After weeks of tumult and harsh feelings from Daniel Geale’s handlers about him having to cut down to a catchweight of 157 pounds, the main issue that has been weighing down tomorrow night’s fight has finally passed. Both lineal and WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto and challenger Geale cleared the scales to make the fight official Friday afternoon.
Puerto Rico’s Cotto, one of the most popular fighters in the sport of boxing, tipped the scale at a light 153.6 pounds, well below the contracted catchweight. Geale, who hails from Australia, checked in right on the money at 157 pounds.
The hostility between the two camps materialized before the fight was ever officially announced, as the fight was to be contested three pounds under the 160-pound limit. Geale (31-3, 16 KOs) and his team -- mainly promoter Gary Shaw -- expressed outrage that Cotto would force his opponent to fight well below his more comfortable size and at a weight below the middleweight maximum, even though the fight would be for the title.
Shaw has criticized Team Cotto from the beginning because he felt that “Junito” was far smaller naturally and tried to make every possible excuse to have as many advantages going in. Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) countered that he had to do it in order to fight Manny Pacquiao several years ago and that if Geale and his camp wanted to fight, they had to make the sacrifice.
In the end, both combatants cleared the weight issue; all they have left is to settle it inside the ring.
The fight will be televised live on HBO starting at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. It will be held inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
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