RING Ratings update: Will Canelo Alvarez make history on Saturday?
Canelo Alvarez will make history if he defeats RING middleweight champion Miguel Cotto on Saturday at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
The former RING junior middleweight champion, who is not rated at 160 pounds, would be the first Mexican ever to win the magazine’s title above 154 pounds. As it is, he’s only third fighter from his country to hold a RING title above 135 pounds.
Carlos Palomino (who was born in Mexico but lived in the U.S.) and Jorge Vaca held the welterweight title. Jose Naploes, who was born in Cuba but immigrated to Mexico, also was champion at 147 pounds.
Meanwhile, Cotto became the first Puerto Rican to win the RING middleweight title when he stopped a gimpy Sergio Martinez in June 2014 but he isn’t the first from his country to win a RING title in the heavier divisions.
Carlos De Leon was a two-time RING cruiserweight champ while Jose Torres held the light heavyweight title.
Who will prevail on Saturday? Hard to say, which is one reason this fight is so intriguing.
Some think the 35-year-old Cotto’s impressive run the past few years will come to an abrupt end against Alvarez, a naturally bigger fighter who is in his prime.
These people believe Cotto’s recent successes – victories over Delvin Rodriguez, Martinez and Daniel Geale – proved very little. Rodriguez and Geale are solid, but limited and Martinez was half a fighter because of injuries.
The 25-year-old Alvarez, they say, is too strong and too good for this version of Cotto, who lost back-to-back fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout in 2012.
Others are convinced that Cotto is rejuvenated under trainer Freddie Roach, who guided the Puerto Rican to those three victories. They say his superior skill set and experience will allow him to retain his belt.
And they point to Alvarez’s own recent fights, victories over a limited Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland, a controversial split-decision nod over Erislandy Lara and a loss to Mayweather that was more thorough than that of Cotto.
We’ll know how this turns out by around midnight ET on Saturday.
In the junior lightweight division, Romain Jacob (No. 9 last week) was upset by unrated Juli Giner on Tuesday in France. As a result, Jacob has been dropped from the ratings.
That allows Rikki Naito (No. 10 last week) to move up a notch and unbeaten Mexican Oscar Valdez to enter at No. 10.