Cotto-Canelo official for November 21st on HBO PPV
By Dan Ambrose: Earlier today, Golden Boy Promotions and Roc Nation Sports announced the mega-clash between WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) and former WBA/WBC 154lb champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) for November 21st on HBO pay-per-view from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fight is of importance because it will potentially be determining the opponent for WBC interim middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, who is considered to be the best fighter in the middleweight division right now. Unless the Cotto-Canelo winner decides to take the easy way out by vacating in order to avoid the Golovkin fight, we could be seeing a very good fight in early 2016 between Golovkin and the winner of the Cotto-Canelo catch-weight fight.
Cotto vs. Canelo will be a Puerto Rican vs. Mexico rivalry for those who care about those types of things. I’m not that the attraction for the fight is based on one country against another type of thing. It’s more of a case of it being a good fight. It’s a fight that will determine how much Cotto has left in the tank at age 34. He’s had three easy fights against over-the-hill fighters in a little over a year and a half, and he’s got his trainer Freddie Roach bragging about how he’s turned him around and rejuvenated him with his training techniques.
Even Cotto seems to have bought into it. We’re going to see if that’s reality or just make believe stuff on Cotto and Roach’s part because the younger 24-year-old Canelo has the strength, size and the youth to expose Cotto in the same way that Floyd Mayweather Jr., Antonio Margarito and Austin Trout did in the past. If Cotto takes a beating and gets knocked out by Canelo on November 21st, then we’ll need to re-think some of these ideas that Roach has been trying to implant in the minds of boxing fans about how Cotto has had his career turned around. The closer reality will be that the only reason Cotto has looked good lately is because he’s been matched up against over-the-hill fighters in Sergio Martinez, Daniel Geale and Delvin Rodriguez.
“I will give the fans the fight they want to see,” said Cotto. “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 vs. Mexico rivalry.”
If Cotto beats Canelo and then vacates his WBC title rather than fighting Golovkin, it’s going to make Cotto look really bad in the eyes of boxing fans. Additionally, if Cotto beats Canelo and then looks to fight him in an immediate rematch rather fighting Golovkin, it’s further going to make Cotto look bad. The two fighters negotiated for a rematch, so you have to wonder whether they’re going to try and make Golovkin wait even longer for a shot at the winner.
Golovkin is getting a step aside fee to let the Cotto-Canelo fight take place this time because it’s supposed to be Golovkin who is getting a title shot right now rather than Canelo. But if the Cotto-Canelo winner tries to make Golovkin step aside a second time, it’s going to look so bad.
The start time for the Cotto vs. Canelo fight will be at 9pm ET/6pm PT.
Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions believes the Cotto-Canelo fight will break records. What records those are is anyone’s guess. The fight is projected to bring in less than 1 million pay-per-view buys, so any records that it breaks certainly won’t be the PPV variety. It’s not going to break any records, but the Cotto vs. Canelo fight will bring in more than 300,000 PPV buys. That’s one truth. Canelo and Cotto have been bringing in only 300K PPV buys lately in their pay-per-view buys. Those aren’t great numbers by any stretch of the imagination. But with them facing each other, we could see PPV numbers along the lines of 600,000 buys. This would be a good number for this fight.
Canelo was on his way to becoming a star in the United States, but his poor performances against Tout, Erislandy Lara and Floyd Mayweather Jr. has caused Canelo to take a big hit in his popularity. What further hurt Canelo is he failed to fight any of those guys in rematches to prove that his poor performances were just a fluke thing. What has further hurt Canelo is the quality of his opposition. Rather than facing guys like Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade or Jermall Charlo, we’ve seen Canelo fight guys like James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo.
Canelo hasn’t faced the right guys, and when he has fought the quality fighters, he’s arguably lost. A lot of boxing fans think Canelo lost to Lara and Trout. This writer had Canelo losing both of those fights.