Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto close to deal for Nov. 21 Mandalay Bay bout

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, left, and middleweight world champion Miguel Cotto.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, left, and middleweight world champion Miguel Cotto.

(Ethan Miller, Ed Mulholland / Getty Images)

An agreement for a middleweight world title fight between Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is near, with officials close to the negotiations telling the Los Angeles Times the bout, if sealed, would take place Nov. 21 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on HBO pay-per-view.

Mexico’s Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 knockouts) balked at losing revenue in taxes by taking the fight to Madison Square Garden in New York, a favorite destination of Puerto Rican champion Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs).

Two unspecified details remain unresolved, officials told The Times.

The fight is significant enough to fill the 16,500-seat MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but the Grand Garden Arena is booked Nov. 21 for an extreme sports show.


MGM Grand was available for Nov. 7, but a possible Game 7 of the World Series would be played that week and that night’s Alabama-LSU college football game on CBS in prime time could also draw attention away.

Another site along the Strip, Mandalay Bay Events Center, which is expected to seat 11,500, can host the fight the night after a concert by popular Brazilian singer Roberto Carlos with HBO production and arena officials working diligently on a plan to complete a rapid transformation.

Alvarez most recently fought May 9, knocking out James Kirkland in the third round of a super-welterweight bout in Houston. Alvarez’s only loss is to unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, the second-richest fight in boxing history.

Cotto has responded strongly after 2012 losses to Mayweather and Austin Trout, uniting with trainer Freddie Roach for three consecutive victories.

In June 2014, Cotto, 34, captured the middleweight belt from Sergio Martinez, who has since retired.

The boxers have agreed on a 155-pound catch-weight limit for the World Boxing Council title bout, and the sanctioning body stipulated that each had to agree to meet mandatory No. 1 WBC challenger Gennady Golovkin in their next fight.

Not doing so would allow the WBC to vacate the title.

Alvarez-Cotto follows a decorated and heated line of Mexico-Puerto Rico battles that have included Salvador Sanchez versus Wilfredo Gomez, Felix Trinidad versus Oscar De La Hoya and then Fernando Vargas, Julio Cesar Chavez-Edwin Rosario, Chavez-Hector “Macho” Camacho and Gomez-Lupe Pintor.