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Fight Picks: Miguel Cotto vs. Daniel Geale

Fighters Network
05
Jun
Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images

Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images

On Saturday, Miguel Cotto returns from his year-long hiatus to face former unified 160-pound titlist Daniel Geale and put his RING and WBC middleweight crowns on the line  sort of. The bout is being fought at a catchweight of 157 pounds and takes place at Madison Square Garden; it will be broadcast on HBO at 10:30 p.m. ET.

The fight pits two fighters who on a regular basis look to challenge themselves against the best. Cotto has been able to re-invent himself after a bad 2012 with two wins under the expert stewardship of Freddie Roach. Geale is naturally the bigger man. Although not known as a puncher, he possesses good all-around skills and durability – not withstanding the Gennady Golovkin loss.

Noted British trainer Joe Gallagher pondered the intangibles that will likely decide the outcome of the fight.

“It’s a really interesting fight. You’ve got Cotto, who everyone expects to win, but he’s going in with a proper middleweight in Daniel Geale,” he mused while speaking with RingTV.com. “You wonder if Cotto will be able to keep Geale off for the 12 rounds, Geale being the heavier man. You say to yourself, ‘Will Cotto’s punching power be able to trouble Daniel Geale?’ [Geale’s] been in with really good operators and done 12 rounds with them – he’s a solid fighter.



“It may not be as clear cut as people think; it’ll be interesting. Is there much left of Daniel Geale after the Golovkin fight? Is he a bit gun-shy? Will he freeze again in a big fight against Cotto? Will Miguel Cotto be able to get his body-punching off against Daniel Geale? Will that have an effect down the straight? Will Miguel Cotto’s ring inactivity over the last 12 months play a factor down the straight? I do think it’s a really good fight.”

Cotto (39-4, 32 knockouts) impressively stopped longtime middleweight ruler Sergio Martinez last June. The Puerto Rican became the island’s first four-weight world champion by dismantling the Argentine champion in 10 rounds, dropping him four times en route to victory. Previously he won world titles at 140, 147 and 154.

Geale (31-3, 16 KOs) is no stranger to fighting and winning on the road. He beat Sebastian Sylvester in Germany in 2010 for the IBF strap and replicated the feat in 2012 when he bested Felix Sturm to become the WBA beltholder. Geale was stopped last summer in three rounds against Golovkin but since then has bounced back with a win over countryman Jarrod Fletcher.

Online gambling group bet365 lists Cotto as a strong favorite at 1/6 (-600), while Geale is listed at 4/1 (+400).

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Photo by Tom Hogan

RingTV.com asked 20 boxing insiders for their picks:

Kenny Adams, trainer of 25 world champions

Miguel Cotto KO Daniel Geale: I pick Cotto. I say late knockout.

Norm Frauenheim, THE RING Magazine/15rounds.com

Miguel Cotto UD 12 Daniel Geale: Is an upset possible? Sure is. Daniel Geale has advantages in height and reach, comparable to those employed by Austin Trout in his upset of Cotto. He’s been the road warrior, beating Felix Sturm in front of a hostile German crowd. He’s a natural middleweight. Cotto isn’t.

But Cotto isn’t a dummy either. He does his homework. He knows danger when he sees it and Geale is dangerous enough to also upset plans for big money against Canelo Alvarez. It won’t be easy, but Cotto’s smarts, body work and a New York crowd of Puerto Rican partisans figure to give him a narrow edge on the cards.

Jeffrey Freeman, www.KODigest.TV

Miguel Cotto UD 12 Daniel Geale: With the existence of Gennady Golovkin in the middleweight division, this 157-pound catchweight title bout is an insult to the world of boxing. That’s the real deal. Australian Daniel Geale was demolished in three by GGG last year while Miguel Cotto looks to have no interest in defending his “linear” middleweight championship against “Triple G” anytime soon after winning it from a hobbled Sergio Martinez in 2014. It would appear that Geale wants to be the middleweight champion of the world more than Cotto wants the responsibility of reign but that championship desire won’t be enough to wrest the crown from Cotto in New York City. This clash of smallish middleweights ought to be an entertaining fusion of fisticuffs but there is a clear disparity in skill that favors Cotto. The way I see it, an evenly contested struggle through the first half of the fight becomes less and less even in the second half as Cotto then pulls away from Geale in the championship rounds to secure a hard fought but unanimous decision.

Joe Gallagher, trainer

Miguel Cotto W 12 Daniel Geale: Geale has been the busier of the two; Cotto hasn’t fought since Sergio Martinez. You look at Cotto’s record, it suggests he’s the heavier hitter of the two but he’s been operating in the lower weight divisions. Daniel Geale was on a real good run of form – good wins over Sebastian Sylvester, Roman Karmazin, Felix Sturm, Anthony Mundine – good operators. He lost a close fight to Darren Barker, he has come back with a couple of good wins, he got blown apart by Golovkin. He has the big comeback against Fletcher.

I do feel the better work will come from Miguel Cotto, technically, looking for the body. After six rounds this becomes a very interesting fight if Daniel Geale down the straight can hang in there and have success.

I think it’s a question of what both have left in their careers, they’re both aged 34. It’s a more even fight than so say. If I’m pushed I’m going to go Cotto on points, I do feel there could be some controversy over it.

 

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Robert Garcia, trainer

Miguel Cotto W 12 Daniel Geale: I would say Cotto wins, but it wont be easy because Geale is experienced, he’s the bigger guy. But I still pick Cotto to win this fight. I think a decision.

Tom Gray, RingTV.com

Miguel Cotto UD 12 Daniel Geale: It speaks volumes that Miguel Cotto has elected to defend his title against an opponent who lasted less than three rounds with Gennady Golovkin less than a year ago. Cotto is not a middleweight and has gone for what many perceive to be a safe option here. Could it backfire? Possibly, but the Puerto Rican great should be at least two levels about Geale who, despite being a class act, has seen better days. I expect Cotto to box off the affable Aussie and survive the odd moment of discomfort to claim a decision.

Lee Groves, RingTV.com

Miguel Cotto TKO 10 Daniel Geale: While Geale remains a talented fighter with hand and foot speed, the one element that helped separate him from the pack – high volume – has all but disappeared in recent fights. That will slow the fight down to a comfortable speed for Cotto, who will be coming off a year-long layoff but who also has prospered under Freddie Roach. Additionally, Cotto is fighting in June and in New York City, a set of circumstances that has usually resulted in great success. Only one man has ever beaten Cotto under such a scenario – Austin Trout in 2012 – and Geale won’t become the second. It will take Cotto a bit of time to figure out Geale’s skill set but once he does the systematic, clinical destruction will commence.

Andreas Hale, KnockoutNation.com

Miguel Cotto UD 12 Daniel Geale: Geale won’t simply roll over and I fully expect him to give Cotto all he can handle early. He’s a respectable fighter but without a significant win in his past four fights, after being rolled by Golovkin and a split-decision loss to Barker. Garth Wood and Jarrod Fletcher simply aren’t of Cotto’s boxing pedigree. With the Puerto Rican fans behind him, Cotto will start slow but outclass Geale en route to a unanimous-decision victory using his jab and controlling the distance. More significant on this night is just how good he ends up looking, as it will either make him look like a formidable matchup with Golovkin and Canelo or on the wrong side of his Hall of Fame career..

Reggie Johnson, former middleweight and light heavyweight champion

Miguel Cotto W 12 Daniel Geale: I think Cotto still has enough to win that fight. I think Cotto learned a lot from that Margarito rematch and Sergio Martinez; I think it took him to a whole other level. I think it’ll go the distance but Cotto will win.

 

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Photo by Chris Farina

Sergio Mora, former junior middleweight titleholder

Miguel Cotto UD 12 Daniel Geale: I think Daniel Geale is very lucky, very fortunate. I don’t think he deserves this fight. He got knocked out, blasted out just two fights ago against Gennady Golovkin, when he fought for another title. It’s just unfair guys like this get opportunities after getting knocked out in nine minutes. I don’t think Daniel Geale deserves that shot but now that he has it, great for him, he has an opportunity to shock the world. It’s going to be hard for him to do that because Miguel Cotto’s a legendary fighter; he’s fought the best fighters of the last 10 years, he’s fighting in his hometown and in reality Daniel Geale is a little bit tailor-made for him because although he’s a mover he doesn’t move as much as he used to. He’s determined and he still sees angles but I don’t think he has the necessary footwork and tools to do what he used to. A young Daniel Geale would probably beat Miguel Cotto but the older shopworn Daniel Geale, that’s a guy I’m nervous about. I don’t think he has a chance of winning. He might entertain us a couple rounds but ÔǪ it’s a one way Cotto fight.

Diego Morilla, XNSports.com, RingTV.com, HBO.com

Miguel Cotto W 12 Daniel Geale: Bad news for Cotto fans hoping to count on the “home edge” mojo: Geale has already won a unified title abroad against a proven world champion (Sturm, in Germany). Later, he had two losses by the slimmest of margins before succumbing (as everyone else so far) against Gennady Golovkin, and because of this he could easily tell the world he has one legitimate defeat in his record. But still, Cotto is head and shoulders above Geale in terms of technical ability, ring IQ, achievements and experience against top opposition, and that should be plenty for him to keep his belt after a rugged, hard-fought slugfest that could easily be decided in the last four rounds.

Marty Mulcahey, UCNlive.com

Daniel Geale W 12 Miguel Cotto: Since I believe this fight goes to a decision I am reliant on the three judges to look good in the end, because I am picking Geale to win a decision in Cotto’s second boxing home of New York City.

I throw Geale’s loss to Gennady Golovkin out the window because he is a force akin to Klitschko’s at heavyweight so I ignore that result. Outside of the loss to Golovkin no one has had an easy time with Geale, and Cotto has struggled with awkward guys such as Austin Trout and in hindsight Sergio Martinez was a spent force. Geale will have 3-inch height and 4-inch reach advantage that he will use to blunt Cotto, who of late likes to get inside and make things rough.

However, Geale is naturally bigger man in this fight and should win the fight in the final four rounds and maybe score a flash knockdown, catching Cotto with a long punch as he resets chasing Geale. A close fight, but Geale wins it on jab, movement, and ugly counters turning off the ropes.

 

Hassan N’dam, middleweight contender

Miguel Cotto KO 7 Daniel Geale: I think Cotto will win by knockout in seven rounds. He has good precision and combinations.

John J. Raspanti, Maxboxing.com/Doghouseboxing.com/Ringside Boxing Show

Miguel Cotto TKO 10 Daniel Geale: Many boxing fans feel that Daniel Geale will upset defending middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto on June 6. I don’t see that happening. Geale will have a pretty substantial edge in height and reach, but Cotto is on a roll right now. I see Geale starting fast, but eventually Cotto will catch and stop him late in the bout.

 

Harry Pratt, RingTV.com

Miguel Cotto TKO 9 Daniel Geale: WBC middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto will prove too strong for the Aussie challenger, who despite his bravery has shown his vulnerability when facing superior opponents. That doesn’t mean Geale can’t punch hard but I expect Cotto to take any punishment before inflicting his own and cruising to a comfortable stoppage in the latter stages.

Matt Richardson, Fightnews.com

Miguel Cotto W 12 Daniel Geale: I believe this is a very underrated fight. Miguel Cotto may be the middleweight champion but he’s not really a middleweight. Daniel Geale, meantime, is a legitimate 160-pounder with two good legs. There’s no shame in his loss to Gennady Golovkin or even Darren Barker, the year before. Then again, he doesn’t really have an unsolvable style. He’ll be there to exchange and get hit and I expect Cotto to oblige him. Cotto will have some difficulty early on dealing with Geale’s size and determination but down the stretch I anticipate that he’ll begin to connect (particularly with body punches) which should help him score enough points to win a close and perhaps controversial 12-round decision. Cotto by decision.

 

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Joern Pollex/Bongarts-Getty Images

Cliff Rold, BoxingScene.com

Daniel Geale SD 12 Miguel Cotto: We’ve seen Geale go on the road to win before and he can do it here. He’s naturally bigger, has a good work rate, and has two wheels underneath him. Cotto hasn’t faced someone this live in a couple of years. Geale isn’t a huge puncher and with bigger money fights looming, a scorecard mess isn’t out of the question. I like the split in Geale’s favor.

Michael Rosenthal, THE RING Magazine

Miguel Cotto UD 12 Daniel Geale: I don’t think this version of Cotto is quite as good as he looked against limited Delvin Rodriguez and crippled Sergio Martinez but he is still a class above Daniel Geale. I think Geale will be more competitive than some people think but he’ll lose a unanimous decision to a better, more experienced opponent.

Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer

Miguel Cotto W 12 Daniel Geale: Of course we have to favor Cotto because of his background and his experience but I think Geale is a live underdog. I think the fight with Golovkin is no indication of what he is as a fighter. I think he’s going to give Cotto a hard time and don’t be surprised if it’s some kind of controversial ending but I do give Cotto the edge – a 60-40 fight. I think Miguel will win a points decision in a close fight.

Dominic Verdin, RingTV.com

Miguel Cotto W 12 Daniel Geale: Miguel Cotto needs to win against Daniel Geale if he has any desire to face Canelo Alvarez in the fall. Will there be added pressure to secure a dominant performance over the former Australian titleholder? Yes and no; a win is a win and the victory will be obtained over the course of 12 difficult rounds against the durable Geale.

Final tally: 18-2, in favor of Miguel Cotto to win Saturday’s 157-pound catchweight showdown with Daniel Geale.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright

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