Canelo captures WBC middleweight title with points win over Cotto
Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) defeated Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) by unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC middleweight title on Saturday night at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Canelo outgunned Cotto over the 12 rounds and the judges awarded him wide scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111.
The Puerto Rican moved well and outboxed Canelo in the early rounds, but by the 4th the Mexican was landing hard, accurate shots.
Canelo was overpowering his smaller opponent as the fight progressed and although Cotto had his moments, Canelo seemed unaffected by his shots.
The fighters stood toe-to-toe and exchanged punches in the 8th in the most entertaining round of the bout.
Canelo continued to take the fight to Cotto and landed several more hard shots in the later rounds. He opened the 12th on the attack but Cotto came back with some punches of his own and they traded shots before the bell to end an excellent fight.
"We knew going into this fight that it would be a difficult journey, but I feel that I was the faster and stronger fighter tonight," said Canelo.
"It's a great victory, not just for me, but for all of my country, for all my people, and especially for my team."
Next, Canelo is set to defend his WBC belt against interim champion Gennady Golovkin, who also holds the WBA and IBF 160 pound titles, in a mega-fight in 2016.
"If you want me to fight him (Golovkin) now, I’ll put the gloves on and fight him now. He’s a great champion, but right now I’ll put the gloves on and fight him."
Also on the card, in a fight of the year candidate, Mexican challenger Francisco Vargas (23-0-1, 17 KOs) stopped Japan's Takashi Miura (29-3-2, 22 KOs) in the 9th round to win the WBC super featherweight title.
Vargas hurt Miura in the first round with a left hand to the head. But the champion came back to drop Vargas with a right hand in the 4th. Miura continued to get the better of Vargas, who suffered a badly swollen right eye.
However, Vargas rallied in the 9th and put Miura down with a left uppercut.
After Miura got up, a barrage of punches forced referee Tony Weeks to stop the fight at 1:31 of the round.
Former WBA and WBO super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 KOs) outpointed Filipino fighter Drian Francisco (28-4-1, 22 KOs) over 10 one-sided rounds.
Rigondeaux connected with occasional combinations but did not throw many punches at all.
The two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist countered and moved throughout as the crowd booed the lack of action.
Rigondeaux dominated his overmatched opponent from start to finish and won by scores of 97-93, 100-90 and 100-90.