Canelo Alvarez Beats Miguel Cotto in a Fight That Brings a Fitting End to 2015

By Whicker, Mark | Pasadena Star-News, December 18, 2015 | Go to article overview

Canelo Alvarez Beats Miguel Cotto in a Fight That Brings a Fitting End to 2015


Whicker, Mark, Pasadena Star-News


LAS VEGAS » They met in an arena on ground that was fallow desert, not long ago. It was up to Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto to restore some greenery to a boxing year that was supposed to be far lusher than it was.

They did their best.

Canelo took the WBC middleweight championship with a unanimous but suspenseful decision over the 34-year-old Cotto, who was gallant, skillful and brave. He just wasn't big or young enough to hold off Alvarez, who was supposed to wilt if Cotto turned it into a close right but kept his moorings instead.

The fight began on a tactical chessboard, quickly moved onto a Stairmaster and ended, in the 12th round, in an octagon. Canelo and Cotto rocked each other repeatedly. By that time Canelo had bigger rocks to throw. Some of his trademark uppercuts did the damage that robbed Cotto of a chance to steal the fight.

At least it looked close to most people. Judge Dave Moretti gave Cotto only one round. The Puerto Rican only won six rounds, total, on the three cards.

Maybe he didn't do enough business to get more of a break from the scorekeepers, but his feet never quit moving and he took every Canelo shot without much visible distress. His movement, which is what trainer Freddie Roach counted upon, kept Canelo from landing his poisonous combinations, and Cotto hardly ever got waylaid against the ropes.

But maybe Canelo deserves a lot more pound-for-pound attention than we've been giving him. Although Roach thought stamina would be a problem, he has, after all, gone 12 rounds in five of his past eight fights. He went 12 to beat Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara. And maybe his trainers, Chepo Reynoso and son Eddy, have a little better handle on what they're doing than people think.

Gennady Golovkin, considered the most fearsome middleweight, was at ringside, but nobody knows if he will meet Canelo next year or anytime after. But if that fight looked promising before Saturday night, it looks almost imperative now, provided Canelo elects to join Golovkin at 160 pounds.

Regardless, Canelo and Cotto reached down deep to salve some of the disappointments that have surrounded the best-awaited attractions of what was supposed to a restorative year.

Floyd Mayweather's match with Manny Pacquiao wasn't even the Fight of the Month, much less the century. …

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