Hi it’s Ben Damon here – travelling with Daniel Geale ahead of his WBC Middleweight World Title fight v Miguel Cotto this Sunday AEST.
Well, the WAIT is nearly over but the WEIGHT goes on! Here in America all the headlines about this bout concern the fact that Daniel is being forced to make a ‘catchweight’ of 157lbs (71.2kgs), which is 3lbs (1.36kgs) under the Middleweight limit. Basically the smaller Cotto is trying to gain an advantage over Daniel by sapping his strength before the bout. This tactic doesn’t sit well with a lot of people and having seen Daniel battle to the normal Middleweight limit in the past I was interested to see how he was coping with this even tougher weight-drain when we met up today…
Well, he genuinely seems ok with it! It surprised me how relaxed he is and how professionally he seems to be stripping the weight. With around 19 hours until the weigh-in he is pretty close to the mark, and he may or may not need a final light session in the morning to shift the last couple of pounds.
Today he did some skipping, and alternated a couple of rounds of pads with shadow boxing, in a warm room at the hotel next to the swimming pool. The sweat dripped off him and he looked sharp hitting the pads. Daniel says the intense focus on his weight hasn’t been a distraction to him like his has for the local media, and he feels ready to step into the ring with a future Hall-of-Famer.
At tomorrow’s weigh-in we will get another good look at the height (and reach) advantage Daniel possesses in this fight. The key to the bout will be making those advantages count, and in order to do so Daniel told me he has been studying the way Floyd Mayweather outboxed Cotto in 2012. To that end, Daniel has been sparring aggressive boxers like Tureano Johnson and Dennis Hogan, who have forced him to be elusive and defensively secure throughout countless rounds in the past month.
So, no dinner for Daniel tonight but come lunchtime tomorrow he’ll be stacking the pounds back on and focussing on the biggest fight of his life. I’ll have an update tomorrow on how he’s travelling, and in the meantime check out his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for my interview with Daniel and more images from today.