Saul Alavarez On The Offense


San Francisco, CA– As I sit with MacBook in lap, I’m in a quagmire when it comes to writing either boxing or MMA. Too many hot topics to write about, while at the same there is the fear that somebody will beat you to the story. So, what’s a guy to do? The headline gives it all away, but if you’re not catching on, the next big fight of 2012 will not involve either Manny Pacquiao or the man that would “own” him if they did fight, Floyd Mayweather. The fight that has the telephone lines between boxing’s powerbrokers, excluding Don King, Boob Arum or Gary Shaw, the top dog in the new generation of boxing shot callers Richard Schaffer of Golden Boy Promotions will be dealing directly with Miguel Cotto Promotions and the HBO PPV suits to insure that Saul Alvarez will be defending the WBC 154 lb. laurels against the man that gave Floyd Mayweather a good fight Saturday night, Miguel Cotto in September.

Miguel Cotto Wants Alvarez


For those that thought the Mayweather-Cotto fight was close, you’re either Puerto Rican like Cotto, a member of the Klu Klux Klan, or you don’t know the criteria in scoring professional boxing. For those of that don’t know the exact method of scoring a fight, I’ll break it down for you. 1) Clean punching. 2) Effective Aggressiveness. 3) Defense. 4) Ring Generalship. That being the way professional boxing is scored, if you can sit there with a straight face and say that Cotto was superior in any of these four categories, your nose is growing like Pinocchio. There is no getting around it, Mayweather was by far the superior fighter Saturday evening.


Seeing I go back to fights like Salvador Sanchez’s win over Wilfredo Gomez in 1981, that means I’ve got tenure on 99% of the guys writing today as well as most of you great readers. It was a night you’ll never forget that was proceeded by Gomez weighing 130 lbs. for a 126 lb. title fight at 8 AM that morning. After a few hours of drying out in a sauna, Sanchez, the WBC and the Nevada Athletic Commission allowed the fight to go on a 126 lb. title fight even thought I’m told Gomez got below 128 1/4. This was indeed a strange scenario seeing Gomez went to bed within a whisker of 126 lbs. the night, this according to the honorable World Boxing Organization President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel.


Gomez, considered the greatest 122 lb. champion in history, seeing fighting at super bantamweight, he went like 35-0, 33 KOs before moving up to 126 lbs. to fight Sanchez. The real big fight for Puerto Rico’s Gomez was his destruction of Mexican and World 118 lb. champion Carlos Zarate. Many of Gomez’s wins at 122 were against marginal fighters, but the KO of Zarate was a “benchmark” moment for Gomez. After getting a facial bone broken in the first round supposedly from a Sanchez right, Gomez tried for eight rounds before the late Sanchez put Wilfredo’s undefeated mark six feet under with a TKO 8. From that point forward, Gomez was never the same. Sanchez, who was said to be the original blood doper, this by a high-ranking member of the WBC hierarchy, died about a year later when he was rushing back to training camp in the early morning after what could best be described as a “booty call.”


Driving at a high rate of speed, said to be in excess of 85 or 90 MPH, Sanchez, the once beaten WBC featherweight (126) champion who was supposed to meet the late great Alexis Arguello of Nicaragua at 135 in either his next fight or the one after that, rear ended a truck carrying live chickens to market and died if not on impact, shortly thereafter. This only proves that men will jump through just about any hoop to have sex.


Back to the Sanchez-Gomez fight, the crowd in the Caesars Palace Sports Pavilion, which in the mind of many fans and media members alike, was the greatest boxing arena ever. The rabid and split 50-50 down the middle of crowd Mexican-Puerto Rican fans had a battle of the bands pre-fight. The Mexican Mariachis were on one side of the ring, while a Salsa band from Puerto Rico was belting out tunes 20 or so feet apart!


While it appears the MGM Grand Garden Arena will be the venue, that’s only because the Mandalay Bay Events Center is about 5,000 seats smaller and is controlled by the same corporation that has the MGM Grand. With the aforementioned Caesars Palace out of the fight game, the Las Vegas economy hurting financially, Steve Wynn’s Mirage Hotel disinterested in resenting boxing, not only is the MGM Grand the biggest “Sin City” venue, but it has the deepest pockets.


The days of outdoor fights in Las Vegas, be it Mike Tyson fights at the Las Vegas Hilton, Larry Holmes-Michael Spinks at the Riviera Hotel, Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns or Marvin Hagler headlining at Caesars are dead, just like fights like the Buster Douglas-Evander Holyfield scrap the Mirage are history, thus the MGM Grand is the only venue that really works. The Thomas & Mack Arena on the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) campus is dead except for college basketball and an occasional professional wrestling match or concert.


Although Saul Alvarez is a 2 1/2 to 1 favorite over Cotto in the mind of this handicapper, it is not my intent to predict a winner, my job here is to let you the boxing fan what time it really is! By the way, who do you like, Alvarez or Cotto?

Pedro Fernandez


  • By now we all know Paedro goes back to the Sanchez-Gomez fight, he recaps it again every few months… wasnt such a headscratcher for me, I picked Sanchez from the start.

    Speaking pf which, my father was convinced that Sanchez must be on something back in those days. He though Sanchez had inhuman energy levels. He fought all the time, these were FIFTEEN round bouts and Sanchez often did his best work in the 14th &15th of close fights.

    Thinking back to the Forde fight contested at such a demanding pace and technical level against an opponent who fought him evenly for 13 rounds and showing no signs of wilting, so Sanchez finds yet another gear, producing an endless stream of laser-like straight rights of which there were simply too many to defend and respond to them all.

    If people think many of todays fighters are juiced, then what the hell was Sanchez on to maintain his kind of work rate while shaking of any mistake he got nailed with???

    Doping was alive and well in many sports since the late 60s. There some athletes refused to participate in Olympic qualifying for the Munich & Montreal games as a protest. There are some long-distance running, swimming and powerlifting records still standing from the late 70s & early 80s … their stuff was just as powerful, reason for replacing it is to stay ahead of testing and because new PEDs are apparently somewhat safer if taken under expert supervision?

  • I`m tired of the double standard that comes up all the time in Mayweather`s favor. How come every time a Mayweather punch catches 50% glove & 50% head it`s considered a good punch, but whenever an opponents punch skims off any part of Floyd`s guard on the way in, they say the punch isn`t really landing! The 10th round was a typical example of a round where Floyd hit little except glove and yet was given the round by all three judges ( I scored it 10-10).

    Doesnt change the ultimate result of the fight, but it skews the scoring a little and its a tiresome mantra. Mayweather won 4 of the first 5 rounds fairly easily (I gave Cotto the edge in the 3rd) all the while poking holes through Cotto`s defense just as I expected.

    But in the middle rounds, Cotto blocked just as effectively as Mayweather. Somehow, against logic, Cotto`s static, passive Hand-On-Ear with a slightly lowered tuck was able to block or disipate most of mayweathers rights – which were no longer being thrown with the same commitment or variety of angles, probably because Cotto`s punches now had to be taken into account.

    There`s no question Cotto deserved rounds 6,7 & 8. It is quite possible Floyd let him in to it in order to help deliver the stoppage which he had takenn the unusual step of calling for – but at some point he lost full control of the situation and Cotto was way more competitive than he should have been.

    Mayweather came out for the 7th, 8th & 9th looking clearly looking to make statements and pull the plug on any Cotto mini-rally, much as Roy Jones did when he dropped Mike McCallum in their fight … but Mayweather was unable to get Cotto out of his face, much less drop him. It wasn`t until late in the 11th that he fully regained control – with some help form all the counter-productive bouncing and legwork on which Cotto wasted much energy.

    Ultimately, Mayweather still wins. I had it 7:4:1, could live with a point or two either way.

    Clearly though, no longer in his prime. Still has tons of talent and craft to fall back on … but falling back on it he is.

  • My personal opinion is that MP would not hold up well in the weeks leading up to a clash with Mayweather, that ‘Money’ would indeed get into his head and into the head of Freddie Roach. MP is tough and has given us some compelling performances, but why do I envision him caving within 10 rounds if and when they ever meet in the ring?

  • Ronald Cameron

    Another good article Pedro.

    I’m old enough to remember when Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez went to war with then-undefeated KO legend, Carlos Zarate and also his fight with Salvador Sanchez. Gomez was GREAT fighting at 122 pounds and was one of the most exiting fighters of all time.

    As for Salvador Sanchez, he was one of my favorites and it was a shame that he left us way too soon. A match-up between him and the legendary Alexis Arguello would have been something to see.

    Speaking of fights that did not take place that were talked about, there were talks of a Roberto Duran vs Alexis Arguello match-up back in the late 70’s but Duran moved up to Welterweight. If the two would have tangled back in 1978, I would have gave the edge to the “Hands of Stone” in a fight that would have been similar to Pryor vs Arguello 1.

    As for Cotto vs Alvarez, to be perfectly honest, I’m not completely sold on Canelo Alvarez. He’s a decent offense fighter, but his defense is suspect to say the least. He’s young and he should improve in time, but he is still a work in progress. If he were to fight Cotto, the only way Cotto wins that fight is if he knocks him out. I hate to put it that way, but I have NO faith in most judges and even less faith in Jose Sulaiman. As for the fight, Cotto would have his moments and at times he would make Alvarez look like an amateur, but Cotto would fade down the stretch and lose a hard fought decison, something like `116-112 on the scorecards.

  • Todaline,
    Point there, pacs balls are held by bob, but pac did opened up, fmj wants random testing?Ok! But now fmj wants a bigger part of the pie rather than half, whats he gonna ask next once pac agrees on the money issue? Have pacs one hand tied? Both men have some issue but i think floyd has some more tantrums to pacify first before he would agree to fight pac. Manny did a better job mutating cotto’s face compared to what fmj did, both men are getting older as time passes by, dont you wanna make the fight happen?

  • So Oliver, where were you when Pac decided to “retaliate” to Floyd’s demands of random tests with a whopping 10 Millions $? Where were your criticism of Pac when Floyd agreed to that and Pac promptly went back on his promise to accept 14 days cut out for the test? As for Arum, don’t you find it fishy that Pac NEVER fights ANYONE not signed by Arum? Don’t you find it bizarre that Floyd was “so scared” of Cotto when Miguel was at Top Rank but that fear vanishes as soon as Cotto leaves Arum?

  • Pedro Fernandez

    nothing wrong with random tests!

  • Why is it ridiculous asking for a random test? Nowadays there’s a lot of athletes using roids, he is making sure that none has an outside advantage, I don’t agreed with the money issue, it should be 50/50, both of them have star power…

  • Javier Saldivar

    Pedro, You really think Pacquiao is a joke? I don’t like Floyd the person, but I still have to admire his boxing skills. Have an open mind, just for a second. Floyd Mayweather, and his brain trust are not willing to take such a risk at this stage in his career. They feel that they’ve worked too hard for this record, and facing Pacquiao at this point is too risky. Absolutely no 1 will convince me otherwise.

  • Pedro,
    So your issue with pac is the catchweight of his choice, but what about fmj’s ludicrous requests like random tests, the money issue and blamin bob etc? I mean both men had their differences but i think your not giving pac his fair share…

  • Pedro Fernandez

    pacs a joke, oliver. u can live with catchweight wins and ducking floyd.

  • Pedro,
    Is it me or its just unfair that when pac fights the fighters that fmj fought, you compare how good fmj was (ex mosley, marquez) which pac didnt finished on a knockout fashion and you were disappointed to pac and started reviving the peds issue that he was not using it anymore ergo pac underperformed. But comparing the fight fmj vs cotto, you still manage to kiss the gayweather ass where in fact pac did a better job on pounding a much younger cotto then. Cotto aged a lot since the pac fight and i looked and compared the pictures on both the fmj and pac after fights, cotto was in better shape after the fight with fmj.

    Being a “journalist” you should know what fair journalism means pedro.

  • Javier Saldivar

    I wasn’t sold on the fact that Floyd was fighting a true Jr middle weight. Give me a break, they are the same size, Cotto is really a 147 fighter max. How can you say a true middle weight when the guy moved up in weight to 154, and hasn’t fought the best comp at that weight class? The real Jr middle weights are Canelo, Martinez, Williams, etc. Martinez can’t even make 160, and only moved up because nobody wanted to fight him, he’s really a Jr middle weight. If they make the Cotto vs Canelo fight, I believe Canelo is just to big for him and will seriously hurt him.

  • Pedro Fernandez

    You and me think alike Mike! Thanks for your input!

  • I had it 10- 2 with Money winning easily. Cotto is no more than a good punching bag and Canelo would beat him comfortably. Trout at 154 would be even versus Canelo and I would pick Austin with neutral officials.

  • Pedro Fernandez

    EVERYBODY has an opinion at RingTalk.com Thanks, Ray

  • I don’t know what fight were you watching Pedro, but Cotto/May was indeed close. I had it 115-113 for Mayweather and many other articles as well. 7 rds. May to Cotto’s 5. I don’t have the title of a professional boxing judge, however, I’m much more accurate than most judges, and I do know the criteria for judging boxing matches. In addition I’am Puertorican but that’s got nothing to do with it. I’m not bias toward Cotto. The scoring given on this given fight was B,S. On the Clean Punching you brought up, Cotto might’ve not connected many punches cleanly to Mayweather’s face, but he conducted a pretty effective body attack, while Mayweather wasn’t connecting anything significant that would’ve gave him the round (I’m talking about the rounds that Cotto won). Effective aggressiveness, Mayweather was pretty effective when he attacked, specially with the right hand, but that didn’t occurred throughout the whole fight. The rds. that May did win he connected clean uppercuts, right hooks and straight punches. Defense: May’s defense was way better, however defense alone doesn’t win a fight. Let’s say that Cotto was attacking and Mayweather was basically demonstrating his great defense skills, who would you give the round to? Most definitely to the attacker based on aggressiveness. Isn’t that true? Defense: Obviously May’s defense is probably one of the greatest ever, however, the rounds that he made Cotto miss, he didn’t make him pay. Ring generalship: May’s is also a greater boxer than Cotto is, however there was a round that Cotto boxed Money and he did beautifully. So I don’t know what you are talking about the fight being judged correctly. If I was a boxer I wouldn’t want you as a judge.

  • Cotto defeats Canelo with some room to spare…

  • Pedro Fernandez

    Plenty of merit here Garfos. Pedro

  • Canelo should be fighting his mandatory, this is freaking ridiculous if he fight Cotto next, what is this a recycling sport or boxing? Rizzo say it like it is, they are always the same boxers on HBO and SHO it doesn’t matter if they lose or not, Mosley hasn’t won in ages, still he is alway fighting in the main event, time for new blood to be known, the Vanes and Lara’s of the world…

  • Pedro Fernandez

    Javier, Does not make a difference re: Mayeather-Pacquiao! Thanks, Pedro

  • Javier Saldivar

    Sometimes superior boxing skills are not enough. Sometimes a tough son of a bitch with a will to win comes along and breaks conventional wisdom. Think Chavez vs Taylor, Rios vs Acosta.

  • Pedro Fernandez

    Walrus, although some suspected of SRL using Performance Enhancing Drugs against Hagler in 1987, they were not as previlent as they were since the beginning of this century. And if I were to fight the Filipino, I’d be asking for the same thing Floyd is. I’m not a fan of Floyd the person, but Floyd the boxer, he would “slaugher” Manny Pacquiao, even the masses of the Filipino realize this, that’s why you don’t hear from hundreds of them anymore.

    Like conditioning coach Alex Ariza said and I will quote him verbatim. “Last night (in Pac-Marquez III) Manny was exposed.” Enough said, Walrus, thanks for taking the time to share your opionions with us! Pedro

  • @Stickltln,
    Just for clarification, I don’t hate FM. I admire him for his skills and accomplishment in the ring. It’s just that looking back at the boxing greats of the past there were no dramas being concocted the way it is now with FM. He keeps talking about MP must take the test, etc. Did you hear Leonard, Hearns, Hagler, Duran, Ali, Frazier etc. making alibis. No they cemented their legacy by fighting the best out there. Such is the spirit of boxing in America in the past era. I am just disgusted that the fight is not gonna happen. MP has his share of the blame too but that discussion is for another day.

  • Pedro Fernandez

    E-Man, thank for the time and your comments! Pedro

  • Mr. Fernandez, nice comment about the Cotto/Mayweather scoring. Cotto represented proud Puerto Rico like a true champion, but I gave Cotto only three (3) rounds (117-111, Floyd). Cotto was very aggressive in stages throughout the fight, but Floyd’s counterpunching (especially off the ropes) was masterful. I believe a lot of subjective fans – whether for love of Cotto or hatred of Floyd – believed Cotto won the rounds (or even the fight) because of Cotto’s aggressiveness and also because they were not used to seeing Floyd get hit a little more than usual. Cotto was unable to sustain his level of aggression because Floyd’s body punching, rare uppercuts and lead/counter right hands created a mental stumbling block for Cotto – Cotto has a history of mental stumbling blocks under fire at times. Folks continue to underestimate or even discount Floyd’s punching power (especially the Pacquaio fans).

    Unfortunately, Cotto’s mental blocks in the later rounds allowed Floyd to facilitate his game plan of throwing heavy blows on Cotto in the center of the ring. Nonetheless, Cotto fought valiantly, but I find it hard pressed and highly suspect to give Cotto more than four (4) rounds in the fight. Just like in previous fights, Cotto lost because he was unable to overcome his mental stumbling blocks under fire, and Floyd seized the moment later in the fight. By the way, if Cotto had mental stumbling blocks under Floyd’s punches, I know dog gone well Cotto will have a mental collapse under Canelo’s punches (Canelo by TKO over Cotto). E-Man.

  • Pedro, another Victim for FMJ, as predicted by those in the KNOW. Cotto, tough a Huge Heart, does NOT have the ‘POP’ in his hands to defeat a strong, sturdy, hardened VET like FMJ. The other vaariable was Floyd’s long ‘Off Time’. Aging, and at 35, is days are limited at the Very Top level of talented Boxer/Punchers, in or near his weight. Mayweathwer pays the PRICE TRAINING, and it was evident this SAT Past. Review the tape, with No Sounds, No Comments form the ‘Peanut Gallery’, and confirm the FACT that it wasn’t Close. Miguel is a Champion in his own right, and did fight fearlessly as he always does. Go back to 2009, Nov. and watch the PAC-MAN and COTTO dis-mantling. The ‘Better Man’, inside the Squared Circle prevailed at the MGM. But Cotto’s head is still held high, and he needs to prove nothing to anybody, anymore. Scoring is done with the ‘Objective Obesrvation’ with the EYES/EARS/HEAD, and Not the HEART! Round By Round! Someone always feels a bit cheated/shorted/baised/over-looked, after the Decision is rendered.

  • I myself don’t like FM but he totally out box Cotto,And cotto and Canalo would be a good fight,I would go with Canalo because Cotto is slow in the last round and Canalo his a hard Puncher>

  • Great scoop. Yet another big, big boxing event. No catchweights, no b.s! Let’s get ready to rumble!!!!

  • I think Canelo beats Cotto. He’s much bigger, stronger and a better puncher. I think he has a hard time with bigger 154 pounders such as Austin Trout(who dominated Caleo’s older brother) as well as Lara who has a laser accurate left hand. I think the best matchup for Canelo at this point would be either Molina or Kirkland if he can’t fight Cotto. Cotto looked good against Mayqeather, but that was because of the style matchup and Floyd isn’t a 154 pounder. I think Canelo should fight Floyd now, since Floyd is 35. Canelo won’t beat Floyd but I think no one would hold it against him for losing to the best boxer in the world. He’s actually a bigger version of Cotto anyways and throws more punches and better combo’s and is fresher.

  • @WALRUS: every writer has their biases. Scoop may be as anti-FM as PF is anti-MP. The only people who really know why the fight isn’t going to happen are those directly involved.

    “the man that would “own” him if they did fight” while I agree FM showed he was the superior boxer, I’m not convinced he would “own” MP. Would I would still bet on him to win, based on their respective performances against Cotto, I think it’ll be closer than implied

  • On paper, this looks like a lucrative match and a big PPV material. I got a lot of respect for Canelo’s talent and skills but Cotto will knock him out plain and simple.
    I don’t want to compare but Cotto beat a much younger Mosley, but it’s not why I think he’s an easy fight for Miguel but Cotto won that using virtually only jabs, he’s faced tougher opponents and recently if he could give someone like Floyd a very tough fight, imagine how he would manhandle a slower Canelo, it’s mismatch at this point I believe. Alvarez has the tools to be a great fighter, but I don’t see how he could beat Cotto right now

  • I favor Canelo cause cotto is having a hard time against hard punchers.

  • Scottish SteveG

    Great match-up! Let’s hope they make the fight and it happens before the end of the year. Tough call/pick ’em…but age/youth/freshness make me lean towards Canelo, though if Saul faces then same Cotto that FMJ just did then he’d be in for a hard night and a tough fight. Fingers crossed.
    BTW – reports have appeared in this mornings Brit press that Lamont Peterson has just failed a random drugs test and it has put the Khan rematch in jeopardy. You guys over there already know about this? Or is it just (more) BS fight-hype?


  • Floyd landed some clean shots no doubt as a result of Cotto making the fight. In other words if it were up to Mayweather we would have seen a lot more posing. Additionally, I had Cotto winning 4-5 rounds outright, with a couple other rounds that were very close. Miguel didn’t get credit for the body work that opened up Floyd a bit in the latter rounds either. If I watched the fight a second time I might see more subtleties from Mayweather, but in real time I think Cotto was effective by way of putting his punches together,while Floyd’s shots, although rocking Miguel a couple times to include the last round where he dominated, didn’t deter the Puerto Rican much at all from what I remember. In other words effective aggressiveness on the part of Floyd wasn’t all that outside of rounds 4 and 12. This tainted view I present despite the fact the you are supposed to unseat a champion outright. Again I’d like to see the fight again but it was closer than what the judges had as well as what you are suggesting here.

  • floyd was a clear winner. but cotto busted his lip and nose and there was significant blood. floyd was still hit by the jab and was also hit by a lot of left hooks. floyd was very good but he looked vulnerable and thought he would man handle cotto which he didn’t.

  • Pedro,
    Here again you stated Mayweather owns Pacquiao should they fight. You see even before you are proven correct, the relevent question is still, does he really want to fight Pacquiao. I suggest you take time to read Scoop Malinowski on Boxing Insider entitled “Floyd Mayweather still Terrified of Manny Pacquiao”. He presents alibis of Mayweather for ducking Pacquiao. He goes from one alibi to another and now is contemplating retirement. His body language clearly shows that indeed he is terrified of fighting Pacquiao specially now after Cotto. Pedro, you see I am not to argue your point of Mayweather skill superiority over Pacquiao because admittedly he is more naturally gifted as a boxer and I agree with you there. But I am convinced that he doesn’t have the heart to fight Pacquiao. I agree with Malinowski and I say Mayweather is a shame to the heritage of boxing in America the “land of the brave”.

  • I am a cotto fan and I know he lost I thought the 118-110 was B.S but none the less cotto has nothing to be ashamed of he came to fight and thats all we could ask for.Props to Floyd for his performance he had to dig deep sat night…September seems a little too soon for cotto to be back

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