A Downunder Aussie in King Miguel’s Court.

Daniel Geale is going to New York to fight again. Once again, it will be the featured bout on US Subscription TV giant, HBO. It’s about here where similarities to his last trip there end and the differences begin.

Last time he was boxing in the shadows of history, in the time-honoured pugilistic colosseum, Madison Square Garden. Geale was facing boxing’s new wave, in the elite threshing machine that was and is, Gennady Golovkin.

In a kind of juxtaposition of perception, this time Geale is boxing in 21st Century splendor at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The ‘House that Jay-Z built’ has only just started gathering the faintest miasma of history, but such freshness hasn’t stopped its management from moving aggressively into the boxing market.

Conversely, the man Geale will be facing between the ropes at Barclays, one Miguel Angel Cotto, is ‘old-money’ in today’s venture capitalist riche environment. Cotto has moved through the weights – starting at 140 pounds to culminate at this weekend’s contracted weight of 157 – evolving from a brute force but educated brawler, to a tiny man in the Middleweight jungle he ‘rules’ now, partly thanks to Sergio Martinez’ weak-at-the-knees capitulation to him last year.

Signing with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, Cotto brought his steamboat lustre to boxing’s newest addition to the promotional paddlesteamer. He abandoned a handshake agreement with his friend … and also CEO of Cotto’s almost career-long promoter, Top Rank, in Todd duBoef, later intimating he had felt disrespected during their efforts throughout the early part of this year, to make the ‘Superfight’ against Canelo Alvarez.

And now Cotto brings his hip-hop backed caboose into New York – this time, the week before the Puerto Rican Day Parade, which he’s had a mortgage on as time’s gone by.

After being criticised ever since the Martinez fight for – among other things – not honouring his mandatory obligation to Golovkin, Cotto, in fighting Geale, has gone some way to making answer to those who have said, he wouldn’t have the guts to fight a fit, full-sized Middleweight.

Cotto being Cotto though, he turns the negotiating screws as hard as he can, once more by insisting the bigger Geale boils down to 157.

Geale’s not gonna pass up such an opportunity for nothing, over nothing, much ado about nothing. Here’s hopin’ that ambivalence can hold Daniel in good stead come fight night.

Or perhaps I should say, professionalism. Bone dry, Geale made the contracted 157. Cotto came in under the junior-middleweight limit at 153.6 pounds. Interesting. Yes. Telling? Maybe. Throwback? Definitely.


Most people forget boxing classically only has eight divisions. Your ‘juniors’ and ‘supers’ and ‘lights’, inserted for profit by self-appointed sanctioning bodies more interested in lining their pockets than regulating the sport.

Having been the third-wheel in boxing’s soap opera of filthy lucre – which we finally saw consummated last month – between Floyd Mayweather & Manny Pacquiao. Having also played second-banana in negotiations for his fights with each of them, Cotto has once again relished his role as ‘First Knight’ in his negotiations with Geale and his team… Just like he did a year ago in the lead-up to ripping the title from the lame duck Champion, Sergio Martinez.

He made no bones about the reality of the situation regarding his imposed catchweight. No agreement on 157? No fight.

So now, Geale will climb between the ropes at Barclays for the first time, after having boiled down so far in weight for the first time in his Championship Career. Cotto thinks he has cut him down to size. Done a Mike Tyson – won the fight before the bell.

It is up to Geale to disabuse Cotto and most viewers of such a hoped for mirage, insisting Cotto become acquainted with the unnerving feelings facing a full-sized middleweight should properly inspire, in someone who is properly a welterweight when he strips fittest.

Ever since his fight with Mayweather, Cotto has benefited from his position as #3 Boxing Box office Attraction. At the same time, for the most part, fighting at too comfortable a weight-division limit has compromised his elite seasoning.

It’s up to Geale to make him feel that … the same way Austin Trout did a coupla years or so ago, notwithstanding any residual exhaustion steaming down to Cotto’s artificially imposed weight-limit may have caused.

On the other hand, Cotto may be forced to prove the relative power he flashed in crushing Martinez can remain a constant of his Middleweight reign.

I think Geale can jab and reset Cotto all night. His command of ring geometry will confound Cotto’s glacial feet. Lets just hope Cotto’s pre-bout attempts at control don’t have a lasting effect. That way our Downunder Aussie can dial-up the upset special, dining out on Middleweight Title #3.

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