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Cotto Catches Geale In Four at Barclays Center

Miguel Cotto retained his championship.

(Photo by Juan Martinez - DoubleGSports)

(Photo by Juan Martinez – DoubleGSports)


The WBC/Ring Magazine World Middleweight championship fight at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY, was a case of a heavily armed tortoise catching a vulnerable hare. Miguel Cotto retained his championship with a fourth round stoppage of Daniel Geale after flooring him with a supersonic quick left counter hook near the ropes that launched Geale head and body flying backward hitting the mat with a thud.

The crowd, mostly pro-Puerto Rican and Cotto smelled blood and so did Cotto. Miguel followed up throwing several hooks until Geale fell a second time in the fourth session of arms. The referee stopped it after Geale appeared to shake his head calling it a night.

In many ways this fight resembled Geale’s fight with Gennedy Golovkin, as Geale, swift like a rabbit, jumping in, getting off his shots, followed by swift vacating of said premises before falling. But Cotto, was equal in speed and evasion. He fought patiently and after a close first round which may have been Geale’s, Cotto started investing in body work. Cotto interchanged jabs and crosses while crouching to match Daniel’ view of point and hooked to the body on nearly every exchange.

It paid off pretty quickly as Geale became flat footed by the third and tried to box by walking out or just staying to mix. This was not a good recipe for survival. Cotto’s speed and power found their targets more often as Geale was being outboxed and soon outgunned. In the fourth, Cotto beat Geale to the punch with a swift counter left hook that threw Geale back and the rest was history. Roc Nation Sports put on a great event officially using this fight as the official opening event of the Puerto Rican Parade festivities. The fear that Cotto, fighting in the Barclay’s Center for the first time, would not be able to enjoy a duplicate atmosphere as he did for his Madison Square Garden fights saw that it translated well.

Roc Nation also brought out Angie Martinez “The Voice of New York” and DJ Lobo of La Mega 97.9FM as event hosts which worked well all night keeping the crowd at a high pitch level. But it may have been the performance of Roc Nation artist Big Sean, who brought it to the highest level setting up the main event on HBO perfectly. Roc Nation’s move into the sports demographic promises many good things and for Boxing in particular.

(Photo by Juan Martinez - DoubleGSports)

(Photo by Juan Martinez – DoubleGSports)

The undercard had its share of surprises and intrique. Shawn Simpson won his pro debut at Junior Featherweight with a TKO in the fourth and final round over Damon Simon. Dustin Fleischer, “The White Tiger” stopped Kareem Milner in one in their welterweight matchup for his second win in as many fights, while Junior Younan, Light Heavyweight, ended his match in two over Mike Sawyer. The man whose nickname “The Young God” improved to 7-0, 6 by KO.

Chinese Heavyweight Zhang Zhilel, was big, but did not provide the final bang winning an unanimous six round decision over Glen Thomas, though he did score three knockdowns over the course of the contest and moving to 4-0.

The upsets appeared to the detriment of two Puerto Rican fighters. In the first, a Jr. Lightweight contest, Angel Luna (11-1-1 6 KO’s) muscled his way to a six round decision over previously unbeaten Jose Lopez (15-1-1 11 KO’s), flooring him twice along the way. The scores were 58-53 on two cards and 57-54 on the other. Fernando Vargas, out of Tijuana, Mexico outpointed Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. of Puerto Rico, over eight, 79-73, 78-74, and 77-75.

Afterwards the spotlight moved to Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions,  and his number one fighter Canelo Alvarez, fresh off a spectacular knockout of James Kirkland this past May. Oscar is hoping to match up Canelo and Cotto late this year. This news was disappointing to Gennedy Golovkin, in attendance this evening, as the WBA Super/WBC Interim/and IBC Middleweight King is still trying to get a major opponent in the ring. Oscar De La Hoya teased that he might give GGG what he wants.

“They will have to get in line behind me,” De La Hoya teased. “If I make my comeback.”

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