Ben Damon here in New York, as Team Geale waits to fly out and leave a disappointing night in Brooklyn behind…
So much had been made of Daniel Geale being forced to lose extra weight before this fight, and in the end it did appear to be a decisive factor. That, and the fact Miguel Cotto is an all-time great!
Daniel probably didn’t appear as energetic, or busy, as we’ve previously seen him. While did have some success against his smaller opponent in the early rounds, his rehydrated midsection always appeared vulnerable to Cotto’s body attacks and concern over those shots helped create the opportunity for the telling blow, early in the fourth round.
Prior to the fight the atmosphere in the dressing room was undoubtedly positive. Daniel was extremely relaxed, and looked particularly sharp when warming up. He had put on something in the vicinity of ten kilograms since the weigh-in, and was sweating freely as he hit the pads. He was smiling and confident, and seemed to be comfortable with what was in store. Obviously that all changed in the fourth round, with a crushing left hook from Cotto that brought forward the end of the bout.
Thankfully Daniel wasn’t seriously hurt, and while disappointed, he is now getting on a plane to rejoin his family, and a little baby he’s spent precious little time with since her birth nine weeks ago. The most immediate concern now is family time and rest, but in boxing the big question is always “what’s next?”
The options include retirement, but Daniel doesn’t seem to be thinking along those lines and with his two most recent defeats being against two of the most dominant boxers of his generation it’s completely reasonable that he looks to fight on, and hunt another world title. Another option is to move up in weight to Super Middleweight, and challenge towards the belts occupied by fighters perhaps less daunting than the Champions in the Middleweight division. This appears to be the favoured option of Daniel’s manager Bill Treacy, who wants to see his fighter in combat without the torture of weight draining.
Daniel himself said after the fight he would definitely not agree to fight at a catchweight under Middleweight ever again, and his preference is to continue campaigning at Middleweight. If an attractive option arose at Super Middleweight however, he would be swayed. Some might contest that Daniel doesn’t possess the power to succeed in the higher weight-class, but his boxing skills would place him well against most names in that division, and his power might well be enhanced with the additional body weight. It would not surprise me to see Daniel in the United Kingdom fighting one of their crop of successful Super Middleweights in the first half of 2016.
The other option is a major domestic fight. An opportunity for a bout with Sam Soliman fell over prior to the Cotto fight and now seems unlikely, but making a trilogy with Anthony Mundine could be a lucrative option. It is certainly something promoter Gary Shaw would be considering as he looks for profitable options for his fighter. Mundine’s camp are currently trying to rescue his bout with Austin Trout, while his Danny Green rematch appears to be on the horizon, but Geale v Mundine III might end up making sense for both men.
Whatever is next for Daniel Geale it cannot be denied that he has taken on all-comers, and faced the best in the world on their terms. He’s travelled across the globe and won two World Titles (three if you count the IBO) with a pair of implausible victories in Germany that rank amongst the greatest ever by an Australian. Add to that the class with which Daniel has carried himself throughout this career. A more likeable, approachable and genuinely decent athlete you would struggle to find, and I’m sure I’m joined by the entirety of the Australian sporting public in wishing him a relaxing and rewarding break, and every possible success with whatever he decides to do next.