The bloody brutality of boxing – Daniel Geale

No matter how, Daniel Geale had no chance.  He was a patsy.  Set up, knocked down and stopped.  He was a former middleweight champion with a recognisable name and a man Miguel Cotto could flourish on.


Daniel Geale stepped up again.  Again he lost brutally.  There is no shame.  Cotto doesn’t lose to men like Geale.  A natural southpaw who fights orthodox, Cotto’s power punches come from the left, hooks to the body and the head.


The fight, for the WBC middleweight title, carried a stipulation.  Geale had to weigh in at 157 pounds, three below the 160 pound limit.  Geale walks the street at about 175 pounds.  The three pound stipulation would favour Cotto’s, who is shorter and much lighter.


Geale made 157 and put on about 15 pounds in the 24-hours before the fight.  Cotto came in at 153.4 pounds.  He’s not a natural middleweight.  It’s no wonder he wanted Geale light.


Geale chased Cotto and let his punches go.  He had some success in the first but Cotto was slick and quick, evading punches and countering, hitting to the body on the inside.


In the fourth round, as Geale moved back from an exchange, he dropped his right hand to his chest.  Cotto capitalised on the opening, swivelling his hips into a left hook, putting 170 pounds behind it.


He whacked Geale on the chin and dropped him on his back.  Geale’s head hit the bottom rope as he slid beneath the ropes, looking up at the bottom strand.


He didn’t see the punch.


Geale’s courage ensured he got up.  That he would be down again was a certainty.


Cotto battered him into the corner.  Geale moved away and tried fighting back but got dropped by a right to the temple.  After the knockdown, Geale got up and took the standing-eight count.  Referee Harvey Dock asked if he wanted to continue.  Geale shook his head and said no.


Dock embraced Geale with his left arm and waved the fight off with his right.


It was hoped that Geale, as the bigger man, could force Cotto into the late rounds, maybe rough him up and exhaust him.  Cotto has been beaten down before.  Antonio Margarito brutalised him in 2008, leaving Cotto a bloodied mess of a fighter.


Before his next fight against Shane Mosely, Margarito was found to have loaded gloves, his padding covered by gauze solidified with plaster.


Margarito was suspended for a year for cheating.


Cotto’s loss wasn’t overturned.  In 2009 he was beat up by Manny Pacquiao and stopped in the final round.  Two years ago he was schooled by Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout, losing on points.


Since those losses, Cotto has fought just three times in three years.  In one of those fights, he stepped up to middleweight and sent Sergio Martinez into retirement with a tenth round stoppage.


He’s far from a natural middleweight, but unlike a lot of fighters who move up in weight, he’s kept his power.


At 35, Cotto is looking to a few more big money fights.  Beating Geale has set up his next fight against Saul Alvarez.


If he gets past Alvarez, Cotto will fight Gennady Golovkin, who is by far the most powerful middleweight on the planet.


Golovkin has scored 20 consecutive knockouts, a world record.  It was Golovkin who stopped Daniel Geale last year with a sledge hammer right hand.


That was Geale’s first stoppage loss.  Up until that point he’d had a solid career.  He rebounded from a loss to Anthony Mundine in 2009 to win the IBF middleweight title on points against Sebastian Sylvester in Germany.


He defeated Felix Sturm in Germany for the WBA title and defended the belts against Anthony Mundine.  Geale lost his next fight on a split decision to Darren Barker.  He won a tune-up against Garth Wood to qualify to fight Golovkin.


He lasted three rounds against Golovkin.


Two of Geale’s last three fights have been against two of boxing’s hardest punchers.  Cotto has stopped 33 men in his 40 wins.  Golovkin has stopped 30 men in 33 wins.


Cotto and Golovkin routinely knock people out.  You must be brave to face them.


Geale is brave.  He is talented.  He’s admired as a gentleman pugilist.  He’s a solid fighter with average power.  He relies on output, always punching.  He has heart and determination.


It didn’t matter.  Cotto is destined for the hall of fame.  No one need criticise Geale’s effort, unless they want to step in the ring with Cotto.


Geale remains a recognisable name without a title.  The loss leaves him needing credibility.  He’ll have to earn another title shot with one or two wins before being put up again.


At 34, he has time.  He has the ability, if only his chin would hold up.


And that’s what boxing is all about.  Chin music.  All the talent in the world can’t build a better chin.


When a man’s chin is exposed and he gets knocked down twice, there is no need to continue.  No point getting beat up, when you’ve already been beat down.


Geale might come back.  He doesn’t have to.  There is nothing wrong with his career.  He need not prove a thing.  He’s already done it.

About Matt Watson

My name is Matt Watson, avid AFL, cricket and boxing fan. Since 2005 I’ve been employed as a journalist, but I’ve been writing about sport for more than a decade. In that time I’ve interviewed legends of sport and the unsung heroes who so often don’t command the headlines. The Ramble, as you will find among the pages of this website, is an exhaustive, unbiased, non-commercial analysis of sport and life. I believe there is always more to the story. If you love sport like I do, you will love the Ramble…


  1. Steve Hodder says

    Insightful Matt! Apart from Geale, did anyone think Geale a chance?


  2. Great work Matt. I admire Geale. I hope he now gives it away.

    Golovkin will belt Cotto, though Cotto seems to be one of those fighters who improves with age. Maybe its all about his strength.

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