Cotto’s Showing Against Geale Means Nothing For What’s Next
This past weekend lineal middleweight champ Miguel Cotto 40-4 (34) took apart former alphabet title holder Daniel Geale 31-4 (16) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York.
Cotto looked terrific during the first three rounds of the fight boxing the taller Geale from the outside and then picking his spots and going on the offensive with his vaunted left hooks to the head and body. In the fourth round Miguel dropped Geale twice and you could see Daniel was visibly hurt and shook badly. Geale beat the count after the second knockdown, but once on his feet he told referee Harvey Dock that he’d had enough and willingly accepted that Cotto was the better man on this night.
The fight was contested at 157 pounds because team Cotto insisted upon it. During the week leading up to the fight there was some negative debate pertaining to catch-weight bouts, something that I relished hearing because I truly despise them. They’re a joke and prove nothing. However, prior to the start of the fight during the HBO preview, commentators Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman addressed how team Cotto felt about the negative connotation regarding the fight being contested at 157 instead of the 160 pound middleweight limit. Their attitude was after Miguel looks great demolishing Geale, and he did, everyone will be talking about how Cotto is back and a real threat to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and WBA middleweight title holder Gennady Golovkin, and they are right. Today Cotto’s showing is the buzz.
Well here comes the cold water and reality check…
As most boxing fans know, Gennady Golovkin stopped Daniel Geale in the third round of their title bout 11 months ago. Only they fought at 160. For the Cotto bout, Geale weighed in at 157 and then on the day of the fight he scaled 182 with street clothes on. To most that doesn’t seem like much of a big deal, after-all, he was probably 176 when he stepped in the ring for the fight, and that’s well over the middleweight limit……Well, the big deal is Geale looked like a skeleton at the weigh in and everybody saw it. On fight night he was that same skeleton with 20 pounds of fluid. Daniel looked shopworn standing in the ring warming up. He certainly wasn’t the same fighter who fought Golovkin in July of last year.
For the fight with Cotto, Daniel Geale was a sacrificial lamb, and he knowingly accepted that role because of the middleweight title being on the line and the money on the table. However, he was an empty package in the ring and everybody saw it. Geale, even when at full strength, is not much of a puncher; against Cotto, not only was he even more feather-fisted than usual, but he had no rhythm or timing.
He looked totally out of sort from the onset. And once Miguel felt him a little bit and realized there was nothing to him physically, he raised the rent and picked up the aggression because there was nothing coming back at him that deterred him in the least. So the left hooks came more frequently with badder intentions. And when they started to crash land, Geale began to flinch more and Cotto fed off of that. By the fourth round Cotto was bringing the fight to an opponent who might as well been handcuffed, that’s how much he feared the weakened Geale. After going down twice, Geale realized that he had nothing physically and chose not to continue getting slaughtered and punched around for what probably wasn’t a king’s ransom regarding his purse.
Has anyone ever noticed that in these catch-weight bouts it’s usually the guy who went down in weight that loses? This is the sole intention of them. Yes, Miguel Cotto looked great taking apart Geale. He boxed beautifully from both inside and outside. His punches were crisp and carried explosive power when they landed. He didn’t have to hit Geale many times to grasp that Daniel wanted to be somewhere else instead of where he was.
The fight achieved the result it was supposed to. Cotto won and looked terrific. Now the fight with Canelo will be made and it’ll be a huge draw. It always is when the biggest Mexican star in boxing confronts the biggest Puerto Rican star in boxing. Cotto and Alvarez have been on a collision course for about two years now. And both have handled their business well and looked great in their last bouts winning by an impressive stoppage. However, I think Cotto’s showing is more of a mirage. And let me say I’m a huge Cotto fan. He’s a real fighter and has always been willing to fight the best of the best. At this stage of his career I don’t begrudge him for fighting as a businessman first – he’s earned that. But at the same time I have to call it like I see it. And this past weekend Cotto beat up a melted down middleweight who he matched up with perfectly.
Everybody knew going in that Cotto was the superior fighter and technician, which bore itself out a minute into the bout. The only advantage Geale had was presumed size and strength, which he was robbed of in the weeks before the fight trying to make 157. Again, once Cotto felt Geale had nothing physically, he went right in and closed the show impressively. Which of course was the desired result and why that particular fight was made.
On Sunday morning after the fight, Cotto is a real threat to Alvarez and Golovkin in the eyes of many and trainer Frdddie Roach is a miracle worker…well, I just don’t buy that. Cotto beat an empty package in Daniel Geale fighting a WWE sanctioned bout.
Mark my words, when Cotto faces Alvarez, he will get beat up like he did against Manny Pacquiao even with Freddie Roach in his corner. He can’t play the catch-weight game with Alvarez, who destroyed James Kirkland as a junior middleweight. Cotto’s lineal title will be on the line for Alvarez, which means they’ll fight between 154 and 157, which is perfect for Alvarez. And if for some reason Cotto and Alvarez don’t get together because they are both divas and will bicker over the purse, he’ll have to turn to Golovkin. And if that fight happens, Golovkin will put Cotto in the fourth row of the press sitting ringside. That is unless Golovkin has to come in at 156 or 157. Cotto is a manufactured middleweight and gamed the system against Geale.
As terrific as Cotto looked this past weekend fighting Daniel Geale, he didn’t show me he he has anything to better Alvarez or Golovkin.
Frank Lotierzo can be reached at GlovedFist@Gmail.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Roc Nation Sports/Miguel Cotto Promotions