By: William Holmes
On Saturday June 6th, 2015 championship level caliber boxing will return to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York for the second week in a row as Miguel Cotto defends his WBC World Middleweight title against former IBF World Middleweight champion Daniel Geale.
Cotto is no stranger to New York and he considers it his second home since he has fought there several times before. But all of his prior fights in New York City have either taken place at Madison Square Garden or Yankee Stadium, and this will be the first time that Cotto has ever fought at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Photo: Rich Kane – Hoganphotos/Roc Nation Sports
Many feel that this bout is a stay busy fight for Cotto until he moves onto a possible tougher opponent in the fall, with Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin leading the list of likely candidates. But this is only Cotto’s second fight in the middleweight division and Geale is not an opponent that Cotto and his legion of fans should overlook.
The following is a preview of Saturday’s world title bout.
Daniel Geale (31-3) vs. Miguel Cotto (39-4); WBC World Middleweight Title
Miguel Cotto has nothing left to prove to the boxing world. He has held world titles in four different weight classes and has fought some of the best the sport has had to offer during his prime. He’s arguably one of the most successful Puerto Rican boxers of all time and he just defeated the lineal World Middleweight Champion.
Cotto is thirty four years old, an age most boxers tend to show their physical decline in the ring. Cotto also hasn’t been inside the ring since June of 2014 when he defeated a clearly hobbled and past his prime Sergio Martinez for the middleweight title.
Daniel Geale is also thirty four years old and looks to be past his prime. Geale however has been more active than Cotto in recent years and fought three times in 2014 and is no stranger to fighting in New York City. Geale has also competed in the middleweight division since 2007 and is more adjusted to the weight class. However, Cotto has attempted to counteract the weight advantage by insisting and receiving a catch weight for this fight at 157 pounds, a weight that some pundits believe Geale will have trouble reaching.
Both Cotto and Geale have had successful amateur careers. Geale won the gold medal in the 2002 Commonewelath Games and represented Australia in the 2000 Olympics. Cotto won the silver medal in the 1998 Junior World Championships and competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics for Puerto Rico.
Geale will have a three inch height advantage and about a four inch reach advantage over Cotto, in addition to more experiencing fighting in heavier divisions. Cotto however has the edge in power as thirty two of his thirty nine victories were the result of a stoppage while Geale has only stopped sixteen of his thirty one defeated opponents. Cotto’s last five victories also ended in a TKO or KO, but two of his past five fights were defeats. Only one of Geale’s past five victories were the result of a stoppage and he has also lost two of his past five fights.
Cotto’s notable victories include Sergio Martinez, Delvin Rodriguez, Antonio Margarito, Ricardo Mayorga, Yuri Foreman, Joshua Clottey, Alfonso Gomez, Shane Mosley, and Zab Judah. His losses were to Antonio Margarito before he got caught wrapping his hands illegally, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Ausin Trout.
Daniel Geale doesn’t have quite the professional resume of Miguel Cotto but he has defeated the likes of Anthony Mundine, Felix Sturm, Roman Karmazin, and Daniel Dawson. His notable losses include a split decision to Anthony Mundine, a split decision loss to Darren Barker, and a TKO loss to Gennady Golovkin.
The one big advantage that Geale had going into this fight was his size advantage, but Cotto has negated that by requesting and receiving a catch weight. Cotto has the heavier hands, the better experience, and more notable victories. If Geale isn’t greatly affected by the weight cut he could make this fight interesting and closer than expected, but Cotto should be the favored and will win easily if he can shake off the ring rust early on.
Final Press Conference Quotes:
Miguel Cotto – WBC & Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion
“I want to thank my lovely family for being here with my. My kids, my wife, my lovely mom. Thank you for always supporting my career no matter how hard it seems or looks to you. I love you.”
“I think that people are making a big issue where there does not need to be a big issue with catch weights. Freddie, back in 2009, made me go down from 147 to 145. Did anyone hear anything about Miguel Cotto disagreeing with the catch weights? No, I was a gentlemen the whole way. Catch weights were our main point to make this fight happen. Daniel and his team agreed to going down to 157 and I hope he can make weight on Friday. I hope to see everyone there on Saturday night.”
“Freddie brings the confidence back to Miguel. He comes every day no matter what he feels and gives his best to me. When you have this kind of person in front of you giving you his best and making sure that you are going to do your best, the only way you can pay him back is bringing your best too. We only talk about boxing when we are in the gym. He’s my trainer there, but as soon as we finish our training session, he’s my friend.”
Daniel Geale – Former Two-Time World Champion
“This is a huge opportunity and I’m very excited. We’re so excited as a team that this fight is taking place. We’ve put a great training camp in for this fight and I’m feeling as good as I ever have. There’s no excuses. I’m going in as the best fighter I can possibly be. I’m hoping Miguel Cotto is the best fighter he can be as well. I want the fans to enjoy a great fight and I believe it will be a great fight. I can’t wait to walk away with another title. I’m going in very confident and I know a lot of people aren’t giving me much of a chance, but I have a huge amount of confidence in myself knowing I’ve completed a great training camp. Knowing that I have put everything that I possibly can into it and knowing that I have such a great team. I look forward to Saturday night.”
Gary Shaw – Gary Shaw Productions
“I have a personal problem with catch weights. We accepted the catch weight of 157 and I’m not here to complain about the catch weight. We’re going to make the weight. It’s going to be tough. I believe that if a fighter wants to fight at any weight that he wants to fight at, he has that opportunity, but he shouldn’t stop the opponent from fighting at the sanctioned weight which in this case is 160.”
“I believe Daniel Geale is going to win the fight. I believe that Miguel and his team made a mistake. If they were looking at the Golovkin fight, thinking that’s the Daniel that is going to come into the ring…it will not be that same Daniel Geale.”
“It’s truly an honor to represent Daniel Geale because he’s a different young man. The first time I met him, I flew to Germany. I looked around and I couldn’t identify Daniel Geale. Little did I know, he was standing against the back wall. After taking my seat at the dais, Daniel Geale walked up. I looked at him and I said “we’re in trouble! This kid looks like a choir boy not a fighter,” but he gave it all he got and he won the fight. He’s a family man. Doesn’t travel with an entourage. Always on time. Trains hard. Does everything that a true champion has to do.”