In front of a raucous crowd akin to a soccer game, two of the biggest names in boxing appeared together on the dais to announce the November 21 WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight world championship bout at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.
The Mexican-Puerto Rican rivalry will be renewed when Canelo Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) challenges the middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs).
“This is a 50/50 fight,” said Canelo immediately before taking the stage to face off with Cotto. “You can’t pick a winner and it’s because of our styles. My mental preparation will be the difference.”
Both fighters share common opponents in the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Austin Trout and Shane Mosely and there will be no shortage of film for both camps to study.
“We will look at his wins and his losses and I just know that physically I will have to be my best to beat him,” Canelo said.
Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya believes the stakes are very high in this fight for Canelo.
“Canelo understands he can be the guy in boxing,” De La Hoya said. “It’s time! It’s time we have a new fighter to carry the torch and it will be Canelo.”
Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach is very pleased with the matchup and wished the bout took place sooner.
“I was very disappointed when the fight didn’t happen the first time,” Roach said. “This is the fight I waned for Miguel and it will determine who the best in the world is at 160.”
The contract states the fight will have a catchweight at 155.
“Catchweights are a loophole someone created in boxing so we use it if it gives us an advantage,” Roach said. “On fight night the catchweight usually has no effect.”
Perhaps the catchweight clause was the major point of contention in all negotiations for Cotto’s opponents.
“The negotiations were tough for this fight as they are with all fights,” De La Hoya added. “He’s the champion and they had the upper hand. We understood that. He’s coming out second which he should because he’s the champion.”
The winner of this bout will surely be looking at the winner of another thrilling middleweight bout this fall between Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux.
Neither the 34-year-old Cotto nor the 25-year-old Canelo had any interest pondering on what a date with Golovkin could mean in terms of legacy and dollars.
Both men are just fine thinking about each other for the next three months much to the delight of the fans who nearly toppled the barriers to rush the dais to meet their heroes and show off their nationalistic pride.
All photos by Brant Wilson/RBRBoxing