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Margarito: Canelo will KO Cotto by the 10th round

canelo6767By Dan Ambrose: Former Miguel Cotto conqueror Antonio Margarito sees the much younger 25-year-old Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) as having too much youth and power for the 34-year-old WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) in their fight on HBO pay-per-view on November 21st from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Margarito expects Canelo to chop the aging Cotto down by the 10th round. If he doesn’t score a knockout, he thinks Canelo will win by a decision. Margarito feels that Canelo will definitely get the win against Cotto in this fight PPV fight. However, if Cotto can negate Canelo’s youth, power and speed, then he has a chance to win the fight with his intelligence.

But that’s going to be difficult for the smaller 5’7” Cotto to negate that many things that Canelo has going for him in this fight because intelligence can only carry you so far in a boxing match when you’re dealing with a younger, stronger, faster and larger fighter like Canelo. Cotto will be considerably smaller and lighter than the 5’9” Canelo on fight night.

“I think he [Canelo] has everything to gain and I think he can knock him [Cotto] out around 10 rounds or win on points but he will win, “said Margarito ESPN via mediatempo. “Unlike many, I think Canelo has indeed improved, we’ve seen better and I think this fight comes at a time that suits him most, as he’s young, strong, and fast. Unless you remove that part, Cotto is smart and can control you to win, but if not, [Canelo] will win by knockout.”

It’s going to be really difficult for Cotto to deal with all the advantages that Canelo has over him in this fight. Cotto rehydrates to the low 160s for his fights, and he won’t do himself any favors if he tries to bulk up to the 170s. At 5’7”, Cotto would be too big and slow if he bulked up to the 170s for the Canelo fight.

Canelo routinely rehydrates to the low to mid-170s for his fights. He puts on 20 pounds after making weight at 155 for his catch-weight fights and he doesn’t look weak for having taken off and put back on that kind of weight. Cotto is going to have a hard time deal with Canelo’s 10+ pound weight advantage in this fight.

The Cotto-Canelo fight will take place at a catch-weight of 155lbs. It’s unclear if this was Cotto’s idea to have the fight take place at the bottom weight for the 160 division, or if this was something that Canelo wanted. But it’s not likely to hurt Canelo because he’s used to fighting at that weight, and then rehydrating to the 170s. In the future, Canelo will have problems draining down to 155 for his fights, but right now he’s still young enough to take off massive amounts of weight and put it back on within 24 hours of his fights.

Margarito notes that Cotto has made some improvements with his trainer Freddie Roach having him use his left hook more, but Margarito doesn’t think that Cotto’s opposition has been good enough to really show whether the improvements are real or not. Since Cotto started training with Roach, he’s beaten Daniel Geale, Delvin Rodriguez and Sergio Martinez. Geale and Rodriguez were never great fighters to begin with. They were just good basic fighters, but not even close to being great. They were both on the slide by the time that Cotto fought them. Cotto didn’t fight a young Geale and Rodriguez.

As for Cotto’s win over Sergio Martinez, he beat a 39-year-old fighter who was coming off of knee surgery and a 14 month layoff. To say that Martinez wasn’t the same fighter that ruled the middleweight division years earlier is putting it lightly. Cotto would have likely been in a world of hurt against a prime Martinez, but against the 39-year-old Martinez, Cotto dominated. Martinez’s right knee problems made it difficult for him to do much, and you’ve got to figure that his age was a problem for him as well.

It wasn’t much of an accomplishment due to Martinez’s age, knee problems and inactivity. However, Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach played it up and said that Martinez was still in his prime when Cotto fought him. Roach feels that the only reason Cotto looked so great against Martinez was due to the improvements he’s made in his game. When Roach was asked whether he would like to test those improvements by having Cotto face Gennady Golovkin, Roach said that Golovkin wasn’t well-known enough because he never would see any of his fights televised on HBO.

Margarito stopped Cotto in the 11th round in their first fight in 2008 in a fight in which a bloody and battered Cotto took a couple of knees to escape the pressure from Margarito before the fight was halted. It looked like Margarito had physically and mentally broken Cotto in that fight.

Cotto would later avenge the defeat by beating Margarito in their rematch three years later in 2011 in a 9th round stoppage in front of a sold out Madison Square Garden in New York. However, the win wasn’t as meaningful because Margarito hadn’t fought for an entire year, and was coming off three separate eye surgeries to repair a problem that started with him suffering a fractured orbital bone in his one-sided 12 round unanimous decision loss to a prime Manny Pacquiao in 2010.

Margarito chose not to take any tune-up bouts after his eye surgeries in order to find out if his surgically repaired eye would hold up to the conditions of a live fight. Not surprisingly, Margarito’s surgically repaired eye immediately closed up once he started getting hit, leaving him with just one eye. It was all very predictable. The ringside doctor was forced to halt the fight when Margarito’s eye closed up completely in the 9th. What was interesting about the fight though was that Margarito was coming on at the time of the stoppage, and Cotto was starting to look the same way that he’d looked when he was stopped in the first fight. Margarito was starting to break Cotto down again, and one can only imagine what would have happened if the ringside doctor hadn’t stopped the fight.

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