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Canelo will be too big, too young and too strong for Cotto

Canelo Alvarez Miguel CottoBy Allan Fox: You’ve got to hand it to trainer Freddie Roach and adviser Gaby Penagaricano in doing a great job of match-making and rebuilding the shattered image of Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) in the last two years.

With the careful selection of beatable opponents that have been largely over-the-hill, Cotto has convinced boxing fans that he’s found the fountain of youth and has improved as a fighter over the last couple of years. That’s not likely the case. You don’t get better in your mid-30s. You get worse. in this case, what has improved for Cotto is the match-making Roach and Penagaricano have done for him by putting him in with guys that he can beat.

Cotto hasn’t had to face anyone young enough to give him problems in this last three fights with his wins over Sergio Martinez, Delvin Rodriguez and Daniel Geale. But in Cotto’s next fight, he’s going to be facing someone who is young, and who is very powerful and big in Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) of Mexico. Putting the smallish 5’7” Cotto in with a 175 pound monster like Canelo is a really bad idea, because it’s such a huge leap up in competition for the 34-year-old Cotto.

Not only will Cotto be the shorter guy by two inches compared to the 5’9” Canelo, but he’s going to be giving up at least 15 pounds in weight as well to Canelo. Now it didn’t matter that Cotto was out-weighed by the 182 pound Geale last Saturday night because Geale looked weight-drained from getting down to the strict 157 pound catch-weight that Cotto had for the fight. Besides that, Geale was never a puncher to begin with during his career, and he didn’t have the power, hand speed or the energy to give Cotto problems. But Canelo is a different story because he won’t be weight-drained, and he’s got a lot of punching power and size.

Cotto has already said that he’ll fight Canelo at 155. This appears to be designed to get an edge against Canelo, because he rehydrates to the mid-170s, and he probably be a lot more comfortable if he simply officially moved up to the middleweight division and weighed in at the full 160 for all his fights. But Canelo is still young enough to put his body through the rigors of draining down 20 pounds to weigh-in at 155 without it hurting him. I don’t believe that Cotto is going to hurt Canelo by having him weigh-in at 155. It’s obviously going to hurt Canelo in the future if he keeps draining down to 155 for his fights, but for now he can still get away with it.

Canelo clearly isn’t on the same level as Gennady Golovkin in punching power and overall talent, but he’s close enough to make a mess out of Cotto. Golovkin is definitely the No.1 fighter at 160, and Canelo is a clear No.2, even though he’s not officially fighting at middleweight yet. His last three fights have been at middleweight, and this fight against Cotto will be staged at middleweight as well.

Canelo is a step too far for the likes Cotto, and I think we could see a fairly quick knockout when the two sluggers get inside the ring with each other. If Cotto is able to weather the early storm from Canelo, he’ll have a chance of winning the middle rounds, but I believe that once Canelo catches his second wind late in the fight, he’s going to bust up Cotto’s face and score a knockout by the 11th round.

Canelo has too much youth and power for Cotto. Trainer Freddie Roach will do a good job trying to convince fans during the build up to the fight that he’s improved Cotto and made him a better fighter with his training techniques, but Canelo is going to expose Cotto and Roach as not being the real thing.

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