By Rudy Mondragon (Twitter: @boxingintellect)
Another Puerto Rico versus Mexico fight in the history books. It wasn’t a flop but it wasn’t an instant classic either.
Miguel Cotto was in great shape as he stuck to a game plan that consisted of jabbing and quickly moving around. In the middle of the fight, I think Cotto got frustrated with his game plan, as it was not effective in keeping Canelo off of him.
Canelo was stalking and taking jabs in order to close the distance and land power shots of his own. Cotto definitely took notice of Canelo’s powerful straight rights. As the fight progressed, Canelo found a home for his lethal uppercuts. When Cotto exchanged, it played into Canelo’s style of combination power punches.
This was a true test for both fighters. Canelo needed a win against a gatekeeper in order to establish himself as an A class fighter. He successfully accomplished that last night. He can now say he has beat a future hall of famer. And not just any hall of famer. Canelo did beat Mosley once upon a time. But that was an old and way beyond his prime Mosley. Last night, Canelo beat a Cotto who was coming off a good moment in his career.
For Cotto, this was a test of how good he really is at the middleweight division. He didn’t fail this test, but he didn’t pass it either. He was clearly the smaller man, which posed problems for him early on. He never had Canelo’s respect and his power did not have an impact throughout the fight. Cotto looked like a big welterweight while Canelo looked like a true middleweight. In other words, Canelo is a 160lbs fighter now, not a Jr. middleweight. Cotto’s victory was that he did not get knocked out.
For Cotto, not getting knocked out last night is a good thing. There is nothing wrong with losing to an up and coming middleweight star like Canelo via a 12 round decision. He can maintain A-Side power and look for a retirement fight and final pay day at the Jr. middleweight division.
For Canelo, I think GGG needs to happen now for 2 reasons. The first, Canelo said he would fight him now if we wanted him to. Okay, I say back that talk up with action. Second, Golden Boy Promotions is all about making the most exciting fights happen in the game. This is the most exciting fight in boxing at this moment. Make it happen, Oscar De La Hoya.
My hope is that Canelo gets a tune up fight in May and then fights GGG in September 2016.
With his victory, Saul Canelo Alvarez improves to 46-1-1 (32 KOs) while Cotto moves on with a 40-5 (33 KOs) record.