The Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry is stepping up a notch.
Middleweight world champion Miguel Cotto and former unified junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez announced that they will finally fight each other.
After months of negotiation between the two boxers, they have come to an agreement for them to hit the ring for a much-anticipated fight on Nov. 21 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, both sides announced on Thursday.
“I will give the fans the fight they want to see,” Cotto, who is Puerto Rican, said in a release, according to ESPN. “As I have always said, during my whole career, I am here to fight the best names and the best fighters. This will be another chapter in my career, and I will be ready for him.”
He added: “Fans will enjoy a real fight, another classic battle in the Puerto Rico versus Mexico rivalry.”
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In the same release, Alvarez, who is Mexican, said: “Historically, mega-fights are made because fans demand them. In this case, the fans have spoken out, longing for this fight and it is my pleasure to say that is it finally happening.”
He said while all fights are significant, this particular bout has extra importance.
“It will hold a special place in history as part of the big rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico, and I promise all the fans that this is going to be an event that will not disappoint,” Alvarez added.
The Mexico-Puerto Rico rivalry, one of the most intense in boxing, has included huge flights like that of Felix Trinidad-Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.-Hector Camacho, and Salvador Sanchez-Wilfredo Gomez.
"This is the fight of the year that true boxing fans have been waiting for between two of the biggest stars in the sport today," Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said, according to ESPN. "Cotto versus Canelo will be an epic showdown, full of nonstop action from the moment the first bell rings. This fight is an example of exactly what Golden Boy Promotions does: puts on the best fights between top fighters."
The boxers will not fight at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds but instead at a catch-weight of 155 pounds. This does not favor either of them.
A multi-city promotional tour is being planned, though details have not been announced.