Middleweight champion Cotto eyes lucrative liaison after Geale clash
Puerto-Rican great Miguel Cotto will soon put his WBC middleweight title on the line against Daniel Geale at the Barclays Center in New York, almost a year after winning his world crown from Sergio Martinez with a 10th-round stoppage. A successful defence would open the door to a sensational showdown with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin.
Cotto, who holds a record of 39-4 including 32 knock-outs, steps into the ring in Brooklyn, where Amir Khan recently overcame Chris Algieri, as the heavy favourite (even-money with Coral for KO or TKO win) after a year off, which has seen him come back in the best shape of his life.
“Most of that [year break] is physically [resting]. All I did was rest every part of my body. It’s healed. I’m fresh, I’m new, and everybody is going to see it this Saturday. I feel better. I feel rejuvenated. I feel I can beat anyone in boxing,” declared Cotto.
Of course, Geale, who has previously held both the IBF and WBA middleweight belts, is the immediate concern for this rejuvenated 34-year-old, but it’s hard for highly-driven ‘Junito’ to refrain from looking beyond his next middleweight opposition, with prestigious bouts against Alvarez and ‘GGG’ potentially lurking on the horizon.
Cotto and Mexican ‘Canelo’ were unable to come to an agreement for a thrilling match-up earlier this calendar year, but a mouth-watering middleweight meeting towards the Winter period could finally be set up, providing the gallant Puerto-Rican sees off Geale, with talks reportedly ongoing.
“I wouldn’t be able to tell you. From what I understand is that the talks are very advanced,” claimed Cotto. “The focus right now is on Daniel Geale on June 6. Canelo I understand looked very good in his fight with Kirkland. After this fight, after a good rest and spending time with my family we can talk about Canelo. We can talk about anybody and the better benefit for my career.”
‘Real Deal’ Geale is highly unfancied to cause his counterpart any serious trouble (4/1 to triumph), despite boasting plenty of credentials in the division; having enjoyed a hugely successful spell between 2007 and 2009, as well holding the IBF title from 2011 to 2013, but he was dismantled by middleweight monster Golovkin in three rounds last year.
While Cotto has come face-to-face with many of the sport’s biggest names, including Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, and has never been a fighter to duck any challenges at all, he has so far been able to avoid the undeniable advances from Kazakhstan bulldozer ‘GGG’. The unbeaten fighter will be piling further pressure on Cotto, as he will be in attendance in New York come the early hours of Sunday morning.
“I want to watch this fight in person and look forward to fighting the winner to show who the real WBC middleweight champion is,” stated Golovkin. “A unification fight with the winner is very important to me.”
Golovkin has won all 33 of his professional fights to date, boasting a record 20 consecutive stoppages, but the undefeated Olympic silver medallist doesn’t attract as big of an audience as other stars in the middleweight division can generate, despite a passionate following in the United States.
If Cotto is to ease past his latest opponent on American soil (6/4 for points decision) then a showdown with Golovkin is hard to shy away from, with the Kazakh holding the WBA and IBO middleweight titles and is the mandatory challenger, meaning only a super-bout between ‘Junito’ and ‘GGG’ could determine the division’s true great.
— Gennady Golovkin (@GGGBoxing) May 28, 2015
Although, WBC president Mauricio Sulaimon has claimed he is willing to make an exception for Cotto to come up against Alvarez if he does dispatch Geale. One condition for that possible exception, though, is that both fighters must agree they will fight Golovkin next if they win, but Cotto declared, in typically defiant fashion, he will not be forced to take on anyone.
“If the WBC is the one to determine who they think I should face then I’ll simply save myself the 3 percent and just fight and do what I want,” declared Cotto. “I will do what I have to do to benefit my career and my family,” stated the Puerto Rican.
Cotto, who is under the guidance of Freddie Roache, forced his next fight to be held at a catch weight of 157 pounds, rather than the traditional 160 middleweight limit, with the former welterweight champion having never weighed in over 155 in his 43-bout professional career, while Geale hasn’t been below 158 in eight years.
Nevertheless, Cotto should comfortably see off his latest challenger, with Geale 12/1 to cause a stunning upset by KO or TKO, as the division’s bigger attractions wait impatiently on the horizon.