The final part of our three-part PPV undercard preview series features Golden Boy's newest star hopeful, Saul Alvarez, taking on Miguel Cotto's brother, Jose Miguel Cotto, in welterweight action.
Saul Alvarez (30-0-1, 23 KO) v. Jose Miguel Cotto (31-1-1, 23 KO)
Welterweights, 10 Rounds
(Alvarez photo courtesy Golden Boy Promotions / Cotto photo via Primera Hora)
19-year-old Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is arguably Mexico's most exciting prospect, and on Saturday he'll get the chance to show his stuff to a massive pay-per-view audience in America. The young, exciting welterweight has already been through a few gatekeeper types, and really the toughest fight he's had to date was Larry Mosley, whom he beat via decision (97-93, 99-91, 96-94) back in 2008. The young man has been very busy already in his blossoming pro career, somewhat similar to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but with most feeling he is clearly a better fighter, with a much better chance at becoming a legitimate world class contender.
A few names you may recognize from his sheet: Lanardo Tyner (virtual shutout UD-12), Raul Pinzon (TKO-1), Michel Rosales (TKO-10), and Miguel Vazquez (UD-10). Vazquez has since moved down to lightweight and become a top 15 or top 20 guy in that weight class.
What Alvarez may lack in polish he makes up for in pure desire. That, in my estimation, may be the true difference between Alvarez and Junior Chavez. Alvarez seems like a kid who wants to fight, who wants to become one of the great Mexican warriors, join the tradition passed down through generations, and become a real contender. Chavez has always seemed complacent and, I don't know, not particularly driven to be a great fighter. He's Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. -- what was he going to do, sell cars?
Cotto, 32, is not his brother. He did represent Puerto Rico in the '96 Olympics (he lost first round) and can box. He started his pro career as a junior featherweight, and moved up the weights, settling in at lightweight. He bashed through marginal competition before landing a 2006 fight with Juan Diaz, both unbeaten and looking to stake some land in the 135-pound ranks. Diaz was given more of a test against Cotto than he was used to, but still won the fight. That was the turning point for Jose. Since then, he's gone 4-0-1 with four stoppage wins, but the best win was over Ivan Hernandez. His draw was against Prawet Singwancha. He has also, since the Diaz fight, fought exclusively (if sparingly) in Puerto Rico.
Like his brother, Jose is not a big man. At welterweight (where he's been fighting for the last few bouts, since the Singwancha draw), he's very small. Just a bit over 5'5", though with a 68" reach (one inch longer than Miguel's), he'll be facing a real size and frame disadvantage against the 5'9", 71"-reach Alvarez.
With this one, I just can't see any way for Cotto to win other than Alvarez flaming out in one night. Yes, Cotto is older, more experienced, and a fine boxer, but he's undersized and his career has been only half-there since the Diaz loss anyway. He's just not the guy to throw a wrench into Alvarez's plans. Alvarez TKO-10