BROOKLYN, NY — Miguel Cotto’s path to Canelo Alvarez is now clear. Cotto needed just 4 rounds and two knockdowns to dispose of Daniel Geale Saturday night at the Barclays Center. Despite clearly being the bigger man in size, Geale was much smaller than his Puerto Rican foe in terms of skill and power.
A VISIBLE EFFECT EVERY TIME: Less than 10 seconds into the bout, Cotto landed several left hooks. One downstairs clearly bothered Geale and made him instinctively cover his right side. Dozens more would follow as Cotto doubled up the shot. Even jabs stopped Geale dead in his tracks. Geale’s massive 25 pound weight gain to 182 in just 24 hours left him looking sluggish. The snap on his punches, his movement and punch resistance were sluggish. Cotto’s sharp-shooting was not — he beat Geale to the punch every round and was never bothered by any random shot Geale landed.
LEFT HOOKS CLOSE THE SHOW: In round 4, Geale had retreated to the ropes and made the fatal error of trying to exchange left hooks.
Cotto’s got there first and Geale found himself flat on the canvas, his head lolling over the ring apron. He slowly rose and was greeted with a surge of power shots that earned Geale a second trip to the floor. Again, Geale beat the count but told the referee he needed no more punishment, giving Cotto a fourth round TKO. The uncompleted round saw Cotto land 17 of his 34 power shots.
CANELO IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE, GGG IS THE DISTANT (MAYBE NEVER) FUTURE: During the post-fight interview, Cotto all but confirmed the worst-kept secret in boxing that Canelo will be his next dance partner. His enthusiasm dulled when Golovkin’s name came up. He gave a long pause and shoulder shrug before saying maybe it could eventually happen after Canelo.
Cotto is not a natural middleweight, but he holds the middleweight title. If he goes through with facing Canelo, that fight should be at the junior middleweight limit. The lineal middleweight title should not be held hostage from the division’s #1 contender in Golovin, who’s now had to deal with two consecutive champions that are flat out refusing to face him.
As for who wins Cotto-Canelo, I give the edge to the latter. Yes, Freddie Roach has done a good job re-focusing Cotto into the aggressive, left-hooking destroyer he was in his early years. But his opponents under Roach (Delvin Rodriguez, Sergio Martinez, and Daniel Geale) have been carefully selected. You can make a legitimate argument that Cotto’s last live body was Austin Trout, who beat him back in 2012. Canelo hasn’t exactly been in a murder’s row either, but the versions he faced of Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, and yes, even James Kirkland, are better than Cotto’s recent run.
Style-wise, Cotto is the matador who has to keep the bull tamed with a left hook over a red cape. At 34, it’s a tall task, but you know the old saying — great fighters rise to the occasion..[youtube https://youtu.be/8FuXW2QkYCw]
FULL FIGHT[youtube https://youtu.be/z_yrv66amH0]