JUST when you’ve had one mega-fight, two come along in the same calendar year. Puerto Rican idol Miguel Cotto versus Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is about as big a fight as can be made after Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao. But Cotto, no stranger to super-fights himself, remains marvelously tactiturn on the matter.
“I just can say that this fight is just another fight. I’m going to go to L.A. when we decide to go there [to train with Freddie Roach], do my best as always, and go for Vegas to beat Canelo the night of [November 21],” he said. “In my era, Canelo is just another name. Bring another big name to my record, and that’s what I see in Canelo for my fight.”
Cotto is a warrior, he says little when his fists tend to do all the talking he needs. “I’m not a real big fan of boxing. I’m just enjoy boxing when I’m boxing. But I know Canelo is a great fighter. I know he is a strong boxer. But I’m going to prepare enough to beat him the night of the 21st,” he continued.
That’s not to say Cotto doesn’t fully expect a war. “Everybody knows what a fight between a Mexican and Puerto Rican means for boxing. People can expect the same from us,” he said.
His trainer Freddie Roach added, “We have a big game plan for Miguel and we are going to work on that together. He’ll be in great shape of course. I don’t think [Canelo] is stronger than us to be honest with you, and I don’t think that’s a factor in the fight. I think we’re stronger than him. I think we’re the better puncher, and we will show on fight night. But we will come up with a big game plan like we did in the last three fights. Miguel is a really hard worker and he’s very dedicated. Me and him, we do work very well together and I expect this to be one of the greatest fights of all time.
“[Canelo] is a good fighter. He’s a young guy. He’s a good puncher. He’s been in there with everybody. I think his last fight [James Kirkland], it wasn’t a very high calibre opponent; and then someone told me, ours wasn’t either. And I said, no, ours [Daniel Geale] was; ours was a former two time world champion.
“I think this is a big step up for him and I think that we’re going to, Miguel will take him to school. I think we’re just too smart. We’re going to come out with a really good, great game plan. Me and Miguel worked really hard on that, we work really hard together and we are going to be at our best for this one. Again, this is a big, big fight for us.”
Both men are fearsome punchers but for Cotto it’s ringcraft that will be essential. “I only have to be smart,” the Puerto Rican insisted, “not strong enough to put him down. I have to be smart enough to do the job.
“When you have more than one tool in your bag, the opponent can bring whatever style he wants to bring, and you have something in your bag for it. We’ll do the same for this fight.”