Tag: Miguel Cotto

Canelo Alvarez arrives with Cotto defeat

Two years and change ago, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez succumbed for the only time in his career, to Floyd Mayweather Jr. While his handlers asked him to wait before taking on the best pound for pound boxer in the sport, Canelo didn’t hesitate and lost in honorable fashion. He ate what seemed like 20,000 Floyd jabs and could never break into the vault that Mayweather built over 15 years in the ring.

Saturday night in Las Vegas, Canelo turned the tables and used the exact same strategy on Miguel Cotto. He had become the teacher in the ring. The wiser one. Cotto only landed 129 of over 629 punches, assaulting the thin air more than anything. Canelo was nearly perfect, winning the fight easily and taking the middleweight belt from his challenger.

Say hello to Canelo, boxing fans. This is a name you will want to remember for the next 5-10 years. And at last, it won’t be for his distinct look of red hair, pale skin and freckles. It will be for his dominance in a boxing ring.

The 25 year old took the final step into legitimacy Saturday night when he took down Cotto. For 12 rounds, Canelo frustrated the attacking Cotto and didn’t let the older fighter land his signature hook. It was like a dog chasing a car that never stopped moving yet Canelo didn’t have to run. He threw and landed a punch, pivoted, moved his head and set up his next assault. It marked Canelo’s final test in transitioning from a puncher to a boxer.

Alvarez tagged Cotto at will throughout the fight. He would slip his jab and punish Cotto’s body, like a hammer swinging down at the kidneys. When Cotto got risky and peered in towards Canelo, he was tagged with another jab and Canelo would unleash the hook to the body. There was nothing Cotto could do but take the punishment or risk getting dropped. Nobody got knocked down Saturday night, but Cotto’s career hit the canvas and Canelo’s rose to the rafters.

As 2015 ends, boxing is shifting away from Mayweather Jr. and towards fighters like Canelo and Russian sensation Gennady Golovkin. The future may represent the adventures of true action fighters. Boxers like Canelo and Golovkin prefer action rather than speed racing in a ring. They don’t fire a punch and run away. They fire multiple shots, step forward and throw more. Whenever people tell me boxing is dead, I tell them about Canelo and Gennady. With atom bombs for fists and a will that matches a moving tornado, these two guys will set up what could be the blockbuster fight of 2016.

In May, Gennady Golovkin and Canelo could very well meet and decide who gets to be the new face of the sport. It doesn’t matter who is the pound for pound champ. It doesn’t matter who has the most wins. It matters whose name comes into fight fans minds when the word boxing is uttered within their earshot. Between them, Canelo and Golovkin have 66 knockouts in 82 fights. For people that beg for action in the ring, look no further than these two.

Cotto won’t retire from the sport but his days as a championship contender have been fractured. He enjoyed a late career renaissance under Freddie Roach, but had no idea how to connect with anything sinister on Saturday against Canelo. A great warrior took his final pay per view bow on Saturday. Another is just getting warmed up.

It’s not about his Mexican background and legion of fans. It’s not about his look. It’s about his ability to cut down any style of fighter in the ring with him. Canelo Alvarez has arrived and isn’t moving anytime soon. No longer a novelty, he is an action packed delight that boxing fans, hardcore and casual minded, should know and appreciate today.


Sports, nationalities, multi-tasking and why I watch

Let me get something off my chest…

While I was watching a boxing match Saturday night, a conversation broke out about whether Canelo Alvarez was 100% Mexican or allegedly..maybe..Irish. I don’t know. Something weird. He’s pale and has red hair so what if all albinos with a possible storage of red hair dye are hiding something. Anyway, I digress.

As we were having this glorious conversation, a fight was happening. A boxing match. What I paid 70 dollars to watch. 

In case you never watched a boxing match before, fights move fast. They are 12 three minute rounds with a pace that can be strict and without a care in the world for the people’s cash. They are not like football, which has commercials, breaks between quarters, and bigger breaks at halftime for conversation to break out and sponsors to make boatloads of cash. Where people can discuss the action while the players wait and their muscles get cold. Boxing moves at a big clip. Fighters don’t get big breaks. Boxing and MMA athletes smash each other in the face for three minutes at a time, so that is what I want to watch.

For me, I don’t give a fuck where a guy is from when I’m watching him fight. I really don’t. I don’t turn the TV on or pay extra money to watch two guys fight because Miguel Cotto’s nationality is Puerta Rican but he was born in Rhode Island. I don’t care if Alvarez was born in Mexico, speaks Spanish but may have Irish descent because he has red hair. 

Once the two fighters step between the ropes, where they are from means little to the outcome. I want to root for a particular fighter not because he is from a certain country or was raised here or there. It’s a great story that Manny Pacquiao is from the Philippines and he helps his country and gives back. That isn’t why I like him. I like him because he gets into that ring, walks forward, and has an intent to hit the other guy in the face often and from many angles. I like Pac because he doesn’t talk shit before a fight. He lets his hands be the judges. I like him because he is a good fighter, not because he is a weird eccentric Filipino who likes to have a concert after he is done fighting.

Same for football, hockey, and baseball. Any sport. Once they step on the field or the ice, it doesn’t matter where they are from, at least not for me. Sell papers elsewhere. Maybe during the Olympics or World Cup, where players from each country come together and compete. Yeah, maybe. Then again, I don’t watch them that much.

I watch boxing, baseball, football and hockey for the action that takes place inside the ring, field or 200 feet of ice. Why else would you watch it? Why debate something that has little to do with the event at hand? If they are running for political office, go ahead. If it is sports, who cares?

What makes Canelo Alvarez a great boxer and future superstar is his ability inside the ring. What sells posters and t-shirts will be his distinct look. The red hair, pale skin, and sharp Mexican accent. Casual fans and media eat that shit up. Guys want hair dye and girls want to fuck him. It sells papers and pushes it along. What will carve his name in the great history of boxing is his ability to fight 47 times and only lose once, knocking out over 30 of those opponents. What will make him great is beating championship level fighters like Austin Trout, Esalandry Lara and Cotto. What makes him great is packing Minute Maid Park in May and demolishing James Kirkland in the third round and having the audience cheer even though they just paid 100 bucks to watch a fight last less than 9 minutes. What will make him a great boxer will have little to do with his nationality or look. This isn’t a boy band. It’s fighting.

Canelo may be Irish but that isn’t why I want to watch him fight. 

Saturday wasn’t the first time I heard this, nor will it be the last so don’t take it personally. Just listen and digest a healthy opinion. Sometimes, you just have to get things off your chest. So feelings don’t get hurt and clarity is found.

By the way, when it comes to multi-tasking, I’m the fucking master! I clean my home daily(dishes, floors and everything else), sometimes seven times a day. I do that while doing ALL the laundry and cooking most of the meals. I do all of that while writing 3-4 articles a day that I DON’T get paid for, in addition to two others that I do get paid for. I do that while watching over a four year old rambunctious boy 24/7/365 for the past year save two months.  I do all of that while being a good husband to a Wonder Woman type hard working wife and staying in great shape at 33 years old. I do all of this while watching A SHIT ton of TV and actively social networking. That makes me the motherfucking MASTER of multi-tasking!

End of rant-DLB

This is how I feel right now…….


I think Matt Lauria is American but let me ask him on Twitter.

Cotto vs. Canelo: Clash of the Titans

AFP 546534526 S BOX USA NV
AFP PHOTO/ John Gurzinski/Getty Images 

Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez will produce the fight of the year. These aren’t boxers who train for six weeks only to run around a ring for twelve rounds. They carry the intent to let their hands go once the bell dings. They carry the intent to wage war on each other. It won’t be a matter of who is ahead on points at the end of the fight. It will be who is merely standing.

Each fighter is known for never backing down from a tough opponent. They don’t take easy fights. Look at their losses and the best of the best, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., are the only people able to stop them within the laws of a boxing ring.

This fight brings together two furiously passionate boxing countries, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Cotto, the 35 year old four time champion who calls the PR powered New York his stomping ground, is fighting to stay in the big fight business. Alvarez, 25, the Mexican pale white red headed superstar, is looking to retire the older fighter and take ownership of his now vacant(Cotto forfeited it this week due to not paying a sanctioning fee) WBC title belt. This isn’t just about belts, blood and battles. This is about legacy.

Since he rediscovered his lost touch in the ring with trainer Freddie Roach, Cotto has been a different boxer, going 3-0 with two stoppages and a knockout. A man possessed in the ring, sending Sergio Martinez to his retirement party early. Canelo is fresh off bashing brawler James Kirkland in Houston, surprising many by vanquishing him in the third round with ease. In a fight that many saw as a fist willed test, Canelo produced his most impressive result to date by knocking Kirkland out cold.

Canelo has superstar written all over him. He carries a record of 45-1-1, with 32 knockouts supporting that win total. The only loss coming to Mayweather Jr. two years ago. Cotto, 40-4 with 33 knockouts, is coming off an impressive win over Daniel Geale in June. He is 3-0 with Roach and looking to extend his career with a win over Canelo.

Why is this fight going to be sensational? Styles make fights and this is a perfect matchup of two sluggers. Cotto and Alvarez can box and move their head enough to extend a fight, but they aren’t known for taking steps backwards in a ring. They move forward, hunt, peck, and work until the opponent is surrounded. They unleash vigorous combinations that don’t just get their opponents attention. They stun the nervous system. They are each known for their vicious hooks and the ability to crash the body with assault. They aren’t street brawlers, but far from defensive strategists. Most boxers devise a game plan that keeps them safe in the ring while securing victory. These two guys have no such plans. They will go out on their sword before fighting a conservative match.

Do yourself a favor and don’t worry about the belt drama. Miguel Cotto didn’t want to pay a ridiculous fee to have the WBC sanction his belt in the fight, so he gave it up. They want him to also pay an 800K step aside fee to Gennady Golovkin. If Canelo wins, he gets the belt. If Cotto wins, the belt goes to Golovkin, the opponent for the winner of this fight. It’s all a murky mess, outside the ring boxing politics that shouldn’t concern fight fans. It doesn’t affect the average boxing fan who has what belt going into the ring Saturday night.

Know this. This is going to be the fight of the year. All other fights will pale in comparison. It’s not one sided or easy to call. It won’t be boring. Will Canelo use his newfound boxing expertise to keep distance between him and Cotto for him to land his big shots? Can Cotto use his veteran skill to break into the areas of the ring where Canelo feels are his? Who lands the big shots? Who gets hurt first? While Canelo is a favorite to win in the Vegas books, the outcome is not so easy to determine due to the skill set of these two true boxers. One could think Canelo, ten years younger, is simply too much for Cotto, who is prone to wearing down late in a fight. The other may think Canelo isn’t seasoned enough to take down a never better Cotto.

Between these two fighters, there are 65 knockouts. Only five losses, all to championship level fighters. Each fighter has a chip on their shoulder. Something to prove. This could be Cotto’s last big title fight. A chance to stay in the spotlight. This is Canelo’s opportunity to seize the moment and finally equal the hype that has surrounded him his entire career. Outside the ring, two countries known for facing off against each other over the brutal sport of boxing, will look on in amazement at their best products take aim at each other in the ring.

This is an exciting fight. Go watch it. Watch it with boxing lovers. Admirers of the sweet science and people who miss the good old days. A time where two men met in a ring to fight and left the politics to the suits outside of it. They don’t make them like Cotto and Canelo anymore and you won’t see many fights like this one. These are the fights many promoters stay away from because of the unpredictability of it all.

Tonight in Las Vegas, two warriors meet in the ring. Only one can make it out. One  will win. One will lose. If a draw occurs, the ring will need scrubbing. Saturday night will be a good night for boxing.


Miguel Cotto Takes Back His Life

If you watch and love boxing, you know it’s an emotional sport unlike any other. A person steps into the ring with the intent of hurting another man and it’s a brutal practiceimage and way of life. Your knees, jaw, and legs give out at some point and your will starts to follow suit. Watching it makes you feel as if you are in that ring with the fighters and throwing and taking punches. Football and hockey are physical sports, but boxing is a blunt old fashioned way of demoralizing someone’s spirit. In the words of HBO commentator Jim Lampley, “You don’t play boxing. You fight.” That’s it. Before looking at the amazing Miguel Cotto victory over Sergio Martinez on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City, let’s look at Cotto and how he got here.

Miguel Cotto is a one of the most respected fighters in the sport of boxing. He’s a proud Puerta Rican student of the sweet science and a man who can do damage to another in the ring with tactics built around years of training. He has four losses in his career and all have come against the best, with one omitted(in my mind) because a fighter used an illegal substance on his gloves.

That is the fight that is required when discussing Cotto’s career. He faced a dirty fighter in Antonio Margarito years ago in a fight that shaped his boxing life in a horrible way. In the fight, Margarito used illegal hand wraps that were discovered in pictures after the fight. When a fighter’s hand is wrapped, several layers of gauze and tape are applied to produce a pad on the knuckles. Water or any other substance isn’t allowed. Margarito pummeled Cotto in a brutal fight in 2008 due to the application of plaster like pads inside the tape on his hands. This substance was found before Margarito’s next fight against Shane Mosley, and Mosley promptly destroyed Margarito. Cotto avenged the fight a few years later in beating Margarito himself, but in my mind the 2008 damage lingered. In boxing, a bad fight can stick with a guy and Cotto was unable to cut this loss loose in his head. Before the fight, Cotto was undefeated and unstoppable. Margarito took that away from him that night and even when Cotto regained it during the rematch, something still wasn’t complete. Cotto lost to Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout as well, all seasoned good to great fighters. However, the Margarito loss seemed to weigh on Cotto’s psyche for years. You don’t take a beating like that and shed it with a couple wins and good fights. For a more in depth look at Margarito’s foolhardy acts(for which he was stripped of his license), check out Thomas Hauser’s piece right here.

When Cotto switched to Freddie Roach, a Hall of Fame caliber trainer, after the Trout loss, something started to change in the boxer. Call it a way of life or boxing style but Roach had an impact on Cotto.  I usually don’t put too much stock in trainers because once training stops and the fight begins, a boxer only has himself to truly take through a fight. Roach is different. He connects with his fighters on an emotional and professional level. He notices strengths and defeats their weaknesses. Cotto had abandoned his left hook in his recent fights, and when he took to the ring against the overmatched Delvin Rodriguez in 2013, the fight ended in three rounds due to a devastating left hook that gave Cotto a technical knockout.

Instead of picking Canelo Alvarez for his next fight, Cotto picked seasoned veteran Sergio Martinez, a great boxer with 51 wins and only 2 losses, one coming in controversial fashion against Paul Williams. Martinez was a good pick because fight fans needed to see just how much Roach had taught Cotto and what kind of future Miguel had in the sport. Martinez needed the fight too because of doubts about his own health and status.

It turns out that Roach didn’t just acquire the best parts of Cotto and put them to use but he simply allowed Miguel to leave that damaging Margarito loss in the past and become a new fighter. Instead of being a boxer who had to fight 7-8 tough rounds and try to out slug opponents, Cotto was a master of the sweet science again, attacking opponents with a variety of weapons.