Bettors are busy putting Canelo in their boxing picks for November's fight against Miguel Cotto.There's a lot of handicapping to do, as we give out the betting trends to the test.
It might look like a coin flip on paper, but the boxing odds tell a different story. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez opened as a –235 favorite for his big Nov. 22 fight against Miguel Cotto; since we first checked in on this matchup, Alvarez has steamed all the way to –320. His popularity is understandable – the former Light Middleweight champion is 45-1-1 lifetime with 32 knockouts, his only loss coming at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013.
Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) also lost to Mayweather back in 2012. He's got three more losses on top of that, and he's nine years older than Canelo. But Cotto is the current WBC and lineal Middleweight champion, and he's used his pull to get this fight at a catchweight of 155 pounds. As Frank Lotierzo at The Sweet Science noted a few days ago, Cotto appears to be taking the Mayweather approach when it comes to tailoring his fights to his advantage.
A Five-Pound Bag
Fighting at 155 pounds is definitely a plus for Cotto. He's naturally the smaller man in this matchup, two inches shorter than the 5-foot-9 Alvarez. It's not a difficult weight for Alvarez, who fought at 155 in each of his last three victories after the Mayweather loss. But it does prevent Canelo from taking full advantage of his size.
Every little advantage is going to count in what should be a close fight. A decision is likely in the cards; the total at press time is 11.5 rounds with the OVER priced at –175, although that's down from –195 at the open. These aren't two passive fighters, mind you. Alvarez knocked out six of his last 10 opponents, while Cotto has five KO victories in his last 11 fights, and might have had one more had Sergio Gabriel Martinez answered the bell for the 10th round of their 2014 bout.
We shouldn't overlook Cotto's defensive gifts, either. He's not speedy in the ring, but he's got very good footwork, and the ability to switch between orthodox and southpaw stances. Alvarez, meanwhile, has a strong chin and a patient approach. We've seen Canelo destroy one-dimensional opponents like Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland, but versus Cotto, we can expect a more cerebral fight.
We also might see the winner of Cotto-Alvarez go on to face Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. That's what WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman wants to see; if Cotto or Alvarez decides to duck that fight, Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) will be upgraded from interim to undisputed WBC champ, adding to his WBA and IBO titles. Of course, that's assuming Golovkin makes it past David Lemieux this October. The boxing picks are pending for that fight, but we'll go out on a limb and pencil in GGG for the win, and a shot at a major payday versus either Cotto or Canelo. Now those are High Stakes.