UK Middleweight Dean Gillen Previews Cotto vs Canelo

Boxing NAV’s first ever active professional boxer joins the writing team with his debut piece today ahead of this weekend’s big fight in Vegas.


A fight for the ages

British middleweight boxer, Dean Gillen is favouring the youth and power of Mexican superstar Saul Alvarez (45-1-1) over Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto (40-4) ahead of this weekend’s terrific clash at the world famous Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.

Cotto, 35-years-old, faces a fighter ten years his junior at a catchweight of 155 pounds and will be gunning for a fourth straight victory since teaming up with renowned trainer, Freddie Roach.

Defeats to Floyd Mayweather, and more surprisingly Austin Trout, had raised a question mark over Junito’s career until a switch to the Wildcard Gym reignited his ring performances.

Victories over Delvin Rodriguez, Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale all followed under the tutelage of Roach before Cotto accepted a challenge to face 25-year-old Canelo in one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of the year, set in the boxing capital of the world.

Canelo has only suffered the one loss to possibly this generation’s greatest fighter, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Looking back at the last dozen fights on his CV and the names you can reel off are all exceptional, world class opposition with ‘Money’ the only blemish amongst boxers such as James Kirkland, Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, Kermit Cintron, Ryan Rhodes, and Lovemore Ndou.

Dean’s view

Dean Gillen

The Fighting Fireman, Dean Gillen, from Nottingham provided his perception on this huge boxing fight that the fans thoroughly deserve:

Cotto v Canelo is almost here and it is certainly a fight for the fans!

Opinions are divided almost completely down the middle for this tantalising match-up and it’s unarguably a difficult one to call.

The fight has all the promise to make for a spectacular display of pugilistic skill and excitement and will be an excellent advert for our sport. With these two warriors going into battle, it can only mean one thing – war!

I’ve pondered the result of this fight for a while and genuinely think Canelo will be too much for Cotto.

Canelo will be the bigger man on the night, Cotto has the experience at the top level but with that comes the inevitable wear and tear. How much have those fights taken out of Cotto? Notably the losses to Margarito, Pac-man and Money.

He is, after all, 10 years Canelo’s senior. Now, I realise that I’m 33, so in that respect I’ll be rooting for the ‘old boy’, but you have to accept that age does eventually catch up with the best of us, especially after experiencing years of taxing fights at the very top!

Canelo’s one and only loss was to the pound-for-pound king, ‘The Money Man’. Cotto shares this same outcome on his impressive record but there’s no surprise they were both outpointed by the flawless Floyd!

If Junito wins, it’s been said that he wants a rematch with the retired 49-0 fighter, and that reason alone will provide him with enough will to win.

However, they do share another opponent in Austin Trout. Canelo defeated and managed to drop Trout for the first time in his professional career; unexpectedly Cotto was defeated unanimously.

Physically, Alvarez has all the advantages in that he’s younger, taller, and most importantly bigger at the weight with a whopping 9cm reach advantage.


Timing will be key in this fight, too. Canelo has been known to start slowly whereas Cotto tends to look more dangerous in the opening rounds.

Power could also be the deciding factor here and although the Puerto Rican has a higher KO percentage than the Mexican, I believe that Cotto being caught on the ropes will be more detrimental than it would be the other way around.

The way that Canelo dismantled Kirkland and then finished him with that right hand was absolutely brutal, and that was with his opponent’s back pinned to the ropes, right where he wants them to be.

His uppercuts are deadly and that right hand is the finisher. If he carries that same strength and killer instinct into this bout then a KO loss could well be on the cards.

Lastly, reserves could play a role in this, too. I expect a busy fight with lots of punches thrown and with all of that constant movement, high energy and fast-paced action comes potential issues with stamina. Canelo’s youth may provide the upper hand in this aspect.

Cotto won’t be fazed by any of this, no stats or opinions will affect his mind-set and will no doubt take the fight to Alvarez right from the opening bell with absolutely no respect shown at all.

The result? A terrific, entertaining spectacle that no fight fan will walk away from feeling any shred of disappointment.

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