The Big Question: Cotto or Canelo?

Boxing Monthly
14/11/2015 11:13am

This week’s Big Question is a simple query on the lips of every boxing fan. ‘Cotto or Canelo - who wins and why?’ Boxing Monthly's online team give their verdict ahead of WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto’s highly anticipated showdown against Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on 21 November.

Ever since this fight was announced I've had an extremely strong feeling that 'Canelo' Alvarez is going to win, and win in convincing fashion. Cotto seems to have rediscovered his bounce with Freddie Roach but his victories over Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale are marred due to the way he gerrymandered the traditional divisional weight limit. The way he totally dominated both opponents was impressive but I can't believe that the results were purely down to Cotto rediscovering his youth at this relatively late stage of his career.

Canelo seems to be gathering momentum and growing as a fighter. The ridiculous 155lb catchweight may blunt his tools slightly but he should still be reasonably comfortable at the weight. Alvarez doesn't seem to have been negatively affected by his schooling at the hands of Floyd Mayweather and looks like he revels the big occasion.

I think Cotto will try to box but find it increasingly difficult to keep the younger, stronger champion away. Eventually, he will be forced into a trade off and once the pair start exchanging, I see only one winner. This may be one of the bolder predictions you see but I'm going to go with an impressive and conclusive 'Canelo' victory within eight rounds. - John Evans.

Canelo should win, and win big. No one doubts Cotto's bravery, but I think he's an on-top fighter and will struggle to gain dominion over Alvarez.

People are trying to make out that Canelo choked against Mayweather due to inexperience. The truth is that he simply was not good enough and the struggle with Lara underlined the fact that Alvarez will always look sensational against come forward fighters yet won't always shine against boxers, which is evidenced by his wins over Kirkland and Angulo.

Cotto can box, his jab looked nice against Mayweather, but he has that pressuring style in his boxing DNA and will revert to type once the pressure kicks in. Once this happens, he will be taken apart by Alvarez and stopped.

Canelo will win the fight; Golovkin's winning the war, though, until one of these fighters agrees to a proper middleweight fight against the consensus, but not yet linear, 160lb titlist. - Terry Dooley.

Cotto-Canelo looks amazing on paper and will make a sizeable contribution to their bank balance, but I fear that it will be a convincing win for Alvarez.

Cotto has looked very good in his last two fights against Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale. But what are we left with after those victories? A rejuvenated Cotto who beat two broken men, one far more than the other. 

It's an obvious thing to state that Canelo is younger and hungrier than those two but it's an important fact you can't ignore. He has momentum and has found a developing offence that I believe will be far too much for the great Puerto Rican. 

Cotto will have his moments but I cannot believe that he keeps Alvarez at bay for a harm-free 12 rounds. Even a few harmful rounds might be enough to get Cotto out of there.  

Stupid catchweight aside, something that embarrasses the sport and every weight division it infects itself with, I see the 10-year younger Canelo overpowering and overwhelming someone who has been one of the greatest fighters to watch in the modern era to a mid to late round stoppage. Perhaps the last time we will ever see Cotto in a prizefight. - Shaun Brown.

It’s difficult to figure out which versions of Cotto and Alvarez we’ll be dealing with come fight night - never mind predict a likely winner. Alvarez looks good against plodding fighters and a tad bemused against slicker boxers. Cotto is likely to come forward and press Alvarez, however, under trainer Freddie Roach, he will do so in a measured and intelligent manner. The Puerto Rican has shown expert timing and rhythm in recent fights.

The bookmakers favour Alvarez by decision, yet rarely are big showdowns between Puerto Rican and Mexican fighters settled on the scorecards. At some point, both men will find themselves under heavy fire and Cotto is the more proven performer in a give-and-take battle. While Alvarez has edges in youth, natural size and power, I have a nagging feeling that Cotto can “old man” him here. He’s the cleverer of the two and with Roach in tow, he’ll have a plan to box and punch his way to an eye-opening decision win. I think he might well just do it.  - Andrew Harrison.

This is tough to call; the champion Cotto has been in excellent form since joining up with Freddie Roach, he looks light on his feet, sharp and every punch he throws looks like it hurts. But I think his opposition (Rodriguez, Martinez and Geale) has flattered him somewhat, with the last two looking like shells of their former selves. The same can be said about Canelo, since losing to Mayweather he's fought a punchbag in Angulo, the negative but skillful Lara and the erratic Kirkland. Out of the two, I think Canelo has been tested that bit more and looked impressive in recent performances; he punches with spite and accuracy. So with youth, size and strength on his side, the pick is for Canelo to ride out some shaky moments and come out on top in a modern classic. Canelo by TKO 11. - Callum Rudge.

Both have plenty of experience on the big stage, but Cotto has more of it and you could argue that he also has momentum on his side.

Both fighters are happy to look for tough fights, willing to take on the top P4P guys, as well as awkward, unfashionable opponents like Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout.

I would say both guys are more likely to wear you down rather than take you out quickly with one punch. Neither guy is lightning fast, but both can put together quick combinations if allowed to dictate the pace.

On fight night, neither will look across the ring at a big middleweight, and will likely have a genuine belief that they should win.

If you believe that the bookies are rarely wrong, you should safely back Canelo. The value though, in this marquee fight too close to call, is with a Cotto win inside the distance. - TKO Radio. 

No matter which way I look at the fight playing-out - and no matter how much Cotto has been resurgent of late - I just see Canelo winning, probably on points but possibly by late stoppage.  For some reason, I think a higher poundage may have actually suited Cotto and I'm afraid I'd like to see Canelo win just so we can get the 160lbs belt back to being contested at 160lbs (no problem people weighing inside, but forcing the opponent to just doesn't wash so much in my book, especially when it's one pound over the limit below). Canelo; just too young, too big, too much energy. - Colin Harris.