Enthusiastic fans cheer Cotto, Canelo at weigh-in Friday

The fighters stepped on the scale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in front of a packed house of cheering fans.

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Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez saluted the fans who came to cheer their on at their weigh-in Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos
Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez saluted the fans who came to cheer their on at their weigh-in Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos

SAN DIEGO, November 20, 2015 – The excitement of boxing fans at the weigh-in for Saturday’s bout between Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico left no doubt about their level of enthusiasm.

People began waiting in line hours before the doors opened at 1 p.m., flying their flags, wearing their t-shirts and declaring their allegiances. No matter who they were rooting for, they all had the love of boxing in common and were good natured even after five or six hours waiting to get in.

Canelo Alvarez made the 155 pound weight limit Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos
Canelo Alvarez made the 155 pound weight limit Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos

The packed house saw middleweights Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) of Puerto Rico and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) make weight. Alvarez stepped on the scale at the exact agreed upon limit of 155 pounds, without any need to disrobe. Cotto came in at 153.5 pounds. Alvarez appears to be the bigger man overall and should rehydrate up to be significantly larger than Cotto, who admits he is not really a middleweight in the sense of being near the 160 pound division limit.

How might it affect the fight? Observers love to speculate about these issues, but it can become a tea leaf reading exercise. Will Cotto be faster than the larger Alvarez? Will Alvarez be able to defeat Cotto with his power? Is Alvarez drained from the effort to make weight? We will know the answers Saturday night.


Both fighters say they are ready. Alvarez reacted to the huge fan support at the weigh-in. “Obviously this motivates me tremendously to see all the love. The way I pay them back is to give the, a great fight.”

Miguel Cotto was comfortably under the 155 pound weight limit at 153.5 pounds Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos
Miguel Cotto was comfortably under the 155 pound weight limit at 153.5 pounds Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos

Cotto said he would rest, hydrate himself, and put his skills to work Saturday. “Freddie (Roach, his trainer) makes me a better Miguel. Everyone will see it tomorrow.”

In the featured undercard, Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0, 10 KOs) made the 122 pound super bantamweight limit as did Drian Francisco (28-3-1, 22 KOs) of the Philippines. This fight is a late addition to the lineup after Andre Ward had to withdraw due to a knee injury.

Rigondeaux is on the short list as one of the world’s best pound for pound boxers, but his championship belts were stripped due to inactivity due to business and promotion problems outside the ring. Now signed with Roc Nation, Rigondeaux was training for an opportunity to return early next year, but got the call a week ago and eagerly accepted. “Whoever has my belts, I’m going to go get them back,” said Rigondeaux after the weigh-in.

Guillermo Rigondeaux (left) and Drian Francisco pose at the weigh-in with promoter Oscar De La Hoya. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos
Guillermo Rigondeaux (left) and Drian Francisco pose at the weigh-in with promoter Oscar De La Hoya. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos

Undefeated bantamweight Randy Cabellero failed to make weight, and didn’t even get close. He came in at 123.5 pounds; the limit is 118 pounds. He wouldn’t have made weight for the super bantamweight division. The Nevada State Athletic Commission said it was too far over to even try and make the limit within the one hour grace period. An attempt to work out some sort of catchweight failed with opponent Lee Haskins. As a result, Cabellero’s IBF title was stripped. Cabellero’s trainer, his father Marcos, said they didn’t have an explanation and thought Randy was on target to make weight.

Super featherweights Takashi Miura (29-2-2) of Japan and Francisco Vargas (22-0-1) of Mexico both made the limit for their WBC title bout; Jayson Velez (23-0-1, 16 KOs) of Puerto Rico and Ronny Rios (24-1. 10 KOs) of the U.S. both weighed 125.5 for their WBC Silver featherweight fight. Heavyweight Zhang Zhilei (5-0, 3 KOs) of China weighed 264.5 pounds and opponent Juan Goode (6-2. 5 KOs) of the U.S. weighed 244 pounds. There aren’t many heavyweight boxers from China; just six are ranked by BoxRec and Zhang is number three.

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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