While a big portion of boxing fans were clamoring for the showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. to finally materialize, there were others who were praying for the bout between Miguel Cotto and Saul Alvarez to take place the soonest. And the Cotto-Alvarez fight could even produce more thunder than Pacquiao-May-weather because the Mexican and the Puerto Rican both have dynamite in their hands.
Cotto, now 39-4 with 32 knockouts, has managed to bounce back from major defeats, and reestablish and rejuvenate himself to beat the once-feared Sergio Martinez on June 7, 2014 to annex the World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight title. Now 34 years old, Cotto should be credited for bouncing back from defeats in the hands of Pacquiao, Mayweather, Antonio Margarito and Austin Trout. His loss to Margarito on July 26, 2008 saw him took a terrible beating from gloves the Mexican’s camp may have tampered with plaster of Paris.
And the Philippines rejoiced when Pacquiao stopped Cotto on November 14, 2009. While Cotto avenged his defeat to Margarito via a 9th round stoppage on December 3, 2011, he would lose by decision to Mayweather on May 5, 2012 and to Trout on December 1, 2012. The year 2012 turned out to be a bad year for the Puerto Rican and I thought Cotto was better off retiring then.
But to the surprise of a number of boxing pundits, including me, Cotto stopped Delvin Rodriguez in the 3rd round on October 5, 2013, and took away the WBC middleweight crown from Martinez on June 7, 2014 via a 10th round stoppage. In the Cotto-Martinez fight, the Argentinean was down three times in round 1 and took a standing count in round 9.
Notably, Freddie Roach played a major role in getting Cotto rejuvenated and even reinvented.
After Cotto won the WBC middleweight crown, there was a clamor for Alvarez to challenge him for the title, which made me jump with excitement. But the fight has gone down the drain.
If Cotto-Alvarez materialized, it would have been an explosive fight even if both boxers were not outright sluggers or brawlers. But one thing is definite—the Puerto Rican and the Mexican both have dynamite in their hands, and neither of them is on a decline.
Alvarez, 44-1 with 33 KOs, is only 24 years old and has bounced back from his decision loss to Mayweather on September 14, 2013, He is coming off a 10th round stoppage win over compatriot Alfredo Angulo on March 8, 2014 and a split decision win over a crafty Erislandy Lara on July 12, 2014. Although Alvarez is fighting at junior middleweight (154 pounds), he is bigger at 5’9” compared to Cotto who is 5’7.” Youth is also on the side of Alvarez and the Mexican definitely wants to win his first world title.
But what possibly made the Cotto-Alvarez be aborted? In the article “The proposed Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto fight for May 2 is off” that was posted in ringtv.craveonline.com, Oscar Dela Hoya was quoted as saying that Cotto did not accept the “great” offer of the camp of Alvarez. Dela Hoya, who was promoting the fight, added the bout would have generated 1.5 pay-per-views.
I wish that Cotto-Alvarez would somehow materialize within the next 24 months and that either fighter would not suffer a crushing defeat during that time span. And I wish Cotto would continue improving and not decline, because what is interesting when a fading fighter gets into the ring with an up-and-coming pugilist?
Cotto-Alvarez might even turn out to be the next significant bout in this era outside of Pacquiao-Mayweather.