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The Day Canelo Got Buzzed

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  • The Day Canelo Got Buzzed

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    By Ted Sares

    Puerto Rican Jose Miguel Cotto, the older brother of future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto, retired in 2012 with a fine record of 33-4-1. He was stopped just once, by streaking Juan Diaz (28-0 at the time) and fought a number of high-level competitors including Shane Gannon (22-6), Freddy Cruz (51-19-8), Pantan Narongwet (30-2-1), Ilido Julio (39-15-1), and later Paulie Malignaggi (28-4).

    On May 1, 2010, his opponent was Saul Alvarez (31-0-1). Cotto (31-1-1 coming in) was short and stocky, fought in an orthodox style, and possessed a strong chin. It would turn out to be Jose’s career-defining battle.

    The fight was televised on HBO PPV from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and was designed as a coming out party for the young Alvarez—hereafter to be known as “Canelo.” The fight was the co-feature to the Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley fight on a Cinco De Mayo weekend and garnered tremendous exposure.

    Once the fight started, the fans received an early shock as Cotto caught the young Mexican redhead flush with a left-hook at the round’s half-way point. It sent Canelo stumbling back into the ropes—in fact, had the ropes not held him up, it could have been ruled a knockdown by referee Tony Weeks. Sensing the kill, Cotto attacked with several follow-up shots, including at least two right hands that landed flush from the other side.

    Everyone invested in this fight (and in Canelo), not to mention his rabid Mexican fans and this writer, were watching in disbelief. How could this be happening? Canelo had just been buzzed and almost decked. Was an upset in the making? Was the build-up bogus?

    "I know the first round was a little scary but I gained my confidence as the rounds went on.” -- Canelo

    And come back he did as he regrouped and floored Cotto in round two with what would later become his signature punch—the uppercut. Alvarez then picked up the pace, breaking down the rugged Cotto with great combos and accurate power shots. The fight soon became one-sided. Finally, in the ninth round, Canelo maneuvered his opponent into a corner, trapped and stunned him and then launched a barrage of malefic right hands (more than a dozen, interspersed with a few set-up lefts). The one-sided barrage forced Weeks to step in and end matters. The scorecards through the completed rounds read 78-73 across the board, all for Canelo Alvarez.

    Canelo is currently 57-1-2 and is the top PFP fighter in boxing. He holds the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO world super middleweight titles and seems poised to move up to cruiserweight and fight Ilunga Makabu for the WBC cruiserweight title. If he does and wins, he will become a five-division titleholder. And yet despite this rugged schedule, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has been “buzzed” only once.

    “Miguel Cotto’s brother can make you do the chicken dance, but I can’t? Okay.” -- Caleb Plant

    Ted Sares enjoys writing about boxing. He can be reached at

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    This just in from Bob Duffy:

    "Great stuff

    As much as you enjoy writing these wonderful stories I enjoy reading every single on of them keep writing and I guarantee I will keep reading

    bob duffy"

    Makes it all worthwhile


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      From Russ Anber:

      "Great piece once again my friend!
      You are boxing’s true historian !"

    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      "I remember that fight." Great memory Ted! Rick Gagne

  • #3
    Canelo looks like a skinny child in that photo. Amazing what 10 years of (clears throat) chemicals can do for you.


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment

  • #4
    Canelo has a good chin and very proficient defense.

    I’d have thought Golovkin could make him chicken dance.



    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      He is great at getting out of the way of hooks. Very fine defense bolstered by a very strong chin. If GGG couldn't hurt him, well I don't know who.