By Jake Donovan
It took two tries to finally get it done, but negotiations can often be the toughest part of putting together a mega fight like the November 21 World middleweight championship bout between Miguel Cotto and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
The two fighters were always down to face each other, but became a matter of working out the right deal at the right time. After both went their separate ways for fights earlier this year, terms were reached for two of boxing’s biggest superstars to meet later this fall at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Despite the perception that he wanted the fight on his terms, a showdown with Alvarez was never a matter of “if” but “when” for the defending middleweight champion from Puerto Rico.
“My legacy is my family, everything I do in life is for them,” Cotto bluntly stated when asked by media personality Jessica Rosales during the opening leg of the four-city press tour Monday evening in Los Angeles. “The rivalry between Puerto Rico and Mexico is huge, and we will contribute with this fight.”
Cotto (40-4, 33KOs) will make the second defense of the World middleweight championship he claimed in a one-sided 10th round stoppage of Sergio Martinez last June. The win made him the first-ever fighter from Puerto Rico to claim titles in four weight classes, having previously reigned at super lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight.
His first defense came in June, knocking out Daniel Geale in four rounds at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The win came less than a month after Alvarez (45-1-1, 32KOs) did his part to keep alive the fight in delivering a scorching 3rd round knockout of James Kirkland in front of 30,000 fans at Minute Maid Park in Houston, watched by more than 2 million viewers on HBO, whose Pay-Per-View arm will distribute the November 21 event.
As he heard the boos come out while in Los Angeles, similar reaction could be awaiting him on fight night. The event takes place in Las Vegas, which favors to bring a pro-Alvarez crowd whereas Cotto’s fanbase comes in much larger numbers on the East Coast and in Puerto Rico.
Whether he heads in as the hero or the perceived villain is very low on his areas of focus.
“All I have in life is because of my sacrifice,” Cotto said to the crowd on hand during Monday’s press conference. “On November 21, I'm going to show the world what Miguel Cotto is made of. I'm Miguel Cotto here, and going to be Miguel Cotto on November 21.”
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com.
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