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Roach: Cotto’s ring knowledge will be Geale’s undoing

Daniel Geale Freddie Roach Miguel CottoBy Dan Ambrose: In what appears to be a sly attempt to pat himself on the back, trainer Freddie Roach said that the main advantage that his fighter WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) will have over his 34-year-old opponent Daniel Geale (31-3, 16 KOs) in their catch-weight fight at 157 pounds is Cotto’s ring knowledge.

Ultimately, Roach thinks that Cotto will be too smart for the No.6 WBC ranked contender when they battle it out on June 6th on HBO Championship Boxing from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

“One of Miguel’s greatest strength against Geale will be his body shots, but Miguel’s knowledge in the ring will be Geale’s ultimate undoing,” Roach said.

I don’t think Cotto is going to have much luck getting close enough to Geale to land those body shots that Roach is talking about. If you’ve ever seen Geale fight, you’ll note that it’s very difficult to get close to him due to his constant hopping around the ring. He literally won’t stand still, especially for a small 5’7” fighter with limited height and reach like Cotto.

Geale isn’t going to stand that and play stupid for Cotto. He’s going to keep moving, jabbing, and force Cotto to try and beat him with long single right hands. Cotto is likely not going to be able to land his left hooks in this fight, nor his body shots. Those weapons are pretty much already taken away the moment he steps inside the ring with Geale.

Gennady Golovkin wasn’t able to throw body shots against Geale in their fight last year because of Geale’s movement, and Golovkin has a longer reach than Cotto. If Golovkin couldn’t get close enough to land his body shots, which I rate as being better than Cotto’s, then there’s no way that Cotto with his short arms is going to be able to land his body shots either.

“His [Cotto] body shots are very effective and the head shots come with it,” Roach said. “I think we are going to get a late round knockout. Geale is tough enough to go some rounds, but a knockout in a late round…that’s my call.”

A knockout in the late rounds is probably not going to happen for Cotto on June 6th. Instead of focusing on trying to get a KO, Cotto needs to be thinking 100 percent on winning a 12 round decision and hope that he can get the win, because this fight could turn out to be another nightmarish fight for Cotto like his fight against Austin Trout. Cotto was out-pointed by Trout in 2012 in losing a 12 round decision.

Trout, who is shorter than Geale, used his long arms to keep Cotto stuck on the outside all night long and won a fairly easy fight. Trout took away Cotto’s right hand and left hooks and forced him to try and beat him with jabs. That obviously wasn’t going to happen with Trout enjoying a five inch reach advantage.

Geale’s reach is almost as long as Trout’s, and he’s quite capable of doing the same things that Trout did to Cotto. That’s why it’s very odd that Cotto chose Geale as his next opponent instead of another easy mark like he’s faced in his last two fights against an over-the-hill Sergio Martinez and former ESPN favorite Delvin Rodriguez.

Whether Cotto wins or loses the fight against Geale, he’s bound to make the decision to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez next in the fall. That fight needs to be made, as it’ll be the second fight on Cotto’s three-fight, $50 million contract with Roc Nation Sports. Cotto needs to fight popular fighters, and Canelo fits that description.

“Daniel Geale is the next chapter in my career,” Cotto said. “After I get through him, I can talk about what comes next.”

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