Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez got the benefit of a unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC and lineal middleweight titles against Miguel Cotto.
The Mexican got the verdict against his Puerto Rican opponent at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, with the judges scoring the fight 117-111, 119-109, 118-110 in his favour.
Cotto had given up the WBC crown he won by beating Sergio Martinez last year due to a row over sanctioning fees, meaning the title was on the line for Alvarez only.
After an even first six rounds, Alvarez upped his game in the eighth and ninth but was warned for a low blow in the 10th.Cotto saved his best punch for the final round, when both were clearly seeking the knockout — but it was too late to alter the outcome as Canelo got the decision.
The 25-year-old, unbeaten since losing to Floyd Mayweather in 2013, could now fight unified WBA and IBF champion at 160lbs Gennady Golovkin.
The victor said in the ring afterwards: “Much respect to Miguel Cotto. He’s a great champion — but now it’s my era.”