Miguel Cotto vs. Daniel Geale at 157lb catch-weight on June 6th in Brooklyn, New York
By Dan Ambrose: According to the latest boxing news, WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) will reportedly be defending his WBC title for the first and perhaps the last time in two months from now on June 6th against 34-year-old former IBF/WBA Daniel Geale (31-3, 16 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, according to Fight News.
This obviously isn’t the fight that fans were looking for from the 34-year-old Cotto, as they want to see him face the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Manny Pacquiao or Amir Khan. Geale, #4 WBO, #6 WBC, #7 WBA, #8 IBF, is a light-punching Australian who was recently knocked out in the 3rd round in 2014 by WBA 160 pound champion Golovkin in July at Madison Square Garden.
It wasn’t a fight at all, as Geale ran around the ring trying to avoid Golokvin. Finally when Golokvin did catch up to Geale in the 3rd round, he knocked him out. Geale has since won his last fight in defeating fellow Australian Jarrod Fletcher by a 12 round unanimous decision last December.
The Cotto vs. Geale fight will be televised on HBO, and it’s expected to be announced on Wednesday of this week.
The catch-weight is likely to accommodate Cotto, who captured the WBC title last year in June in a catch-weight fight against former WBC champion Sergio Martinez. It’s not quite clear why a champion would need a catch-weight. The World Boxing Council 160lb title is seen by many fans as the most prestigious of the four titles in the middleweight division. To have a champion fighting at catch-weights instead of the full weight for the division is kind of off putting. It’s like having the goal posts moved forward in an NFL game to accommodate one of the teams. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
This will be Cotto’s first of three fights with Roc Nation Sports. Cotto reportedly was given a huge contract by Roc Nation. It’ll be interesting to see if they get their money’s worth in Cotto’s next two fights after the Geale fight, because this obviously isn’t a great fight.
Geale was just knocked out only two fights ago against Golovkin, and about the only thing that Cotto can accomplish in fighting Geale is to try and knock him out faster than Golovkin did.
If Cotto can do that, then perhaps it might give him enough confidence to take the fight against Golovkin next. Whether it does or it doesn’t, Cotto is going to need to make up his mind whether he wants to defend his WBC title against Golokvin, because he’s Cotto’s WBC mandatory challenger, and that fight has to come next after the Geale fight. If Cotto chooses to bypass the Golovkin fight, then he’ll likely be stripped of his WBC title unless he vacates it first.
I really don’t see Cotto facing Golovkin this year even if Cotto blasts Geale out in lightning fashion with a 1st round knockout. A quick knockout would give Cotto’s fans a reason to believe that he might be able to beat Golovkin, and Cotto might even get a free pass from the fans if he chooses to vacate the belt without fighting the Kazakhstan fighter.
Certainly you can expect Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach to say something along the lines about Cotto getting Geale out faster than Golovkin, and that he would beat him if they fought each other. But Roach might then say the fights not worth it because Golovkin’s not a big name.
Fighting Geale does make some sense. He’s arguably less dangerous as the other top middleweight contenders Tureano Johnson, Jorge Sebastian Heiland and Billy Joe Saunders. Those are the top three contenders that the WBC has ranked below Cotto. But perhaps more important than Geale’s lack of punching power and his advanced age is the fact that he has a lot of boxing fans in Australia. This means the fight will likely be pay-per-view in Australia, and Cotto can possibly share in the money.
It’s unclear whether that would happen if Cotto fought Heiland, who is from Argentina. However, even if the money was slightly better for a fight against Heiland, he presents a potentially more dangerous fight than Geale because he can punch a little. The last thing that we’re probably going to see is Cotto facing a dangerous puncher before he gets the big money rematches against Pacquiao and Mayweather.
Cotto will also be facing Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in the near future. If Cotto can get past Geale, you can expect him to look to face one of these names in his next fight: Pacquiao, Mayweather or Canelo. If Cotto gets knocked out or out-pointed by one of them, then he’ll still likely get another one of those fighters to face him. I can’t see Cotto beating any of them though.
We could potentially see Cotto lose two fights in a row and then look to finally face Golovkin, if he’s still interested in facing Cotto. It would obviously be under terrible conditions with Cotto having lost his last two fights, but I can see Golovkin still taking the fight due to the money he could make against Cotto. Adding Cotto’s scalp to his resume would still be a big deal even with Cotto coming off of two consecutive losses.
I don’t see Cotto being able to go six rounds against Golovkin without getting knocked out. Cotto can move around a little, as we saw in his first fight against Antonio Margarito in 2008, but he would likely gas out fairly quickly. Against Margarito in their first fight, Cotto ran until the 10th, at which time he finally stopped and tried to trade with Margarito.
Cotto got battered in the 10th and finished off in the 11th. I don’t think Cotto could run for more than five rounds before getting knocked out. He’s not as young as he used to be, and I think Golovkin would cut off the ring again and again to force Cotto into exchanges in which he would get hurt and wind up with a torn up face.
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