Amateur boxing and professional boxing differ in many ways, but key among them in tonight’s showdown between Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was the way each differ from the other in scoring. Amateur boxing gives relatively more consideration to volume of punches and work rate whereas professional boxing focuses more on how much damage punches inflict. In short, this provides a summary of the fight tonight: Miguel Cotto performed with heart and skill in out-working Alvarez, but the more precise shots of the Mexican fighter may have been what hinged the victory in favor of Alvarez.
The fight went the full twelve rounds, and maintained more or less the same dynamic throughout. Cotto was agile and quick on his feet, landing sharp jabs and combinations then stepping out of range. Occasionally Cotto would stay inside with Alvarez and endure a ferocious exchange with the Mexican fighter. Then there were sporadic counter punches landed crisply by Alvarez as Cotto charged in on the offensive. The head-snapping shots came largely from Alvarez, though Cotto showed no shortage of heart in stepping to Alvarez consistently throughout the fight.
The typical reaction to a fight of this magnitude is to ficus on the victorious boxer, though in this case that would belie to wonderful performance of Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto. Not only did he box with skill throughout the entirety of the night, his performance left no doubt that Alvarez’s new-Golden Boy aura and popularity meant nothing to him.
Looking forward, the next comparable event in Saul Alvarez’s career might be a fight with seemingly unstoppable middleweight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Golovkin is coming off of a win from a fight with Canadian power puncher David Lemieux, putting him in an equally famed class of fighter as that of Alvarez. And with a knockout percentage of over 90%, a fight with Golovkin could prove to be the explosive event fans love to drink in. If tonight’s bout failed to live up to your expectations for a slug-fest, that event just might.