Cotto vs. Canelo Preview
Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez
Takashi Miura (29- 2 2D 22KOs) vs Francisco Vargas (22-0 1D 16KOs) WBC World super featherweight title
Lee Haskins (32-3 14KOs) vs Randy Caballero (22-0 13KOs)
IBF World bantamweight title
Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0 10KOs) vs Drian Francisco (28-3 22KOs)
Ronny Rios (24-1 10KOs) vs Jayson Velez (23-0 16KOs)
Alberto Machado (11-0 9KOs) vs Tyrone Luckey (8-4 2D 6KOs)
Boxing critics and fans have been largely divided between who they feel will win the much anticipated fight between Saul ‘Canelo” Alvarez and Miguel Cotto tonight.
The match-up will be a another important chapter in the infamous Mexican-Puerto Rican rivalry that exists in boxing and will help clear up the some of the smoke that clouds the middleweight division currently. Both Cotto and Canelo are two of the biggest draws in boxing now that Floyd Mayweather has retired and Manny Pacquiao has significantly faded from the spotlight.
Normally during a fight week of this magnitude, fans on social media and boxing chat rooms would be buzzing, in full-on “fight mode”. But there seems to be a noticeable lack of energy surrounding the middleweight fight.
By now you’ve heard that the WBC stripped Miguel Cotto of his title belt, just days before he was set to defend it. According to Cotto he was being asked to pay over $1.1M in fees to the sanctioning body – including a substantial amount as ‘step aside’ cash to mandatory challenger Gennady Golovkin. Clearly the Puerto Rican has no desire to face ‘GGG’ should he defeat Canelo Saturday night, and that may upset some fans, but who could blame the man for not wanting to fork over seven figures in fees? Either way, the belt is still on the line for Alvarez and both men will be fighting for the mythical lineal title that boxing purists swear by. Should all of this title nonsense even matter to the fans?
Boxing can be a tough sell late in the year, especially pay per view cards. Generally speaking, September is the cutoff month for big PPV matches. By the fourth quarter winter sports are in full swing, premium cable network budgets are tapped, and boxing fans’ wallets are empty after having purchased PPV’s earlier in the year. On top of that, this fight is just days after a Ronda Rousey fight. Rousey was upset by former boxing champion Holly Holm, which set the Twittersphere ablaze. Just days before Cotto-Canelo is set to take place, many boxing fans still tweeting/chatting about the boxing champion that upset the UFC applecart.
The effects – positive and negative – of the lackluster “super fight” between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd are still being discovered. But one thing is clear, millions of casual fight fans were left with a bad taste in their mouth after the overhyped money grab. Could this have something to do with the lack of buzz for Cotto-Canelo? In a year when boxing fans have already been asked to fork over $100 for “the fight of the century”, there was a PPV in September (Mayweather-Berto), another in October (Golovkin-Lemieux) and now Cotto-Canelo Saturday night. Much like the Mayweather cards, this PPV is more expensive than normal at $75. And then there are the tickets, which were priced way too high and now the promoters are in a mad dash to sell off numerous remaining seats at a discounted rate, just days before the bout. Who in their right mind would have believed a fight between Cotto and Canelo would have trouble selling out?!
Had Cotto-Canelo taken place last year, many analysts would have estimated a million buys on PPV. But considering all of the missteps noted above – the lack of promotion, last second scramble to secure the co-feature, the overpriced event in an oversaturated market and the peculiar venue – they’ll be lucky to get 600K buys Saturday night. None of this changes the fact that it will still be a great night of boxing headlined by a likely fight of the year candidate. It’s just a shame that once again many boxing fans are left feeling as if this could have been so much more.