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Cotto vs. Canelo: Pressure is on Alvarez to win his first legacy fight

Joseph Herron Updated
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On Saturday, November 21, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-1-1, 32 KOs) will have another opportunity to “win the big one” against four division world champion and future first-ballot Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) in the “super fight” capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada.

He’ll have to if he wants to win over the always scrutinizing Mexican fan base and join the lineage of Mexico’s boxing elite. The proud land that resides south of the American border is historically famous for producing some of boxing’s toughest competitors.

Fighters like Salvador Sanchez, Ruben Oliveras, Miguel Canto, Ricardo Lopez, Kid Azteca, Carlos Zarate, and the unforgettable Julio Cesar Chavez were all beloved Mexican warriors who captured the hearts of an entire country and were celebrated throughout their careers as national heroes.

Most recently, fearless competitors like Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez were able to rally a legion of die-hard Mexican fans, who supported their eventual passage to boxing legend.

With a semi-retired JMM, and an embarrassing string of events from JCC Jr., Canelo remains Mexico’s brightest star and strongest candidate to achieve boxing greatness.

But to join this elite group of national treasures, the 25 year old from Jalisco must defeat Puerto Rican favorite Miguel Angel Cotto on November 21.

Because Cotto is perceived to be on the downside of his fourteen year professional career, the pressure seemingly rests solely on the shoulders of Alvarez.

In September of 2013, the Mexican born counter-puncher attempted to defend his WBC and WBA Junior Middleweight titles against the biggest name in boxing, Floyd Mayweather Jr., in his first super PPV event. Although Canelo captivated an entire legion of Mexican fans leading up to the highly anticipated mega-fight, the young fighter inevitably fell short of expectation and was dominated for twelve rounds.

Can Alvarez put forth a more impressive effort in this captivating battle of “Mexico vs. Puerto Rico” than he did several years ago against the current pound for pound king of boxing?

As Mexico’s lone torch bearer, Saul absolutely must put forth a career defining effort against the current WBC Middleweight titlist. A definitive victory could cement Canelo’s legacy as a Mexican great and the next big PPV star. But a decisive or knock-out loss could garner the Jalisco native with a reputation of “a fighter who couldn’t win the big match-ups”.

The stakes are high, and all chips are in. And while Canelo's handlers, Golden Boy Promotions, are currently holding a "monster hand", the young Mexican fighter isn't boxing's equivalent to the unbeatable "Royal Flush". Anything can and often does happen in the squared circle.

As GBP's biggest star, a loss could be catastrophic for the ailing promotional banner. The pressure is on Canelo Alvarez to be impressive on boxing's biggest stage.

Will Canelo win one for the homeland on November 21st, or will he disappoint the most fervent fight fans in the world once again?


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