Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez fight on November 21 to determine the best middleweight not named Gennady Golovkin. Their heavyweight promoters lay down a heavy bag of change on a bet on the fight.
Oscar De La Hoya and Jay-Z, promoters of Alvarez and Cotto, respectively, wagered $100,000 on the match. An Alvarez win provides $100K from Jay-Z’s account to the the White Memorial Medical Center’s cancer unit. De La Hoya’s mother died of breast cancer two years before he won Olympic gold in Atlanta. A Cotto win gives $100K of De La Hoya’s money to the Shawn Carter Foundation, started by Jay-Z and his mom to “help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education at post secondary institutions.”
Cotto, though holding the linear middleweight title through a demolition of Sergio Martinez last year, enters the fight as the decided underdog. His edge in experience in marquee fights means a disadvantage in age. Alvarez also fights as the naturally larger man. The 25-year-old Mexican boxes fresh off an impressive third-round knockout of James Kirkland and owns victories over Cotto’s younger brother Jose, Austin Trout, and shells of Shane Mosley, Kermit Cintron, and Carlos Baldomir. The 35-year-old Puerto Rican boasts quality wins over Martinez, Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Paulie Malignaggi, Joshua Clottey, and Zab Judah.
Bettors win $100 on a $300 bet on Canelo Alvarez. They cash out at $235 on a $100 bet on Miguel Cotto. Smart money likes the underdog. But Jay-Z’s wager on Cotto not utilizing odds strikes as a not-so-smart way to lose money. But he’s worth $550 million, according to Forbes, and it’s for a good cause, so maybe he can absorb the loss painlessly.
A bigger payday, and bigger punches, await the winner—of the fight, not the bet—should he opt to risk health and belt against the 34-0 knockout machine Golovkin.