IT’S EASY to believe what experts have been trying to say about today’s big fight in Las Vegas being a lead candidate for fight of the year.
Miguel Cotto vs Canelo Alvarez did not sell half as much as the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao mega-dud did last May. But the matchup, relatively noiseless, is both significant and enticing it should help restore faith in prizefighting which had been damned by the Mayweather-Pacquiao multi-million-dollar fiasco.
Whether happy or not, there promises to be a memorable ending.
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There will be a firefight, a tremendous middleweight collision.
Cotto, 35, has lost a total of four times, two by knockout.
Alvarez, 25, has been beaten only once, on points by Floyd Mayweather Jr.
This disparity is not the main reason why more than half of experts polled have favored Alvarez to stop Cotto.
The prevailing expert view says Cotto, although supposedly reformed and reshaped by the famous Freddie Roach, could find himself at the wrong time, the wrong place if he tries to slug it out in the early rounds.
Roach however brags about having put Cotto in the best shape, perfect frame of mind to deal Alvarez his first KO beating.
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Roach claims he has awakened the original great boxer in Cotto.
Roach is certain about Cotto offsetting Canelo’s edge in size and power through experience, superior intelligence, ring craft, not to mention stronger staying power.
Cotto: “I am ready for the fight. I know Canelo is ready too. Let’s give the fans the fight they need from us.”
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Alvarez: “I am patiently waiting for my hand to be raised in victory again. It’s going to be a difficult fight. That’s why I prepared properly and I am ready to give a good fight.”
All told, the bout has also been pegged 50/50, a clear candidate as one for the ages.
There has not been a match-up such as this for quite a time.
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Oscar de la Hoya says boxing needs an Alvarez win in order to get back from the shame delivered by the Pacquiao-Mayweather sham.
Larry Merchant says he has started to smell rematch.
The big bout cannot in any way be upstaged by the predicted undercard mismatch between Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux and Drian Francisco of the Philippines.