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Cotto can’t afford to look bad against Geale this Saturday

Daniel Geale Miguel CottoBy Dan Ambrose: With a big money fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez slated for the fall, WBC middleweight belt holder Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) absolutely has to look good this Saturday, June 6th, in his fight against #6 WBC Daniel Geale (31-3, 16 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

While a loss for the 34-year-old Cotto won’t stop the Canelo fight from getting made, it will take away a lot of money that he and 24-year-old Canelo can scoop up from the U.S boxing public from HBO pay-per-view. Some fans will still gladly purchase the Cotto-Canelo fight even if Cotto loses or looks really bad against the 34-year-old Geale, but you have to believe the PPV numbers will be far fewer than they would if Cotto destroys Geale on Saturday night.

Geale has obviously been picked out as an opponent that will potentially make Cotto look good. If Cotto was serious about wanting to prove something to fans, he would have taken on a dangerous opponent like Gennady Golovkin or Tureano Johnson. But in selecting the light-hitting Geale, who was knocked out in just three rounds a year ago against Golovkin, he’s betting that he can get him out of there in an impressive fashion to wow the casual boxing fans, many of which would have no clue that Geale has lost 2 out of his last 4 fights, and isn’t in the same league as guys like Golovkin. The casual fans will assume that Cotto has really accomplished something in beating Geale rather than them knowing that he chose Geale to fight rather than Golovkin.

“There’s no fight in boxing that’s as big as this,” Roc Nation Sports chief operating officer David Itskowitch said via the in referring to the Cotto vs. Canelo fight. “There’s no fight in boxing that’s as big as this.”

The Cotto-Canelo fight is a big match-up, to be sure. But I’m not sure that it’s the best fight that can be made. With Cotto seen as just a paper champion in the minds of many knowledgeable fans, and the middleweight-sized Canelo, who insists on fighting at 155 each time out against junior middleweights, we’re not seeing the actual best fighters in this bout going at it. We’re seeing good fighters, but clearly not the best. It’s just a good fight but knowing that they’re not the best in their respective divisions takes away a lot of the interest in the fight.

You can’t call Canelo a junior middleweight anymore because he’s fought three consecutive fights at middleweight, and his fight against Cotto will be yet another fight at middleweight. That’s four straight fights at middleweight. The last time that Canelo fought in the junior middleweight division was in 2013. It’s unknown if Canelo will ever fight at 154 again. Unless he can get a welterweight to move up to junior middleweight to fight him, I can see Canelo continuing to fight at middleweight against junior middleweights, and possibly even welterweights.

Cotto has to do his job this Saturday by going out and looking good against Geale if he wants to maximize profits for the Canelo fight. The Cotto-Geale fight will take place at a catch-weight of 157 pounds rather than the full weight for the middleweight division. Cotto wanted a catch-weight for the fight because he’s small for the middleweight division. However, Geale will still likely rehydrate to the 170s, possibly 175. He’ll have a significant size advantage in this fight, and Cotto is going to have to somehow try and negate it by cutting off the ring and looking to hurt Geale with shots. Geale moves well, and he could very well clown Cotto in the same way that Austin Trout did. But I think it’s going to be very difficult for Geale to get a decision win over Cotto, even if he out-boxes him over 12 rounds. There’s too much money in the Cotto-Canelo fight, and I can’t see the judges giving the win to Geale no matter how good he looks.

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