NEW YORK -- Those expecting drama at the Miguel Cotto-Daniel Geale weigh-in Friday afternoon at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn must have been disappointed.
Cotto, making his first middleweight title defense, will face former unified titleholder Geale on Saturday night (HBO, 10:30 ET/PT) at Barclays. But there was major concern going into the weigh-in that Geale would not make the contracted catchweight of 157 pounds. The division limit is 160, and Geale admittedly has trouble even getting down that low.
But Geale said he would make the weight, and he did, right on the 157-pound nose. He looked dry as a potato chip, but he made it.
Cotto, a professed small middleweight, was quite light at 153.6 pounds -- which is 0.4 pound inside the limit for the junior middleweight division. Cotto is Puerto Rico's only fighter to win world titles in four weight divisions.
Privately, Cotto promoter Roc Nation Sports and Geale promoter Gary Shaw were very concerned about Geale making 157 pounds. Cotto told his people that he would not fight if Geale was over 157, even though Geale could have been as heavy as 160 and the title would still have been at stake.
Some fighters would have ignored the contract and weighed in at 160, forcing Cotto to risk the wrath of the public, HBO, Barclays Center, media and his own promoter if he pulled out. But Geale said he signed to fight at 157 and was going to do everything in his power to make the weight.
"There was no thought in mind about not making the weight," Geale, 34, told ESPN.com after the weigh-in. "You do it. It's a lot harder and that's it, but you do it. I made it smart. I had a good team around me and we worked very hard. I was very focused. This is a huge opportunity for me, and I was not going to let it slip by and give him a way out of the fight."
Geale (31-3, 16 KOs), of Australia, said he would likely rehydrate up to about 168 pounds for fight night.
Cotto, 34, said he did not come in light by design. It was simply where his body was after he ate Friday morning and came to the weigh-in.
"After all those weeks of training in Los Angeles, that was the weight I was at," Cotto told ESPN.com. "(Geale) knew what he had to do. We signed an agreement on the weight, and we both did what we said we would. It's what I expected from him."
Freddie Roach, Cotto's Hall of Fame trainer, said he was not concerned about Cotto (39-4-0, 32 KOs) being too light. Cotto won the title at 155 last June by 10th-round knockout of Sergio Martinez in a bout contracted at a maximum of 159.
"Miguel worked hard in camp and he kept a good diet," Roach said. "We knew he'd make weight, so whatever he was going to weigh, he was going to weigh. He's been making his own food, too. He cooked some for me and it was pretty good."
As for Geale's professionalism, Roach was happy he made the weight.
"I give him a lot of credit. Too many people would have ignored the contract and been over 157," Roach said. "I take my hat off to him. But for the first five rounds, we're going all body (attack). He seemed fragile and very, very thin."