3 More Rounds

Prizefight Preview: Miguel Cotto vs. Daniel Geale

Photos: Rich Kane - Hoganphotos / Roc Nation Sports

Photos: Rich Kane – Hoganphotos / Roc Nation Sports

Welcome back to the Prizefight Preview!

This Saturday night, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be hosting their 2nd big-time boxing card in an 8-day span, as reigning WBC middleweight champ Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico defends his crown against former title holder Daniel Geale of Australia. The 12-round contest will be televised nationwide on HBO, with the hopes that a Cotto victory could lead to a major pay-per-view showdown with Mexican icon Canelo Alvarez this Fall.

In the grand scheme of tune-up matches, there are many so-called experts who believe that Cotto (39-4, 32 KO’s) may have bitten off a bit more than he can chew with this contest. After all, he has only fought one match in the division, which was his title-winning effort against (a blatantly injured version of) Sergio Martinez last June. Prior to that event, the Puerto Rican sensation was less than sensational in his decision losses to Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout, and some doubted whether or not he was still an elite prizefighter who could box with the best in the game.

The flip-side of Saturday’s equation is Daniel Geale (31-3, 16 KO’s), a career middleweight who has won titles on enemy turf before (most notably, his decision win over Felix Sturm in Germany). The pundits who believe that Geale has a legitimate shot at winning on Saturday will undoubtedly point to those details, under the belief that the bigger man who has won tough matches on the road before will be unfazed under the circumstances of facing Cotto in a hostile New York environment.

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In the immortal words of ESPN College Football pre-game legend Lee Corso: “Not so fast, my friend!!!”

First off, the fact that this isn’t “truly” a middleweight title bout needs to be mentioned. Cotto used his political stroke to make the contracted weight 157, meaning that Geale will have to shed 3 additional pounds in order to keep the match intact. Meanwhile, somewhere in Italy, Marvin Hagler is punching a hole through a wall right now…

Secondly, the most crucial stat in the entire spectrum of stats surrounding this bout is ridiculously simple, yet unavoidable: Daniel Geale is 0-2 in America.

In his two previous trips to the States, the Aussie was outgunned by Darren Barker (close fight, could have gone either way) and completely demolished by Gennady Golovkin inside of 3 rounds. When the lights got brighter, Geale faded into the sunset, and was unable to find a way to win when it mattered most.

Expect a steady fade-job from Geale on Saturday night, as Cotto’s attacking style, combined with the rabid Brooklyn environment, slowly break Geale down to his core. As Geale’s punch output and accuracy dwindle, Cotto will turn up the pace with bruising body shots at center ring, along with short hooks & uppercuts in the clinch. If Geale can weather the mid-round storm, he may be able to stretch the match out, although he will have to pay a heavy price to get to the finish line.

News flash: he ain’t makin’ it to the finish line.

PREDICTION: Miguel Cotto by referee’s stoppage/TKO in round 9

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