Cotto vs. Canelo: A Clash of Two Reluctant Warriors
(Photo credit: Hogan Photos) By J Caldwell: Make no mistake about it, when the opening bell is finally rung on November 21, 2015, the highly anticipated matchup between Miguel Cotto, Puerto Rico’s leading man and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Mexico’s rising son, should provide the sports world with a night of some incredible boxing.
Perhaps the thing that makes this particular Saturday night so magical will be the fighters themselves: in the case of Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) what you’ll have is a rejuvenated older fighter with a small chip in his corner…that being the bombastic but highly controversial trainer in Freddie Roach. Standing in the opposite corner, however, will be the younger, stronger and hungrier fighter in “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1 32 KOs).
Oddly enough, this won’t be a fight about strength alone. A key factor that most experts are overlooking will be one of sheer motivation: To say the least, most boxing insiders are wondering which of the two Latino warriors will dare to be great?
If money indeed motivates, then both fighters should be highly motivated. After all, a good win over either guy would look rather impressive on either man’s resume, creating a possible PPV showdown with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) the now current WBA and IBF titleholder. Golovkin (or “GGG” for short), along with the millions of boxing fans around the globe, should be awaiting the outcome in haste. And for good reason: a fight between “GGG” and either of the two combatants should serve to be an intriguing one by any fans standards, including both casual and die-hards alike. Still yet, for this massive showdown many casual fans are yearning for the very obvious: Will both fighters actually show up to fight?
Cotto’s reluctant warrior status came by way of the two Margarito battles, a first battle for which would test Cotto’s mental fortitude, and a second showdown that would not only test his will to win but his willingness to get revenge. This was after word leaked that Margarito had illegally wrapped his hands in their first fight. Prior to the two Margarito battles, Cotto had already made a name for himself as the ultimate boxer-puncher, boxing and power-punching his way to some of boxing’s most memorable battles.
Casual fans aside, what die-hard boxing fans are hoping for is this: Is Cotto really coming to fight; or will he fight for three rounds, taste the power of “Canelo”, fold and retreat, adapting a kind hit-run style pioneered by his countrymen, the late Hector Camacho Sr.? As diehards, we’ve seen this style before in both the Mosely and Pacquiao fights. Skills win fights. Thus, it goes without saying what an older fighter has to do to beat a younger, stronger and hungrier fighter like “Canelo.” Certainly doing more boxing on the night of the fight, couldn’t be a bad idea, especially since going blow for blow with the Mexican star doesn’t seem like a recipe for success.
Alas, the knock on elite Puerto Rican fighters (i.e., Felix Trinidad, Hector Camacho Sr. and Miguel Cotto) is that they have tendencies to look flawless in some fights, then whenever a series of mega-fights come their way, trade in their warrior hats for Don Kings wigs and Cuban cigars—namely, they suddenly begin to look past their opponents and further down the road for the even bigger money fights. Case in point: Cotto (especially at this stage of his career) knows all too well the real deal of boxing. Namely, he knows all he has to really do is look just good enough to warrant a rematch with the red-headed-freckled-face-Mexican-phenom; that is, of course, he loses–or better yet, go all out, thus giving the fans one more reason to consider him the greatest hero among the Puerto Rican bunch.
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