(Photo Credit: Will Hart/HBO) By Dan Ambrose: Former IBF/WBA middleweight champion Daniel Geale (31-3, 16 KOs) just barely made weight on Friday in coming in right at 157 pounds to make weight for his 157lb catch-weight bout against WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) on Saturday night on HBO Championship Boxing from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
For his part, Cotto came in really light at 153.6. Cotto’s weight is definitely a concern here because he’s likely not going to rehydrate more than seven pounds. We’re probably talking about Cotto walking into the ring at 160, or possibly a little heavier than that.
Cotto could wind up being considerably smaller than Geale, who looked terribly emaciated at the weigh-in. Geale looks like he really drained himself to get down to the 157 pound catch-weight, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Geale comes into the fight on Saturday night weighing 175. That means that Cotto will have to find a way to beat a guy that out-weighs him by as much as 15 pounds when he gets inside the ring in their HBO televised fight.
Cotto was giving up size in his last fight against a broken down Sergio Martinez, but that was against a 39-year-old fighter who was coming off of a knee surgery and a 14 month layoff. Cotto won’t have that advantage against Geale, because he’s not 39 and he’s not coming off of a serious knee injury. Geale’s limbs are all fully functional and he’s really to do battle and make a mess of Cotto’s face like past fighters have done to him.
Geale figures that Cotto’s catch-weight is a tool to try and weaken him in the later rounds of the fight, because Geale is a big fighter who struggles to get to 160. For him have taken off the three extra pounds, it’s possible that he could fade late in the fight during the championship rounds. But if Geale is able to get to the later rounds of the fight, he could wind up giving Cotto a beating.
Cotto really needs a fast knockout in this fight in order to keep from having his face sliced and diced by the Australian fighter. It’s a tough situation that Cotto is in. He’s got the KO power to end it early if he can catch Geale with a big shot, but if he doesn’t get to him, then it could be really bad for Cotto. This isn’t going to be like Cotto’s massacre against Sergio Martinez, because Geale can actually move and he throws a lot of jabs. He’s also capable of throwing a lot of punches that will do a number on Cotto’s face, which is filled with scar tissue around each eye.