Alvarez outpowers Cotto for middleweight title
LAS VEGAS (AP):
Canelo Alvarez made a case for himself as boxing's next star Saturday night, landing the bigger punches to take a unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto and win a piece of the middleweight title.
Alvarez took the fight to Cotto from the opening bell, winning rounds with big right hands and uppercuts. Cotto tried to box and had his moments, but Alvarez was clearly ahead as the crowd stood on its feet as both fighters traded punches in the final rounds.
Alvarez won the WBC version of the title that Cotto vacated days earlier for not paying sanctioning fees. His win set
up a possible megafight with Gennady Golovkin, the middleweight champion who was watching at ringside.
READY TO RUMBLE
"With all due respect, if he wants to fight right now, I'll put the gloves on and fight him," Alvarez said.
Alvarez won by scores of 117-11, 119-109, and 118-110. The Associated Press had him ahead 116-112.
Alvarez, whose only loss came to Floyd Mayweather Jr., set the tone early, winging big left hooks in the first round that Cotto largely avoided. As the fight went on, though, he began landing more of his punches as he patiently stalked Cotto around the ring.
Cotto boxed well at times and landed flurries of punches, but his didn't seem to have nearly the same power as those thrown by Alvarez. In the final rounds, Alvarez caught Cotto with a series of punches that seemed to shake him, though he was never down and never appeared in real trouble.
"It's an emotion I can't put into words," Alvarez said. "I'm very happy and much respect to Miguel Cotto. I will always respect him, and he's a great champion, but now it's my era."
Cotto expressed disappointment in the judges' decision but left the ring before speaking.
"We thought it was much closer than the scorecards showed," said Cotto's trainer, Freddie Roach. "It was a competitive fight."
Alvarez went into Cotto's locker room after the fight, saying "I admire you" to the fighter he just beat.
Alvarez was a 3-1 favourite coming into the bout, largely because he is 10 years younger than Cotto and a bigger puncher. The ages didn't seem to make a difference, but the ringside judges were surely influenced by the harder punches that the red-headed Alvarez landed.
Cotto was credited with throwing 629 punches to 484 for Alvarez, but Alvarez landed 155 to 129 for Cotto.
Cotto had vowed to pull the upset by using his boxing skills, and at times he was quite effective. But by the third round, Alvarez was landing some of the big punches he was winging at Cotto.
Cotto, who earned $15 million, fell to 40-5, while Alvarez improved to 46-1-1.