The main story to come out of this past Saturday's round of fights is the clear fact that Miguel Cotto is not a top-flight junior middleweight. Cotto exercised an immense amount of energy to make up for the difference in size between himself and his opponent, Austin Trout. However, try as the Puerto Rican fan-favorite may, he was worn out against a man that was bigger, faster, and younger than he was. And so, I must say that while Cotto was the real story of this past weekend, it was Trout who was our revelation.
Therefore, it gives me great displeasure when I listen to reports stating Richard Schaefer is claiming a fight between Cotto and Canelo Alvarez is still a legitimate possibility for the first Saturday in May.
Uh, huh, wha....?
Yes, folks, that's right. I'm not in the least bit excited about seeing Cotto, a blown-up welterweight, take on Canelo, Lord and Conqueror of the Blown-up Welterweights.
"Oh, but this makes business sense, Kory! It will fill up the MGM Grand in Vegas! "
Yeah, so would a rematch between Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather. Give me a break.
And, yes, I know. Money, like time, conquers all. Fiscally, the matchup would make sense, at least in the short-term. But realize what would happen here. It's going to be pay=per-view. We know this, and, no, it's not going to magically be $29.95 or some hallucinatory crap like that. It's likely going to be at least $49.95 for non-HD, probably more.
And the main issue won't even be the price. It's going to be a mismatch inside the ring. How will you (and every other fan who pays good money for this) feel after you watch a man get mugged and probably beaten into retirement (assuming that didn't already happen last Saturday)? How likely will fans be enticed to buy another pay-per-view if they witness a beating in the main event? Especially when one man just received a clear loss in his previous fight, and is being brought back so the star can take his licks. This is like when a mother bird eats food then regurgitates it back up so it's soft and squishy enough for the little baby chicks to eat and digest it safely. Nature.
And how about Canelo's recent run of domination, huh? He's just running roughshod through the junior middleweight class. Sergio Martinez better head for the hills before he gets devoured as well.
Just look at this murderers row of Canelo's last eight fights: Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, Kermit Cintron, Alfonso Gomez, Ryan Rhodes, Matthew Hatton, Lovemore Ndou, and Carlos Baldomir.
Of that entire group I would say there was one really legitimate threat to Canelo. That would be Rhodes, a solid pro in his own right that was seen as a legitimate step-up for Canelo at the time (because he was). After that? Uh, well he did look impressive on his way to getting the "KO of the Night" bonus against blown-up junior welter Josesito Lopez (a bonus which, oddly, seems to disappear when Canelo doesn't fight). Mosley and Cintron were above their best weight and finished. Hatton is, well, Hatton is Ricky's brother. That's honestly all you can say about him. Oh and he tries really, really hard.
Does anybody remember Canelo's fight with Gomez on the Mayweather - Victor Ortiz undercard? Gomez was cleanly outboxing Canelo. Yes, that Alfonso Gomez. Then, suddenly, Canelo landed one punch and the referee jumped in faster than me getting into a Ponderosa buffet line. No truth to the rumor that they gave the KO bonus to the ref that night.
But, in all seriousness, for a guy ranked by Ring Magazine as the best 154 in the world (they actually have him behind Mayweather who doesn't really fight there) his resume is terrible. So while Trout defeats Delvin Rodriguez and Cotto in his last two fights, somehow Canelo is ranked higher? Hello? (OK, it's not Canelo's fault he is ranked there, but I just wanted to point out how silly their rankings can be for certain fighters.)
My point with all of this rambling is that it's time for Canelo Alvarez to step up to the plate. You can say how he couldn't help it that Paul Williams had a tragic accident and that Victor Ortiz is, well, Victor Ortiz. But, at the same time, I didn't hear Erislandy Lara's phone ringing or Carlos Molina's. They didn't want to up the pay enough for James Kirkland to take the chance on short notice. They didn't have to turn to turn to Lopez in September, and, contrary to what Schaefer may tell us, they do not have to put Canelo in with Cotto.
If Golden Boy is insistent on telling us they want to change boxing then it could start right here, right now. Forcing Canelo - Cotto to go through because, regardless of recent events, it's the safer thing in the short-term, would be the "old way" of doing things. If they're about competitive boxing matches featuring the best squaring off against the best then there is really one way to go with Canelo, their big meal-ticket, this May.
Make Canelo share the ring with Austin Trout. It may produce less money, but it will produce more cheers.