Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez make weight for Saturday's title fight

ByDan Rafael via ESPN logo
Saturday, November 21, 2015

LAS VEGAS -- Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez both made weight for their middleweight world title fight during a wild weigh-in Friday in the Islander Ballroom at Mandalay Bay.

With a raucous crowd of some 3,000 cheering and chanting -- and another group of approximately 2,000 watching in other ballrooms opened to accommodate the spillover -- Cotto, making his second defense, weighed 153 pounds for the catchweight fight contracted at 155 pounds, 5 under the middleweight limit of 160 and 1 over the junior middleweight limit of 154.

Alvarez, a former unified junior middleweight titleholder, weighed 155 pounds for the fight, the most anticipated of the year besides the disappointing May 2 fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

This fight, which will take place Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, figures to deliver action between two of boxing's most popular and exciting fighters.

"I'm just ready for [Saturday]," said Cotto, Puerto Rico's No. 1 fighter, after weighing in. "This is for all the fans of Puerto Rico and Mexico. Our purpose is to win the fight."

Cotto will be defending the lineal middleweight title after being stripped by the WBC this week because of a dispute over the sanctioning fee. The WBC demanded $300,000, which Alvarez agreed to pay so he can win the vacant belt. Cotto offered to pay $125,000. The WBC refused to negotiate the fee, contrary to what it has typically done for major fights.

Alvarez is Mexico's most popular fighter, and the showdown with Cotto will add another chapter to the storied boxing rivalry between the two countries.

Alvarez was the big crowd favorite -- no surprise, considering the location of the fight.

"This motivates me tremendously to see all these people," Alvarez said after making weight. "I am very blessed for all the support, and I will pay them back with a great fight on Saturday night. I always dreamed of this. The support motivates me every day.

"I know that I have a tough task in front of me. I know what I have to do. I'm ready for everything. Anything he can bring, I'm ready for it."

According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) will earn a purse of $15 million, and Alvarez's official purse is $5 million. However, both can earn more if the pay-per-view reaches certain sales marks. Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) also will earn more through Mexican television revenue.

Junior lightweight titlist Takashi Miura (29-2-2, 22 KOs), of Japan, and mandatory challenger Francisco Vargas (22-0-1, 16 KOs), of Mexico, both weighed the division limit of 130 pounds.

Cuban defector Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0, 10 KOs), recently stripped of both of his junior featherweight world titles because of inactivity, weighed 121 pounds for his first fight in 11 months. Opponent Drian Francisco (28-3-1, 22 KOs), of the Philippines, weighed 121 pounds, 1 under the division limit, for their scheduled 10-round fight.

Featherweights Jayson Velez (23-0-1, 16 KOs), of Puerto Rico, and Ronny Rios (24-1, 10 KOs), from Santa Ana, California, both weighed 125 pounds, a half-pound under the division limit, for their 10-rounder.

Bantamweight titleholder Randy Caballero (22-0, 13 KOs), of Coachella, California, was due to make his first defense on the live stream of preliminary bouts before the pay-per-view but failed to make weight. He was stripped of his 118-pound title, and his fight with interim titlist Lee Haskins (32-3, 14 KOs), of England, was canceled because of the weight disparity.

While Haskins, who will be elevated to full titleholder, was 117 pounds, Caballero was a shocking 123, 5 pounds over the limit.

Golden Boy Promotions, Caballero's promoter, told ESPN.com that it will still pay Haskins something for his trouble. It was negotiating with his team on the amount.

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