Live on HBO from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Miguel Cotto and Daniel Geale meet for the lineal middleweight title. Instead of breaking down the X’s and O’s of the matchup the pugilist masses are mainly fixated on the number 157. That is the number Geale must hit to prevent a possible cancellation. Cotto’s image has taken a big hit of late and even if he does make a big statement this Saturday night the damage is deep. They might as well of called this fight Cotto vs. Geale: To Catch A Mockingbird.
Barring a minor roadblock the only major obstacle that stands in the way of an HBO PPV fight between Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez is Daniel Geale. The Aussie has middleweight contender pedigree it’s just too bad that this bout won’t be contested at 160. Instead, this bout will be fought at a catchweight of 157 pounds. Judging by the comments made by both camps in the lead-up it sounds as though sticking to their guns is the plan.
Cotto was clear in his intent for setting the weight at 157 and seems stuck in the mindset of make the weight or the fight is off. Funny thing is there’s no language in the contract that pertains to an overweight penalty according to Gary Show via Steve Kim’s Twitter account. Of course if Daniel Geale misses the weight he will be subjected to a fine but it may not matter based on the way Cotto adamantly pleaded his case if that should occur. I find it hard to believe that Miguel would deny his loyal followers on the eve of the fight but this is boxing so your guess is as good as mine.
Reports have swirled in the last few days that Geale was well over the goal weight and has struggled in recent times making the 160 pound limit let alone 157. Add to the fact that he will need plenty of energy to use constant movement and activity in order to produce a victory. A fight at 160 versus a quality guy like Geale would probably have caused some form of issue for Miguel. After all it’s not like Cotto has been campaigning as a middleweight for long and has only one fight against a smallish 160 pounder in Sergio Martinez. Geale has the skill to make this bout interesting but will he have the stamina to match that skill is the true question.
It may be risky but wise for Geale to take a hefty fine instead of whittling down every ounce on his body. It’s a risk for sure but a calculated risk that this scribe sees as a smart move in this instance. Then again maybe Cotto does back up his bark and bites down hard to cancel the event as promised.
Geale has a blend of that straight-up euro stance mixed with an awkward bouncy style. Being on the move for the majority of a fight puts a lot of work on a boxers legs, if you combine that with health and a nervous bounce it may result in a flat performance for Geale. Boxing like life is all about timing. For Miguel Cotto at middleweight timing has played a key role. Even to this day Sergio Martinez is still trying to heal his injured knee. A gracious and humble champ like Martinez wouldn’t blame his loss on injury but surely it played a major part in his last 2 fights.
Daniel Geale was KO’d by Gololvkin in his second to last outing which mentally could be a disadvantage to go along with being weight drained. This scribe, like many other media members and boxing fans isn’t crazy about catchweight fights. They are very prevalent in today’s game but a case by case judgment should be applied. At times if it’s fair and the only way a fight gets made it works. But too often it’s used as a weapon to feed on the “A” side’s prey which rips the soul of a fighter’s spirit under the bright lights on fight night.
Theirs an outside chance we still get a quality fight with numerous momentum swings but it’s doubtful as this fight enters the mid to late rounds. My hunch is Geale will be able to get his punches off in the opening rounds giving fans a taste of what could have been. Punch resistance and fatigue go hand and hand with excessive weight-loss. Not to mention Cotto probably beats a healthy Geale anyway. That said, once this bout enters the 2nd half of the fight it will be all Miguel Cotto.
Daniel Geale will get an “A” for effort and may still be able to land future title shots at 160, but after Saturday night there will be only the back-room suits preventing another installment of the best current rivalry in boxing, Mexico vs. Puerto Rico.
My official prediction is Miguel Cotto by late TKO Stoppage or Unanimous Decision.
Side Note: The PBC returns this Saturday afternoon on what should be a very busy sports day for NBC. It’s a real downer that the main event is subpar with an interesting undercard matchup between heavyweight prospects plus the Jesus Cuellar vs. Vic Darchinyan fight that could steal the show. No disrespect to Aron Martinez, who is no scrub and has been tested in the ring. Robert Guerrero’s string of tough fights puts him in line for a get well fight of sorts but a possible push-over in the main event on NBC is inexcusable. One can only hope that the underdog Martinez will rise to the occasion to make it a somewhat competitive TV fight.
Written by Chris Carlson Owner and Host of Rope-A-Dope-Radio blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio
Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio