Tonight, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Cotto returned to defend his title in dominant fashion with a fourth-round knockout of Daniel Geale (31-4, 16 KOs).
Geale, who was forced to fight at 157lbs–three pounds below the Middleweight limit–looked slow and weak from the opening round as Cotto greeted him with a powerful left hook to the body.
Cotto then began to box Geale easily, and landed jabs, left hooks and right hands on Geale, who proved to simply be of a lower class of competition.
“I just started to establish my own path, and I think we did it well. But Freddie just told me to give more–that’s his style and that’s what I like about him,” said Cotto, who slowly began to increase his offense.
Cotto would combine his boxing with hard combination punches–a pattern that paid off in Round 4 when he landed a hard left hook.
“I just tried to do my best. I caught him with a really hard left hook, and I just wanted to repeat it,” said Cotto, who then began an exchange in which a counter right hand knocked Geale down and out.
“After ten hard weeks in LA training with Freddie and performing like that–it just makes me feel like the Miguel from the 2000s,” said Cotto in his post-fight interview with Max Kellerman.
Cotto gave all credit to his trainer Freddie Roach, with whom he has been training since returning from his December 2012 loss to Austin Trout with a knockout win over Delvin Rodriguez in October 2013.
“He [Roach] is the best thing that has ever happened to my career,” said Cotto, who then faced Sergio Martinez the following June before another a year-long break.
The world, however, is waiting for a showdown with Saul Alvarez or with WBA Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
Cotto has plans to spend more time with his family–the boxing world hopes it doesn’t last another year–before training for Alvarez.
“I want to spend time with my family. I want to enjoy my time with them, and after that we’ll be back in LA training for Canelo,” said Cotto, who also welcomed the idea of a fight with Golovkin in the future, but with much more tentativeness.
Photos by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing
Header photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images