to the great popularity of both of the warriors. Fans demanded this fight and now have it.”
24/7: Cotto vs. Canelo – Episode 2 (HBO Boxing)
The fight will be held at a catch-weight of 155 pounds instead of the regular middleweight limit of 160 pounds. The agreed upon weight of 155 pounds does not favor either pugilists, as Cotto seeks a successful second title defense. Miguel weighed 155 pounds when he secured a 10th round knockout over former champion from Argentina, Sergio Martinez. However, he weighed 153½ when he first defended his crown against Daniel Geale, whom he knocked out in the fourth round in a masterclass performance. Alvarez, on the other hand, recorded three wins over Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, and James Kirkland at 155 pounds.
Cotto took almost a year off after his major win over Sergio Martinez in June 2014, and most likely will find his name etched in the International Boxing Hall of Fame after becoming the first Puerto Rican to win titles in four different weight classes. On June 6, 2015, he knocked out Daniel Geale in remarkable fashion, and he’s looking really good under the tutelage of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.
The camps of both fighters appeared to have done some scouting on their respective opponent, as it was evident that Golden Boy Promotions chiefs were in attendance at the Cotto-Geale bout on June 6, and Roc Nation Sports executives had done the same a month earlier on May 9, at the Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, where Alvarez convincingly knocked out Kirkland in the third round.
“Cotto versus Canelo is the biggest fight in boxing, period,” said David Itskowitch, COO of Boxing of Roc Nation Sports. “Given the fighters’ styles, it has all the makings of a can’t-miss, all-action fight. Couple that with the popularity of both Miguel and Canelo, and you have a true mega fight that fans have been clamoring for and one that no sports fan should miss. Nov. 21 has all the makings of a fight that will go down in boxing history as one of the greats.”
Earlier negotiations between both camps for a May bout fell through because Cotto’s team took so long to put ink on paper, which led Alvarez to secure a May date with Kirkland. It turned out Cotto was out of contract with Top Rank and was looking to sign a lucrative deal with Roc Nation Sports, which wasted no time in securing the mega fight with Alvarez. The upcoming fight promises to a top pay-per-view draw, as both fighters have made great numbers in the past, especially in their respective clashes with pound-for-pound and pay-per-view king, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“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,” Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “Cotto versus Canelo will be an epic showdown, full of nonstop action from the moment the first bell rings. This fight is an example of exactly what Golden Boy Promotions does: puts on the best fights between top fighters.”
Live Stream: Cotto vs. Canelo Official Weigh-In