Puerto Rico vs. Mexico: The ride never ends!
The latest installment of the great rivalry figures to be one for the ages, as veteran great Miguel Cotto faces young superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in the HBO Boxing pay-per-view (PPV) main event TONIGHT (Sat., Nov. 21, 2015) inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
MMAmania will have LIVE coverage of "Cotto vs. Canelo," starting with the HBO PPV broadcast at 9 p.m. ET.
Elsewhere on the stacked four-fight PPV card, Takashi Miura defends his WBC Super Featherweight belt against Francisco Vargas, Guillermo Rigondeaux steps up to the Featherweight division to face Drian Francisco, and Jayson Velez puts his unbeaten record on the line against Ronny Rios.
But we all know what you're here for: Let's see if we can't figure out who will win the anticipated Middleweight championship main event.
Name: Miguel Cotto
Record: 40-4, 33 KO
Last Five Fights: Daniel Geale (TKO-4), Sergio Martinez (RTD-10), Delvin Rodriguez (TKO-3), Austin Trout (UD Loss), Floyd Mayweather (UD Loss)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi
Name: Saul Alvarez
Record: 45-1-1, 32 KO
Last Five Fights: James Kirkland (KO-3), Erislandy Lara (SD), Alfredo Angulo (TKO-10), Floyd Mayweather (UD Loss), Austin Trout (UD)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Shane Mosley, Miguel Vazquez (x2)
It is both refreshing and infuriating when a fight boils down to a single factor. That's because it eases the analysis while simultaneously making it difficult to make an accurate prediction. In this fight, it's the cardio -- or lack there of -- of "Canelo."
When Alvarez can plant his feet and throw, his combination punching is some of the best in the sport. He can string together gorgeous sequences of punches to the head and body. And even though he generally lacks true one-punch power, his thumping punches can break down opponents with impressive efficiency.
The problem is that, in the past, he's had a habit of fighting in spurts, lacking the cardio to maintain a steady assault. This issue is especially pressing in this fight, considering Cotto's recent return to the savage body punching that anchored his early rise through the 140- and 147-pound divisions. Alvarez will be the younger, bigger, stronger man on fight night, but that doesn't mean much if he can't maintain his offense.
That said, Cotto's got some red flags of his own. The man is 35 and has been competing for nearly 15 years ... often in brutal wars. Furthermore, his recent big wins over Martinez and Geale look much better on paper than they do when examined closely. Martinez had maybe two-thirds of a functioning knee in total and Geale was drawn-out from making the Cotto-mandated Catchweight.
There's also the issue of Cotto's aggression potentially giving Alvarez the opportunities he needs to get those combinations going. The Trout, Mayweather and Lara fights showed the difficulties Alvarez has with opponents he has to chase, but if someone is there to be hit, Canelo will hurt them.
The Difficult Prediction!
In the end, I have to go with Alvarez' youth, size and combination work. Cotto will give him a damn good fight, but after some heavy firefights, Canelo will do the damage he needs to put away the Puerto Rican legend late.
Prediction: Alvarez technical knockout in round 10
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round coverage of "Cotto vs. Canelo" TONIGHT, starting with the pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast at 9 p.m. ET RIGHT HERE.