Whilst the UEFA Champions League final of Barcelona v Juventus is the biggest sporting event of the weekend, I can’t see any betting value in the game unless you’re happy to back Barca at 11/20, so it’s back to boxing this weekend and a longshot punt in Miguel Cotto v Daniel Geale – live on Box Nation from 02:00 in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Cotto: 39-4 (32 KO) Pro Record
Despite amassing a 125-23 amateur boxing record, Miguel Cotto didn’t win any notable medals or championships in the unpaid ranks of boxing. However, it’s been a very different story for the now 34-year-old, four-weight world champion as a professional so let’s go through the notable moments in his career so far.
Turning pro in 2001, Cotto quickly earned a reputation as one of boxing’s best up-and-comers with a string of impressive knockout victories, which led to the Puerto Rican beating Kelson Pinto for the WBO lightweight title three years after his debut.
Perfect for the American TV market as a tough, no-nonsense, come-forward puncher/boxer, Cotto defended his title six times before moving up to welterweight and beating Carlos Quintana for the vacant WBA title.
Defeating respected former world champions like Zab Judah and Shane Mosley in successful title defences at 147lbs, Cotto then faced the tough and rugged Antonio Margarito.
Despite taking the initiative in what was a fairly even contest, Cotto was eventually worn down and battered into submission in the eleventh round, losing is WBA title in the process. However, after Margarito was later caught trying to use illegal hand-wrap in order to increase the power of his punches against Shane Mosely, it was largely assumed that he’d done the same against Cotto.
Indeed, Cotto got his revenge when stopping Margarito in the ninth round of their 2011 rematch, but before then the Puerto Rican easily defeated England’s Michael Jennings to win the then vacant WBO welterweight title in February 2009 before being convincingly beaten by Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao on points later that year.
One of the biggest ticket sellers in New York, Cotto was immediately granted yet another title shot after defeat, this time defeating Yuri Foreman for the WBA light-middleweight belt in New York.
A twelfth round stoppage of Ricardo Mayorga followed before Cotto defeated Maragrito to set up a clash with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather jr in mid-2012.
Like the Pacquiao defeat, Cotto was easily beaten on points by Mayweather Jr and also lost his next bout on points to Austin Trout. Now, Trout is a good fighter, but the fact that Cotto lost so comprehensively to him suggested that the Puerto Rican’s career was virtually over.
However, Cotto rebounded by beating Delvin Rodriguez in his comeback bout ten months later and was then, surprise, surprise, granted another world title shot.
Impressively knocking the then long reigning WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez down three times en route to an eleventh round stoppage, Cotto became a four-weight world champion in mid-2014.
However, as good as Cotto’s performance was, Argentine Martinez had endured several leg injuries and operations over the last couple of years and had clearly not recovered properly. In short, unable to balance his body weight correctly and put pressure on his injured leg, Martinez was there for the taking.
Unwilling to meet the man who’s clearly the real middleweight champion in GGG, Cotto has instead opted to defend his title against former middleweight champion Daniel Geale.
Geale: 31-3 (16 KO) Pro Record
A 2002 Commonwealth games gold medallist as an amateur, the now 34-year-old Daniel Geale turned pro in 2004 and won the lightly regarded IBO middleweight title three years later.
After losing that belt to fellow Australian and former WBA super-middleweight champion Anthony Mundine in a surprising upset in 2009, Geale then defeated Sebastian Sylvester to win the IBF middleweight title in 2011, before easily outboxing long reigning WBA champ Felix Strum is a title unification match a year later.
Intent on putting the record straight in a rematch against Mundine, but against the WBA’s wishes, Geale was stripped of his WBA title for refusing to fight Golovkin first.
Geale easily defeated Mundine on points in the rematch before surprisingly losing his IBF title on points to Britain’s Darren Barker late in 2013. Whilst Barker quickly dropped the IBF belt to Felix Sturm, Geale then fought Gennady Golovkin.
Geale fought bravely for three rounds but had no answer to GGG’s punching power and was stopped in the third round of their July 2014 clash. If you’re interested, look up the finish to that bout on YouTube and you’ll see that Geale landed a strong punch on GGG a split second before he was downed himself.
Indeed, when you also consider that Geale had never been downed or stopped in his pro career before facing Golovkin, that finish was testament to just how good GGG is, so Geale had nothing to be embarrassed about in defeat, and got back to winning ways when defeating Jarrod Fletcher on points in December 2014 to earn a shot Cotto.
Cotto v Geale Betting
Cotto is offered around 1/6, Geale is available at 5/1 and you can bet on a draw at 25/1. In terms of method of victory, Cotto is priced around 4/11 to win by KO/TKO/DQ or 7/5 to win on points, while Geale is 9/1 to win by KO/TKO/DQ or 7/1 to win on points.
The Cotto v Geale Betting Verdict
Cotto has fought the best of the best throughout his career, is rightly the favourite and should beat Geale. However, it also has to be said that Cotto defeated a clearly injured Sergio Martinez to become middleweight champion and has only fought once at that weight.
Geale, on the other hand, is the taller man and a natural middleweight, having fought in that division through his career. Now, it might not make much difference on the night, and I have to mention that Cotto has managed to get the WBC to allow him to make a title defence at three pounds lower than the actual middleweight limit of 160lbs, but Cotto is essentially a welterweight and it’s not impossible that Geale will outbox his smaller opponent and win a shock points decision.
Again, I must point out that Cotto is very likely to win this bout, but when betting it’s sometimes worth taking a small wager if you feel the odds are wrong.
In this case, I think Geale should be about 2/1 or 5/2 so the 5/1 on offer makes the Aussie worth a small bet.