Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delighted a partisan crowd last night in Las Vegas in earning a unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto to earn boxing’s “lineal” middleweight championship.
The 25 year old Mexican superstar drew even more applause in his post-fight interview, where he called out the sport’s other great middleweight attraction, Gennady Golovkin.
“With all respect, I’ll come back and put on my gloves right now with Golovkin,” Alvarez said in Spanish. “He’s a great champion, but I fear no one.”
(“Con todo respeto, si quieres me vuelvo a poner los guantes ahorita mismo con Golovkin. Es un gran campeón, un amigo, pero no le tengo miedo a nadie.”)
Alvarez also described Cotto as a great champion who he has always admired. But he hailed “a new era” had begun.
In last night’s bout, Cotto surprised many by relying on footwork and a consistent jab to try and out-box the younger (and noticeably larger) Alvarez. The 35 year old Puerto Rican had won three straight bouts with a come-forward, body-punching style under the tutelage of new trainer Freddie Roach.
Alvarez struggled to cut the ring off, but landed the more consistent and heavier punches throughout the bout’s twelve rounds. The judges scored the bout 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111 all in favor of “Canelo,” who improves to 46-1-1 with the win.
Those wide scores surprised Cotto, whose record dropped to 40-5 with the loss. They surprised his team, as well.
“What bothered me was that the scoring was so [wide],” Roach said, as quoted by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports. “We didn’t lose the fight that much. There is no way.”