Roach: I picked Geale for Cotto because he can give him rounds
By Allan Fox: Trainer Freddie Roach says he selected the 34-year-old Daniel Geale (31-3, 16 KOs) for his fighter WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) to fight tonight because he sees Geale as an old guy who can mainly give the 5’7” Cotto some rounds in order to get him ready for his next fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Roach says he didn’t want to pick out a stronger/tougher fighter than Geale because Cotto has been out of the ring for a long time since his last fight a year ago against Sergio Martinez.
Roach feels that Geale, who isn’t a puncher and who recently was knocked out by Gennady Golovkin in 3 rounds, was the ideal opponent for the 34-year-old Cotto to fight.
“I picked Geale because he’s a tough guy, and he’ll give us some rounds, and that’s what I want,” Roach said via esnewsreporting. “I didn’t want him to fight a stiffer opponent with his first fight back after a long layoff. I’d rather fight an old guy to give us some rounds and that can get us closer to our next fight. We’re the champion now and can fight at a catch-weight. Geale going into the ring with will be 175 pounds,” Roach said.
It’s not surprising that Roach and Cotto’s adviser selected Geale for Cotto to fight. It’s a voluntary defense for Cotto, so it’s expected that he would take someone that didn’t have a strong chance of actually beating him. If they had selected someone like Tureano Johnson, Billy Joe Saunders or Jorge Sebastian Heiland, Cotto would have had a fight on his hands. Cotto probably would beat all three of them, but those would definitely be tougher fights than Geale.
Roach just wants to make sure that Cotto is in one piece when he faces Saul “Canelo” Alvarez later on this year because there’s so much money involved in that fight. Roach wasn’t going to put Cotto in against someone that could potentially ruin Cotto’s chances of getting that payday fight because he’s not going to be around the sport for too much longer.
At this point it’s all about Cotto maximizing the amount of money that he makes with each fight with the least amount of threat. However, the Canelo will be a huge risk for Cotto, and if Cotto wins that fight, he’ll likely face Gennady Golovkin after that. Roach feels that Cotto has to face Golovkin if he gets past Canelo because he would be the only one left for Cotto. The only exception for that is if Floyd Mayweather Jr. decides he wants to fight Cotto in a rematch next year. That’s not likely to happen, but Roach would jump at making that fight if Mayweather does decide he’d like to fight Cotto a second time.
“If we do get pretty boy [Saul Canelo Alvarez] next and we defeat him, where can we go? We have to fight him [Golovkin],” Roach said. “He’s a tough fight, but he was exposed the other night a little bit. I know his trainer [Abel Sanchez] said he took shots on purpose, but I don’t believe that. I wouldn’t want any of my fighters to do that.”
When asked if he would be interested in matching Cotto back up with Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a rematch, Roach said “Possibly. Miguel is the bigger and stronger guy. Yeah, I would love to see that fight.”
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