SAN DIEGO, November 20, 2015 – The training and the talking is over, and it’s fight time in Las Vegas.
Middleweights Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez held their last public news conference this week, the final event in a chain of media appearances, previews, public workouts, and face-offs. All that is left now is to make weight on Friday, and get down to business in the ring.
See the full news conference here. Don’t count on fireworks; the fighters and their camps are respectful of each other and plan to make their statement in the ring Saturday.
Promoters, HBO, and all the business interests hope for action in the ring that translates to big pay per view buys, ticket and merchandise sales, and the kind of renewed fan interest not just from the hard core boxing fans but the casual fans who got excited about Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, only to feel disappointment with the outcome.
Cotto vs. Canelo has a far better chance of delivering on its promises than the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao bout, but this fight hasn’t generated the same sort of buzz and it’s a shame.
Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs), 35, is one of Puerto Rico’s greatest boxers, the first and only Puerto Rican to win world titles in four different weight classes, and the lineal middleweight world champion. Alvarez, (45-1-1, 32 KOs) 25, a former WBC and WBA Super Welterweight world champion, is the pride of Mexico where boxing is second only to soccer as the nation’s favorite sport.
It is a matchup between the grand master and the young lion, although despite the ten year age difference, the two have spent nearly equal time in the ring as professionals.
This fight checks off all the requirements: big stakes for both boxers, personalities with loyal followings, a Mexico versus Puerto Rico rivalry, and two guys willing to put on a show for the fans. Best of all, it is an evenly matched fight with some unanswered questions on the table. Can Cotto complete a career resurrection thanks to trainer Freddie Roach with a victory over Alvarez to secure his Hall of Fame legacy? Can Alvarez complete his ascension to the top of the spot with a victory over an admired rival with a serious resume?
Alvarez is coming off an impressive knockout victory in just three rounds decision over American James Kirkland. Cotto’s second act includes his recent fourth round TKO over Australian Daniel Geale.
Nevertheless, the Mandalay Bay Events Center is still advertising tickets for sale. This fight should have sold out long ago; here’s hoping the procrastinators get busy. The pay per view is well worth its price, and for those looking for another way to watch at a lower ticket price, it will be shown live at movie theaters across the U.S. Ticket price is $20. For a list, click here.
Retired champion Oscar De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, said at this week’s news conference, “For Latinos all over the world, this is our Super Bowl. This is an event that not one Hispanic, not one Latino is going to miss. That is how important this event is to us. Puerto Rico vs. Mexico is like no other event for those countries. This is like our Super Bowl, that’s how important this event is.”
Should Alvarez beat Cotto and win the WBC middleweight title, a title Cotto vacated this week just prior to the fight for a host of complicated reasons, Alvarez will face a mandatory challenger for the title, Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin, a fight fans can’t wait to see. Should Cotto win, there is speculation he will drop one weight class back to 154 pounds, and seek a rematch with the allegedly retired Floyd Mayweather. There are a lot of stakes riding on the outcome of this fight for the future of both competitors.
As Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach said, “We need a fight like this. It’s great for the sport.”
NEXT: Get our predictions and keys to the fight.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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