When I texted one of my good friends to ask what he thought of the match up between Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto he told me that fight would hinge on the footwork of the two boxers. He said “Canelo has cinder blocks on his feet and has terrible movement.” He also said that if I were a betting man, which I am, that I should put my money on Cotto to pull the upset.
I went against his advice and I’m slightly richer for it.
My friend was right, though. It was clear from the opening bell that Cotto’s plan was to dance around his flat footed opponent all night. Cotto out boxed Alvarez for the entirety of the bout. If boxing was like figure skating and the judges were looking at the purity of the technique, Cotto wins all 12 rounds.
But boxing is mostly about inflicting damage. Those cinder blocks that were attached to Alvarez’s feet were apparently attached to his hands too because everything that he landed, landed hard. Cotto was looking real nice with his own quick combos but nothing he landed really seemed to phase Alvarez. Alvarez would get hit with a couple of hooks and jabs, shake it off, and get ready to come forward again. But Alvarez was landing those punches that make you reevaluate your life choices. Cotto got hit with one of those uppercuts in the late rounds and you could see him thinking, “Damn, maybe I should go back to school and get my bachelor’s” When Cotto was eating punches in bunches during an intense exchange in the 8th round it looked like he was making retirement plans in his head like, “I wonder if HBO would hire me as analyst when my career is over. I speak better English than Roy Jones Jr anyway”
Alvarez had the overall advantage in percentage of punches landed but absolutely dominated in the power punch category landing 40 percent while Cotto was only able to land 14 percent. Numbers like that have me questioning the sanity of Freddie Roach.
The scary part about what we saw from Alvarez is that he doesn’t need to try to box with his opponents. He tried to box with Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather had him swing at air. (Except for that one time where he made really solid contact with the ropes.)
This version of Alvarez knew his limitations and stayed in his lane. He doesn’t have footwork. He just kinda walks towards you and looks to land hay makers like he did against James Kirkland.
The best part of that highlight is when the ref says “show me something,” to Kirkland and Kirkland gets slept and does his best impersonation of someone with narcolepsy.
The people who doubted Alvarez thought that a superior boxer would pick him apart. But when he’s making up for his lack of footwork with above average head movement, taking advantage of his 70.5 inch reach, and landing his power punches with accuracy like he did against Cotto, he’ll be damn near unbeatable.
He’s not overly technical and now he knows he doesn’t have to be. He’s like Rick Ross, he ain’t trippin’ on the technical parts of his style too much. He’s just gonna make sure those hooks hit hard.