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Miguel Cotto rolls over Geale, says ‘Canelo will just be another fight’

Fighters Network
Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images

Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images

Daniel Geale had some moments in the first three rounds of the main event at Barclays Center on Saturday night, but then Miguel Cotto got a game face on, got nasty and got down to the hurt business. A left hook dropped Geale and he got up, but was compromised. He fought back, but was a guy with a pea-shooter against an owner of heavy artillery.

Some flurrying, punctuated by a right hand to the forehead, sent the Aussie to the mat once more. He rose, but the ref, Harvey Dock, assessed his eyes and his brain, and pulled the plug. The time of the halting was 1:28 elapsed in the fourth.

Cotto, never the most emotive of athletes, pumped his hands and roared in elation. After, he said that he was keen to meet Mexican rumbler Canelo Alvarez, and the masses who paid to see him do his thing in Brooklyn roared in approval. That’s our Miguel, was the message, he doesn’t duck any tough outs.

Cotto came to Brooklyn with a 39-4 mark; he was a surprisingly light 153.6 on Friday and we wondered if maybe Geale could rehydrate and give himself a poundage/strength edge. He was 182 on fight night, but no, that didn’t translate into a winning edge.

The Aussie, who held a 160 crown in 2011-2013 was 157 on Friday. He drew plaudits for his cheerful acceptance of the Cotto leveraging his status for a catchweight while the Twittersphere this week featured much snark aimed at the ex-Top Rank hitter for seeking and receiving this concession.

Cotto needed a win to keep justifying a three-fight, $50 million-plus deal with Roc. Doing the back-of-envelope math you realize Cotto needs to fight Canelo Alvarez, targeting October for that probably, and then another mongo tangle, like against a beast like Gennady Golovkin, to make that deal work for both sides. Cotto had been out of the ring for a year, after wresting the RING and WBC crowns from a diminished Sergio Martinez, who most figure will retire any day now so the potential rust factor had to be considered. It was not to be seen; if it was there, he left it at Wild Card.

Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images

Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images

Geale had to know his open window to chances on big stages would be narrowed with a loss. There’s no shame in getting stopped by Golovkin but a loss, especially a stoppage one, would cramp his options moving forward.

Much of the prefight talk centered on a contractual matter, that being Cotto’s “request” for the Aussie to carve and starve down to 157 on Friday. He did so but you saw his cheeks, supermodel shrunken, and wondered how much vitality had been sapped.

In the first, Geale was aggressive. Cotto popped a jab, landed a couple hooks to the body. Both were light on their feet in a zesty, busy first. A left hook to the body had Geale wincing, and bending.

In the second, down went Geale on a slip. His hand-speed found a home for his right a couple times. He was cognizant of the power on the Cotto hook. He was active of foot and hand, and Cotto had to work to stay defended. A combo from Cotto, featuring the power left, excited the crowd late.

In the third, Cotto bounced, moved, used a jab more, avoided the Geale jab, dropped in a mean left hook. A loopy right worked for Geale. Twice, it landed hard and clean.

To Round 4 – Cotto worked harder early. A left hook dropped Geale. Down he went again, off a bunch of clean blows. The ref said no mas.

Cotto told Freddie Roach after the win he was the best thing that ever happened to him. He said winning like this was a great thrill, and he gave Roach ample credit. “Canelo will just be another fight,” he said, and if the people want it, they will get it. Canelo, then Triple G? We will see, and he seemed open to it.

All in all, good showing for Cotto. He can say he did damage to Geale on par to what Golovkin did. The attendance was 12,157, a solid number given that the whispers were heavy that ticket sales were slow. The vibe in the arena was hot, with a decibel level which blew away #MayPac. One can only imagine the ear-pain for Cotto/Canelo …

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