Round-by-round recap: Canelo Alvarez defeats Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision

Canelo Alvarez lands a left hook against Miguel Cotto during their WBC middleweight fight on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Canelo Alvarez lands a left hook against Miguel Cotto during their WBC middleweight fight on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

(Al Bello / Getty Images)

Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 knockouts) defeated Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) by unanimous decision Saturday night at Mandalay Bay to claim the WBC middleweight title.

Alvarez, who was more aggressive than usual, was able to dominate most of the rounds with his heavy punches and uppercuts. Cotto, 35, tried to outbox the younger Alvarez, 25, but was often on the short end of exchanges.

The judges scored it: 117-111 (John McKaie), 119-109 (Burt Clements) and 118-110 (Dave Moretti). The referee was Robert Byrd.


Alvarez is in line to fight Gennady Golovkin, who owns the WBA, IBF and IBO middleweight titles.

Here is a round-by-round recap of the Cotto-Alvarez fight (scoring is unofficial):


Round 1: Cotto jabbing, protecting his head. He lands a jab. Canelo waiting for an opportunity, hits Cotto in side with a right. Canelo lands a clean left. Canelo wins round, 10-9.

Round 2: The first was a close one. Cotto’s jabs and evasiveness vs. Canelo’s occasional power. Canelo lands a left to the body to open the second. Follows with a good right to Cotto’s head. Cotto jabbing, staying in the middle of the ring as ordered. Canelo slips some jabs. He hits Cotto with a right. Crowd roaring for Canelo. Cotto sneaks in a right. Canelo wins round, 10-9. Canelo leads fight, 20-18.

Round 3: First two rounds close to toss-ups for judges John McKaie, Burt Clements and Dave Moretti. The third round opens with a good left and a dangerous right by Canelo. Canelo lands a right to Cotto’s head. Cotto covers after a Canelo right. Cotto works the jab. A good Canelo right to the head. Cotto counters with a jab. Canelo wins round, 10-9. Canelo leads fight, 30-27.

Round 4: Cotto lands with a left. Canelo comes back with a good right. Cotto can take a punch. Canelo darts away from jabs and a right, comes back with a clean left-right combination. Canelo jabs, and jabs again. Cotto lands some punches and backs up. Nice boxing. Good right by Canelo. Three lefts by Cotto to close. Cotto wins round, 10-9. Canelo leads fight, 39-37.


Round 5: Good action, with Cotto landing a left uppercut. Canelo connects with a clean right as Cotto tries to continue boxing. Left hook by Canelo lands. Cotto answers with a clean combination. Cotto then lands a left. Canelo has a welt under his right eye. Cotto left counterpunch while slipping a Canelo right. Cotto wins round, 10-9. Canelo leads fight, 48-47.

Round 6: Canelo fires off a left and right that glance Cotto. Canelo follows with an overhand right. Then a good left by Canelo, who looks more aggressive this round. Cotto boxing and moving. He’s staying away from the ropes as Roach advised. Two clean jabs by Cotto. They trade jabs, mostly missing. Cotto wins round, 10-9. Fight is even, 57-57.

Round 7: Very close rounds here. Cotto working body, throwing punches. Canelo lands big left and hard right to Cotto’s body. It’s busy work vs. heavy work. Cotto jabs and backs away. He jabs again. Good right uppercut by Canelo lands. Not exactly the action we were promised yet. Canelo misses a right. Canelo wins round, 10-9. Canelo leads fight, 67-66.

Round 8: Canelo opens with a left uppercut, followed by a jab. A hard right by Canelo, but Cotto answers before Canelo rips him with a left and right. Canelo follows with a hard left. Canelo on the attack, crowd loves this. Great action. Canelo jabs. Cotto has taken some big blows and Canelo wants to keep throwing them. Hard right uppercut by Canelo. Good left by Cotto at the bell, but a convincing round for Canelo, who wins the round, 10-9. Canelo leads fight, 77-75.

Round 9: Trainer Freddie Roach is in Cotto’s ear. Good right by Cotto to open. Canelo answers with a good left. He follows with a left to Cotto’s body. Canelo gets Cotto to the ropes with power punches, but Cotto answers on the other side. Two left hooks by Canelo to close. Canelo wins round, 10-9. Canelo leads fight, 87-84.

Round 10: Will Cotto tire now? He’s 10 years older. Canelo makes Cotto cover with a right to the head. Canelo lands a hard right to the body; Cotto complains to no avail. Cotto lands a left to Canelo’s face. Canelo misses with two big rights. Cotto pulls down Canelo. Cotto moving away, he needs to do more, like that big right he lands near the end. 10-9 Cotto wins round, 10-9. Canelo leads fight, 96-94.

Round 11: Cotto lands a good right to Canelo’s head. Cotto blocks a Canelo left and ducks a right. Left by Canelo makes Cotto back up. Another good left by Canelo. Cotto is jabbing, dancing on toes. Canelo connects with a left, then a right. Cotto tries to land lefts before bell, but they weren’t as meaningful. Canelo wins round, 10-9. Canelo leads fight, 106-103.

Round 12: Canelo opens by landing a pair of lefts. He follows with bigger rights. There’s a good exchange from the fighters. Cotto cut above left eye. Nice right by Cotto, Canelo lands a response. Cotto lands a left. Canelo follows with a couple of lefts and a hard right. There’s another good exchange. Cotto delivers lefts at the bell. They embrace. Close fight going to the judges. Canelo wins round, 10-9. Canelo should win by decision, 116-112.


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