Respected veteran Miguel Cotto may be the Middleweight champion, but the boxing odds are in the corner of Saul Alvarez for November's big fight at Mandalay Bay.
Yes, folks, there is life after Floyd Mayweather. When Miguel Cotto lost to Mayweather in 2012, it could have been the beginning of the end for Cotto's boxing career. Instead, he moved up in weight class and took the Middleweight title from Sergio Gabriel Martinez last summer. This is the coveted Lineal championship, too. They don't just hand those out in Cracker Jack boxes.
Cotto will put that Lineal title up for grabs on Nov. 21 when he takes on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at Mandalay Bay. Alvarez lost the Super Welterweight title to Mayweather in 2013, but has won each of his three fights since, and the boxing odds at press time have Alvarez favored at a range between –225 and –300 for this catchweight bout at 155 pounds. Apparently the market doesn't think too much of the champion in this matchup.
Fab Five Freddie
It's fair enough if people think Alvarez has the edge. He's got youth on his side at age 25, nine years Cotto's junior, and Alvarez also owns a two-inch height and 3.5-inch reach advantage. Aside from the Mayweather fight, Alvarez (45-1-1 lifetime, 32 KOs) has never lost as a pro, while Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) followed up his Mayweather match with a unanimous decision loss to Austin Trout (+240).
Just like athletes, bettors need to have short memories when they make their boxing picks. Cotto has rejuvenated himself as a middleweight, hiring Freddie Roach as his trainer and launching a three-fight win streak of his own. None of those three fights went the 12-round distance; Cotto didn't appear to lose a single round along the way, either. You could argue that he's never looked better in the ring.
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We'll leave that up for you to decide, but the early buzz surrounding this fight is that it's a very competitive matchup, maybe even a coin-flip. It's exactly the kind of fight that so-called “true” boxing fans should enjoy. It's also a battle between Puerto Rico (Cotto) and Mexico (Alvarez), and it's always a party when fans from both boxing tribes show up in Las Vegas.
This bout is close enough to a toss-up as far as we're concerned here at the ranch. There isn't anything particularly troubling about the 155-pound catchweight for either fighter – that's pretty much where both men have been fighting, anyway. Alvarez will have the opportunity to out-box Cotto from outside, but Cotto should have the advantage closer in, where Alvarez normally prefers to be.
If we had to make our boxing picks right now, we'd be taking Cotto at these odds at sportsbooks like 5Dimes, even though Alvarez might be our pick straight-up. We'll revisit this fight as we get closer to Mandalay Bay; meanwhile, the boxing odds have been moving toward Canelo, so there's no hurry if you're thinking of putting some green on Cotto. Timing is everything.