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Geale has a good chance to upset Cotto

Daniel Geale Miguel CottoBy Bob Smith: The key to the outcome of this fight will not be the talents of Miguel Cotto at welterweight or even light middleweight, or what Cotto did four or more years ago. Rather, It will be what he has done since early 2012. And what has he done since then? He lost two fights in a row, to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and then to Austin Trout, handily beat a very over matched opponent in Delvin Rodriguez, then beat a cripple in obtaining the title from the wounded Sergio Martinez.

While he did get the lineal title, he did so because it was a cash out fight for Sergio Martinez, who likely would have lost to any of the top 10 middleweights based on his performance in the ring at the time. Why then is someone who has only defeated a C level journeyman in more than three years given such accolades, when a fighter like Daniel Geale, who lacks a ready made fan base but who also would have beaten Sergio Martinez, shunned and dismissed?

It is also significant that Geale is an actual full sized middleweight and it borders on farcical that the paper title holder will force any opponent to face him a junior middleweight in order to contest for the title. It is especially shameful because he has been called out for many many months by Gennady Golovkin, who he refuses to face, and will likely continue to duck even if he does win the fight. Roach is equally disingenuous when he asserts that the #4 pound for pound star, who recently nearly sold out the Forum, is simply a random unknown and unproven quantity.

While it is true that Cotto and Geale are the same age, Geale has spent his entire career at middleweight, while Cotto has had only one fight against a cripple there. Geale has a longer reach,good movement, and will be able to handle the power of Cotto, including his body shots and hooks. It is Cotto, rather who should be concerned about the technique and reach and power of Geale.

While a Cotto victory would not be surprising, a Geale victory would not be surprising either, as the fight is a toss up. When we look at major “upsets” over the past few years, they typically have come from a world-class challenger at one weight trying to go up in weight to challenge a master level fighter at that class. This was true when Adrien Broner lost to Marcos Maidana; Nonito Donaire to Nicholas Walters; Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to Andrzej Fonfara; even Yuriorkis Gamboa to Terence Crawford. Weight classes are there for a reason, and success in one does not necessarily translate to success in another. While Cotto has climbed from junior welterweight to junior middleweight successfully, a middleweight who rehydrates at least to the mid-160s will be too big for him.

If Cotto does defeat Geale in a tough decision or even a late knockout, the latter of which I think is very unlikely, even still he compares unfavorably with Golovkin, who fought Geale at 160. I expect that regardless of what happens on Saturday Cotto will eventually vacate his belt to avoid facing Golovkin, then ride off into the sunset after a cash out fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez where he will clearly lose. While he is a hall of fame fighter, he is a tired and shot one at that, and one who has not been able to compete successfully at the world class level for several years, and after one or both of these fights, others will realize this as well.

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