As excited as I am for the match, and while I was speculating just how great (or not) this fight could be, I began to think about the greatest Mexico-Puerto Rico boxing rivalries of all-time, and where exactly the Cotto-Canelo match will fall.
With Canelo still very young and Cotto experiencing a great career revival under Freddie Roach, if the two boxers put on a good fight, this could become one of the all-time greats, as a rematch would surely happen.
So here are the top five (from the late 80s to the present) Mexico vs. Puerto Rico boxing matches that Cotto and Canelo will be going up against.
Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito (2008 & 2011)
This is the most recent of the rivalries. The first match took place with an undefeated Cotto on the rise, who, despite outboxing Margarito, was not able to hurt him with his punches. On the other hand, Margarito’s punches damaged Cotto terribly, and the ref put the match to an end in the 11th. This was before the Margarito scandal, when he was cheating by putting hardening powder in his hand wraps.
In the second fight, Cotto outboxed and destroyed Margarito and the ref put an end to the fight in the ninth round, due to a dangerous swelling of Margarito’s eye.
Félix Trinidad vs. Oscar De La Hoya (1999)
When Oscar De La Hoya fought Félix “Tito” Trinidad, he had already defeated Mexican boxing legend Julio César Chávez twice, officially dethroning him as the greatest Mexican fighter of the time. De La Hoya also came with an Olympic gold medal and an undefeated record. Trinidad came with no gold medal, but he did have an undefeated record, which he kept as he triumphed over The Golden Boy in a very close majority decision win.
Félix Trinidad vs. Luis Ramón "Yori Boy" Campas (1994)
Before his breakthrough win over De La Hoya, Tito Trinidad faced Luis Ramón “Yori Boy” Campas, a Mexican boxer with a record of 56-0. This came to an end when Tito knocked him down in the second round, broke his nose a little after that, and the ref finally put a stop to it in the fourth.
Julio César Chávez vs. Edwin Rosario (1987)
The two boxers almost began the match in the pre-fight conference, when Edwin Rosario stated he would send Chávez back to Mexico in a coffin. But when both fighters finally put on the gloves for the fight, it would be Chávez who battered Edwin for 11 rounds, before his corner threw in the towel.
Julio César Chávez vs. Hector el Macho Camacho (1992)
This was a highly-anticipated match, as Chávez was still undefeated while el Macho Camacho had an impressive record of 40-1. Both fighters received $3 million, an impressive number today, and back then it was much more.
Like in many fights, this one included lots of talk, threats, and promises. Both boxers stated they would knock each other out, but it would be Chávez – thanks to his signature body shots – that would take the fight in a 12-round decision.
Upon his arrival in Mexico, now-infamous President Carlos Salinas de Gortari sent a car reserved for the Pope to bring Chávez from the airport to the Presidential house.