The boxing world has been hungering for a real-deal super fight, a pairing that would surpass the Super Bowl of over-hype, an antidote to the Ishtar was Mayweather-Pacquiao.
Hopes abounded that the Saturday night clash, between Miguel Cotto, an aging but resurgent Puerto Rican icon, and the cinnamon-topped Mexican hitter Canelo Alvarez, would fill the bill, make us forget that night when Mayweather and Pacquiao made oodles of cash, but not one fan to the sport.
And you know what, it satisfied.
More so if you are a fan of Canelo; after 12 rounds, the judges had it for the Mexican, whose power was superior and whose stamina was quite reasonable, by scores of 117-111, 119-109, 118-110.
Canelo snagged that many more fans when he spoke to Max Kellerman after, and said hell yes, me and Gennady Golovkin can fight right now.
Cotto left the ring and then refused to chat with Kellerman in his dressing room.
For those wondering, no, there is no rematch clause.
The Ring middleweight title was up for grabs, though the max weight was 155, or under.
Canelo, age 25, came in with a 44-1 mark, Cotto, age 35, was 40-4.
In the first, Cotto was moving ever so smartly. Canelo was a step behind.
In the second, we saw more movement from the Puerto Rican, and Canelo looked to close the distance. A sharp right from Cotto was the best land of the round.
In the third, Canelo got a bead on him. His right was on message. Slip, dip and rip right from Canelo was spot on.
In the fourth, they were trading jabs. Cotto was moving, and busy, and Canelo was having fun, dancing some. His right hand made Cotto blink hard.
In the fifth, Cotto ripped combos. A left upper from Canelo landed clean and this fight was tight. In the sixth, more shuffles from Canelo. The jab from the Mexican was effective. Lederman had him up 4-2. In the seventh, Cotto was more stationary, and looked to fight inside. Canelo was so confident, his right upper after a Cotto right fell short, was nasty. Was this the round of cruciality, when you knew Canelo would get that W?
In the eighth, Cotto wanted more space, and his work in the second half of the round, based on his legs, won it for him.
In the ninth, Cotto had the edge in power punches. Cotto’s jab and movement worked for him, too, though. In the tenth, Cotto was busier early. He had good energy…Cotto complained he was hit on his back. He was dancing, then Cotto got stumbled late. In the 11th, Cotto was moving, maybe too much. He was looking less fresh. In the 12th, we got some action we were hoping for, rumbling. A cut formed on the Cotto left eye, and he looked in avoidant mode.
To the cards…
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Canelo afterwards said, “I have a lot of respect for Miguel. He is a great champion and a great fighter. We knew going into this fight that it would be a difficult journey, but I feel that I was the faster and stronger fighter tonight. I wasn’t hurt by his punches. I want to thank my trainers, they are like my family and the best people I know and I couldn’t have done this without them.” Álvarez continued, “I’m not afraid of any fighter. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is a great fighter, and he is my friend. I have respect for him, but if we do fight, it’s going to be at my weight class. I’m the champion, and I don’t have to do what he wants.
“I was fully prepared for what Cotto was going to do in the ring, whether that was take a defense stance or be the aggressor,” Álvarez said lastly.