With Floyd Mayweather retired and Manny Pacquiao about to do likewise, the search for boxing’s next international superstar has begun.
Thus far the biggest international boxing draw after the Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao snoozer bout back in May, will pit Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto (44 fights-40 wins-33KO) against Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez (45wins-1 loss-32 KO).
The two fighters who meet in the weekend’s mega fight are some of the biggest names in the game currently. It promises to be nothing short of a classic bout, which however has been a far cry from the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight in terms of the hype it has attracted.
Both pugilists are inside fighters who rarely take a step back in the ring. For Alvarez (25), the fight will be a purely physical affair, as the red-haired Mexican relies on powerful combinations and cutting the ring to suffocate and overwhelm his prey. Alvarez whose only loss is to Mayweather two years back will go in the fight to make a statement and knock out Cotto to win the WBC middle championship of the world.
On paper, the physically strong and power punching Mexican has no real weaknesses. However, he usually struggles against slick and defensive fighters like Mayweather. Most bookmakers and boxing experts see Alvarez winning the fight by KO. On the other hand, Cotto (34) is a shoe-in boxing hall of famer. The Puerto Rican legend has taken on the best in the world including Mayweather, Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao.
This means the physically smaller Cotto has most of the experience in taking on dangerous and highly-skilled opponents. Going into the Saturday fight, Cotto, a ring general, commands the highest ring IQ. For him, it will be a chess match where he will set snares for his younger opponent and score an unexpected KO.
Moreover, Cotto has the best active boxing coach, Freddie Roach in his corner, which means their game plan will be spot on. Cotto who has recently been stripped of the WBC middleweight world championship will come into the fight with a chip on his shoulder. The international bout is expected to play a part in establishing the next international boxing draw after undefeated welterweight Mayweather announced his retirement from the sport.