Canelo Alvarez hasn’t fought in a month, but his next opponent became all-but official on Saturday night. Miguel Cotto knocked out Daniel Geale in a dominant performance at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, setting up a fight between two of the biggest stars in the sport.
Following his victory over Geale, Cotto said that he’s ready to take on Alvarez, who knocked out James Kirkland on May 9. The fight was almost agreed upon in January, but Alvarez decided to move on when a deal wasn’t reached by mid-January. Now, it appears that both fighters are ready to step in the ring with one another.
Holding the WBC middleweight championship, Cotto defeated Geale at a catch weight of 157 pounds. The champ weighed in at 153.6 pounds, and he said he’ll fight Alvarez at a catch weight of 155 pounds, which was the stipulation for Alvarez’s last bout.
Cotto dominated Geale from start to finish, clearly winning the first three rounds and ending the fight in the fourth round. Geale was knocked down twice, and told the referee that he couldn’t continue. Cotto landed 68 total punches, while the challenger connected just 33 times.
Three years after the biggest fight of his career, Cotto looks as good as ever. After consecutive unanimous decision losses to Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout, the star prize fighter linked up with trainer Freddie Roach. Cotto has given a lot of credit to Roach, who has helped him return to his place among the sport’s top boxers. He’s won his last three fights, needing just 17 total rounds to get three knockouts.
Cotto vs. Alvarez wouldn’t be as big as Mayweather-Pacquiao, but it’s expected to sell high number of pay-per-views. More than 31,000 fans went to Minute Maid Park in Houston to see Alvarez defeat Kirkland last month, and his fight with Mayweather in Sept. 2013 was the second-highest grossing PPV in history.
While all eyes will be on Cotto and Alvarez until their likely fight, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is lurking in the background. The WBA and IBO middleweight champ was in attendance at Barclays Center for Cotto vs. Geale, and he’s looking for a bout with either Cotto or Alvarez.
Golovkin knocked out Willie Monroe Jr. on May 16 to improve his record to 33-0 with 20 consecutive wins by KO or TKO. He doesn’t have an opponent for his next fight, and he’s looking to be in the main event of his first PPV. The champ has made it clear that he’s ready to take on any challenger, but Cotto doesn’t seem nearly as eager to step in the ring with GGG.
That was awesome. Asked about Canelo, Cotto sounded eager. Asked about Golovkin, Cotto started his answer with a long "Ahhhhhh...."
â€” Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 7, 2015
Golovkin’s string of exciting knockouts has helped him quickly move up in the sport’s pound-for-pound rankings. Since the start of 2013, he’s knocked out nine different opponents, including Geale, who couldn’t get out of the third round against GGG. But he might not be popular enough for Cotto to fight and risk a possible loss.
A bout with Alvarez will be one of the biggest boxing matches in recent years, and Cotto will be paid handsomely. Cotto vs. Golovkin will appeal to hardcore boxing fans, but the casual viewer might not be as willing to tune in, giving Cotto a significantly smaller payday.
If Cotto fights Alvarez and is victorious, a bout with Golovkin might be inevitable. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has stated that Cotto will be forced to defend his title against Golovkin, and Roach has said he wants Cotto to take on GGG after Alvarez.