Cotto vs Geale: A Gambler’s Prediction

Back at it again. For those of you have been reading these posts, thank you. To those who have been trailing the bets, you’re welcome! Six picks thus far in this series. Overall, a record of 5-1. When we tally up the totals those that would have bet $100 at the beginning would now be up an additional $400. Not too shabby. Obviously, I am no Steve Stevens but I am confident in my ability to recognize valuable, conservative bets. Enough tooting my horn. On to the next one…

Cotto vs Geale: A Gambler’s Prediction

Saturday sees the return of boxing’s #3 draw. Of course we are speaking about Puerto Rican phenom, Miguel Angel Cotto. Cotto has staked his claim as one of the elite in today’s game with his exciting boxer-puncher style and his penchant to never back down from other high level opposition. Last July, Miguel added another accomplishment to his HOF-worthy career when he captured the lineal middleweight crown from Sergio Martinez.

Standing in his way is Aussie, Daniel Geale. Geale rose to prominence roughly three years ago when he did the impossible. He defeated longtime middleweight champion, Felix Sturm, in his home country. And he did so via decision. Since then Geale has been on a roller coaster ride of a career. Making his HBO debut he fell short to England’s Darren Barker. He has since sandwiched two wins around a definitive three-round thrashing from Gennady Golovkin.

 

This fight broadcasting live on HBO provides a utility purpose. For Geale, this is most likely his last foray in the majors. Cotto is faced with a completely different challenge. Although largely seen as one of boxing’s elite, Miguel needs a clear win to advertise his value for another future super-fight. Fighters such as Saul Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Gennady Golovkin will all be watching.

Keeping these recent events in mind, let’s take a look at some other factors. Hopefully, combining the objective with our best assumptions we can again predict a winner.

It is always best to start with quality of opposition. In this regard, there is no question. Miguel Cotto has faced practically everyone in his generation. So far he has only recorded four losses in his illustrious career. Half of those come from names like Mayweather and Pacquiao, heard of them? The loss to Antonio Margarito has been heavily criticized. The defeat to Austin Trout was seen as a complete anomaly.

For Geale, he has seen some of the best. The best in the middleweight division. Outside of that weight class, his experience is limited. When he has faced the upper echelon he has for the most part come up short. Only the aforementioned win over Sturm really stands out. He lost his title to another challenger, Barker. His losses to champions though is telling. The best example of this is the loss to Golovkin. Able to hold back other challengers he has always played second fiddle to the top tier in his division.

Before we make our final decision let’s first take a look at the odds. Unsurprisingly, Miguel opens up as a massive favorite at -700. Geale gets the dog treatment coming in at +500. Let’s next turn our attention to the over/under play. That line is being set at 10 1/2. Basically, odds makers are forcing you to either hope for a decision or a finish. The over is the favorite at -160 and the under comes in at +140. When we look at these plays we can see a story emerge. It would seem most bookies imagine this fight ends with Cotto via decision. So how does that prop look? Currently Cotto via 12rd decision is at +115. And there lies the value play.

I support Cotto winning via DEC a well and here’s why. Cotto for a healthy stretch of his career has not been the killer he once was. He is on a two fight win/KO streak though. For me, that number is misleading. The first KO came against Delvin Rodriguez. Delvin was largely seen as a tune-up for Cotto to help him get back in the winner’s circle. Historically, Rodriguez was never a MW to begin with so I put little stock in that stoppage. I put even less emphasis on the second victory. In that fight Cotto completely dominated undisputed MW champion, Sergio Martinez. It became instantly apparent that Sergio was not in good fighting shape. Rumors of damaged knees swirled before the fight. Those rumors were confirmed after the fight when Martinez underwent a slew of surgeries. Sergio seemed unable to stand let alone run. He was a stationary target for the voluminous punching machine of Cotto. I do not want to take away from the accomplishments of Cotto but I think we should hold them up to more scrutiny.

Another factor that is sometimes breezed over was Geale’s last loss. He was thrashed. That cannot be discredited but it should not be over extended either. Daniel was crushed by a man who is quite honestly boxing’s most feared fighter. Cotto is nowhere near the puncher that GGG is. When we look back on Geale’s career we see a complete lack of other stoppage losses or knockdowns. Geale is a tough, rugged challenger and there was never any concerns about his chin prior to the Golovkin fight. I think as long as there are no psychological concerns over another knockout Daniel will again prove to be a tough out.

When I look at all things considered I am still firmly in support of my initial prediction. I do not believe Cotto moving up in weight will be able to finish off Geale. Most likely I see this going as 9-3 in rounds scored for Miguel Angel.

Final Prediction: Miguel Cotto by 12rd Decision +115