Former WBO and IBF middleweight champion Daniel “The Real Deal” Geale will challenge WBC and lineal middleweight champion Miguel Cotto at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn on June 6th. I caught up with Daniel to discuss the fight.
Matt –Hi Daniel thanks for giving me some time today. I know you are busy in preparation and preparing to fly out for America.
Geale – No worries, Happy to do it.
Matt – Last time we spoke you were unsure of who you would be fighting next. Cotto seemed like an opponent that you had no chance of landing; but he has had a number of fights fall through over the past few months, and now here you are waiting for the biggest fight of your career. How does this feel?
Geale – It is a dream come true. I have always wanted to challenge for the WBC title. I only want to fight the best, and Miguel Cotto is one of the best fighters in the world.
Matt – How did the negotiations for the fight go?
Geale – Slow. It looked for a while like the fight wasn’t going to happen. I did my best not to get my hopes up. I didn’t want to be let down if it didn’t come off. I didn’t find out that the fight was going to happen until 4am the morning that I left for the press conference.
Matt – When did you leave for the Press Conference?
Geale – At 9am, only 5 hours after I was told the fight was done. Even on the plane though, I was never certain the fight would happen until I was sitting at the press conference.
Matt – Is there a rematch clause in the contract?
Geale – I am honestly not too sure. I let my team handle the majority of that stuff.
Matt – How do you feel about the 157lb catch weight?
Geale – Look to be honest, it is certainly far from ideal. I feel more comfortable at 160lbs, but for an opportunity like this you have to be willing to compromise. I have been working with a nutritionist and really changing up the way I prepare for the fight in order to make the weight. I am taking lots of protein to keep my strength up while dropping the weight.
Matt – Should you fail to make weight, what would the penalty be?
Geale – I am not sure exactly, but it would be a heavy fine. I plan on making the weight fairly comfortably.
Matt – Cotto is very small for the middleweight division. Do you believe your size will be a factor?
Geale- It absolutely will be. Cotto is a great fighter; I have to make sure to fight smart. If cannot allow him to get inside on me.
Matt – You are headed over to America three weeks prior to the fight this time around, considerably longer than you have for your past fights in the USA. Was that a plan this time around?
Geale – Yeah it was. I feel like I have learned a lot from my past two trips over. For Barker I only arrived a week before the fight and for Golovkin I only arrived ten days before the fight. This time around I don’t want to take any chances. It will be tough to be away from my family for such a long period of time, especially my five week old daughter Harper, but these are the sacrifices that you have to be willing to make.
Matt – In your last big fight, you were stopped by Gennady Golovkin. You came out very fast in that fight. Are you planning on fighting any differently this time around?
Geale – I fought recklessly versus Golovkin. I plan on sticking to my game plan this time around. I have to box smart from the outside and fight my fight.
Matt – How excited are you to be back headlining another card on HBO?
Geale – Very excited. I felt like there is a lot more than I could have done the first two times around, so it is great to have another chance to show the world what I can do. I have less pressure on me this time around. All I have to do is do my thing. All of the pressure is on Cotto, he is the one who everybody expects to win.
Matt – You will be fighting on Cotto’s turf, New York City on the eve of the Puerto Rican day parade. Are you concerned about the way the fight will be scored?
Geale – It isn’t something that I can worry too much about. Obviously the crowd will be very pro Cotto, I will be lucky to have 25 fans there. I am just focused on what I can control. I have been over to Germany twice and won decisions, I know I can win on the road. I love to be the underdog.
Matt – Cotto has been out of the ring for a year now. Do you think he will have any ring rust?
Geale – Fighters at the level of Miguel Cotto can go longer without getting rusty. I am expecting the best version of Cotto to show up on June 6th.
Matt – Cotto’s last professional loss came at the hands of Austin Trout. Is that a fight that you have been studying?
Geale – I have watched the fight once. I plan on watching it again in the coming weeks.
Matt – If you were able to pull this win out, what would that mean to Australian boxing?
Geale – It would help to put us back on the map. There has not been a ton of success lately from Australian fighters. I would love to lift the sport back up in Australia.
Matt – Thanks for giving me some time. We are all looking forward to seeing you back in a big fight. Is there anything you would like to say to fans before the fight?