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Canelo Alvarez vs Miguel Cotto: Why Mexican may have big advantage

Lee Cleveland Updated
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If Miguel Cotto defeats Daniel Geale next Saturday, the former must face 24 year old sensation Canelo Alvarez this fall.

Those who pick Canelo to win will so primarily because of his youth and size while experts picking Cotto will undoubtedly point to his
experience, deeper level of opposition and superior amateur pedigree.

(Cool image courtesy of Round by Round Boxing)

But, is there one intangible experts may overlook?

On May 5, 2012, Miguel Cotto faced Floyd Mayweather while Canelo Alvarez bested Shane Mosley on the same card. Since then, Canelo has fought six times while Cotto only four.

And in the last year, Alvarez has fought three times while Cotto only once.

Moreover, when Miguel faces Geale on June 6, he will have been out of the ring for an entire year.

Who remembers Yuriorkis Gamboa?
A gold medal winner at the 2004 Summer Games and once the hottest prospect in boxing, the incredibly-gifted Gamboa became relatively inactive and was eventually knocked out last year by Terence Crawford. Moreover, in the fights leading up to the Crawford bout, Gamboa was uncharacteristically touched-up, thanks to inactivity.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr anyone?
Like Cotto, Chavez Jr. hadn't been a 'ball of activity' prior to being dismantled by Andrzej Fonfara in April. And how about Chavez Jr's first bout with Brian Vera, which took place in September 2013 after Julio had been out of the ring for a year? He looked sluggish and most ringside observers gave the nod to Vera.

James Kirkland
Prior to being stopped by Canelo Alvarez a few weeks ago, Kirkland hadn't fought in 10 months and only three times in the previous three and a half years.

James' body looked wonderful but, timing-wise, was he really ready for Canelo Alvarez?

Timing and rhythm, in addition to conditioning, are extremely important in boxing and can be the difference between winning and losing when fighting at the highest levels.

Sure, Floyd Mayweather can comeback from a year and a half layoff and look brilliant but he the exception and not the rule. Even the great Sugar Ray Robinson, after a two and a half year hiatus, won his return bout only to loss his subsequent bout. In fact, he needed six tune-ups prior to facing, and eventually defeating, then-middleweight champion Bobo Olson.

Boxing is a skill. It's an art form. Staying active is so important.

Aside from fighting freaks like Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather, an elite fighter will always be at high disadvantage when facing another more active, elite-level opponent.

Forget about the names Cotto and Canelo. Let's call them Fighter A and Fighter B. If Fighter A has been relatively inactive versus Fighter B, he's at a disadvantage.


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