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21 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Canelo Powers Past Cotto For Middleweight Crown

By Marc Livitz: Las Vegas, NV - Some rounds may have appeared close but in the end, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez was simply too much for the undersized, under powered Miguel Angel Cotto. The clash for the world middleweight championship delighted the crowd at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Many wondered if youth would trump knowledge and years of ring experience. Their answer was a landslide, according to the three judges at ringside.


Cotto looked to jab from the opening bell as Canelo just missed with a sweeping left hook. As expected, Alvarez was noticeably larger than his Puerto Rican opponent. Cotto jabbed some more and was looking for the body shot. Canelo returned the favor. Miguel was using the ring to his advantage. He was trying to connect and move. The first round was quite even across the table. Canelo (46-1-1, 32 KO’s) was more aggressive in the second while he was able to better anticipate Cotto’s jab. He jabbed and looked to turn it into a hook. His counter right landed later on. A straight right from Cotto (40-5, 33 KO’s) reached Alvarez’s face to end the round.


In the third, Canelo loosened up his approach and landed a straight right over Miguel’s jab after which Cotto caught him with the same punch. Miguel doubled the jab with less than a minute to go. He was exhibiting superior timing. A hard right from the Mexican fighter was followed by a left hook from the man from Caguas, Puerto Rico to close the stanza. Canelo threw another strong right in the fourth as Cotto answered with double and triple left hooks. They swapped body shots in the closing minute. Cotto’s left jab landed a few more times just before the bell to signal the end of the first third of the bout.


Power for Canelo versus precision for Cotto was the story thus far. Miguel threw a few body shots while Alvarez caught him again with a hard right hand. Cotto answered with sharp, crisp punches high and low which seemed to not hold much of an effect. Canelo landed a left uppercut later on in the round and was beginning to open up more and with greater results. Miguel was trying to push Alvarez back in the sixth with his jabs and movement. Canelo answered with hard rights at times when Cotto moved in close to land body shots.


Half of the bout was now in the bag. Canelo appeared to be ahead, although not completely in control. He moved forward with his signature right as Cotto looked to move inward with his jab and right hook to the body. Alvarez was at this point able to effectively time his opponent from Caguas’s rhythm and tendencies. Canelo threw a slick right uppercut after Miguel overextended on a jab.


A left uppercut landed for Canelo to begin the eighth. The action soon intensified as meaningful shots high and low landed for each man. Cotto’s shots were not hurting his foe from Guadalajara. His efforts to get to Canelo were causing him to eat leather. Miguel was still moving around the ring to find his bearings. He connected with a few shots to win the round. Canelo came out energized in round nine. He tried to use his left hook to keep Cotto in front of him. Miguel continued to move in at him. His left jab kept moving. With about a minute to go in the period, an uppercut from Canelo was expertly blocked, so he tried again later. He succeeded, but Cotto wouldn’t back away.


As the rounds entered into double digits, it was clear that Miguel would have to change his approach to get cleanly back into the contest. Canelo’s punches were simply stronger. Cotto, as before snapped away with his left jab to the head. The size differential between the two boxers was beyond evident. Alvarez connected with a hard body shot, after which Cotto returned the favor. With two short rounds to go, Cotto would need a big turnaround to win the fight.


Round eleven began and Canelo was moving into the driver’s seat. Cotto’s shots weren’t doing enough. The hard rights from the red headed fighter from Jalisco state would have slowed down most fighters, but Miguel was showing tremendous heart. He landed a counter right after which Canelo got in another left hook. On to the twelfth and final round the bout would go.


Both men appeared to be looking for a knockout. Alvarez landed hard shots up high and Cotto soon replied. A thunderous body shot from Canelo visibly hurt Cotto in the closing seconds. The two sportsmen graciously took a brief second to show respect and admiration for the other as the bell sounded to end the contest. Canelo seemed to be the winner, but only the judges would be the determining factor.


Bert Clements scored the bout 118-110 , Dave Moretti saw it at 119-109 while lastly John McKaie turned in a score of 117-111. With the victory, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez won the WBC middleweight title. Afterwards, Canelo was beyond gracious. "I just can’t put it into words", he said. "Miguel Cotto is a great champion but it’s my era now. I have great respect for him." Of course, the attention soon turned to a showdown in the spring with Gennady "GGG" Golovkin. Alvarez replied, "I’ll put the gloves on right now and fight him. He’s a great champion and I’ll fight him today."



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November 21, 2015

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