Miguel Cotto, left, and Daniel Geale will tangle for Cotto’s middleweight title on Saturday in New York City/Photo by Seth Wenig, Associated Press
There had been concern about whether Daniel Geale of Australia would be able to make the 157-pound weight limit for his challenge to middleweight champion MiguelCotto of Puerto Rico on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
No problem. Geale on Friday weighed in right at 157, meaning he will be able to walk out of the ring with the belt should he emerge victorious.
The middleweight limit is 160 pounds, but Cotto insisted on a catch-weight of three pounds under that. Cotto, who certainly is not a true middleweight, weighed just 153 1/2 pounds Friday, which is actually a half-pound under the junior middleweight limit.
Dominic Breazeale hits the speed bad/Photo courtesy of TGB Promotions
Heavyweight Dominic Breazeale of Alhambra is 14-0 with 13 knockouts since turning pro in November 2012 after competing in the 2012 Olympic Games. But Breazeale has not fought anyone of note.
Breazeale on Saturday will face what figures to be his toughest opponent when he squares off with Yasmany Consuegra of Miami via Cuba in a daytime card at StubHub Center (on NBC). Consuegra is 17-0 with 14 knockouts.
Breazeale, 29, is looking forward to the challenge.
“Definitely toughest competition to date thus far,” he said. “Definitely. Yasmany is 17-0, 14 KOs. One of those guys that steps in the ring with a ton of confidence. We’re both undefeated fighters and I was extremely excited when I got the call. … It’s a great setting, a great way to have a stepping-stone to the next level. I want to be considered the top heavyweight and I guess you’ve got to fight top guys to get there.”
Amir Khan of England had his hands full this past Friday with Chris Algieri, who fought his heart out against Khan in the welterweight main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. From the sound of it, Khan knew Algieri would not be a walk in the park for him. Khan said as much after he earned a unanimous decision by scores of 115-113, 117-111 and 117-111.
“Chris gave it his all tonight,” Khan said. “This is the best Algieri we’ve seen in a long time, and if he’d have fought Manny (Pacquiao) that way, he might have won.”
Pacquiao won a very lopsided decision over Algieri in November in Macau, China.
Khan has been pining for a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. He intimated he had to put that out of his head while dealing with Algieri.
“Everyone knows I want Floyd next after all the talk about it, but when you wait and hope for something for this long, it can set you back,” said Khan, who is 31-3 with 19 knockouts. “I don’t want to overlook any other fighters, including Chris.”
The semi-main event Saturday underneath Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao featured super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights taking on Jose Cayetano of Tijuana in a non-title fight in the featherweight division.
Even though Santa Cruz was moving up in weight, he figured to have an easy time of it as Cayetano (17-4) is not in his class. Santa Cruz (30-0-1) did in the sense that he won big on the scorecards – he won by three scores of 100-90. But fans seemed a bit restless that he could not stop Cayetano inside the distance.
Vasyl Lomachenko, a highly decorated amateur who won gold medals in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, retained his featherweight world title with a ninth-round knockout of Gamalier Rodriguez of Puerto Rico on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night at MGM Grand. Referee RobertByrd counted out Rodriguez at 50 seconds of the round.
Lomachenko, of the Ukraine, won the gold medal in the featherweight division in the 2008 Beijing Games and the gold medal in the 2012 London Games.
Lomachenko was winning by scores of 80-69, 78-71 and 79-70 at the time of the knockout.
Fans would love to see Lomachenko in a title-unfication bout with fellow champion Nicholas Walters, who is an absolute beast.
“Anyone in my weight division with a title,” Lomachenko said when asked who’s next. “That’s who I want to fight. I want to fight all the champions.”
Lomachenko, 27, won his title in just his third pro fight. He is 4-1 with two knockouts.
Oscar De La Hoya, speaking from inside the Golden Boy Promotions office in Downtown L.A. on Tuesday, described Manny Pacquiao as the hero and Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the villain in what’s being billed as “The Fight of The Century.”
“Mayweather has this image,” he said. “The money and the flash and this-and-that. As person I don’t know him to well to judge him, but from what I’ve read, what I’ve heard, I just don’t like what he represents.”
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., left, and Andrzej Fonfara pose after they weighed in Friday for their fight Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson/Photo by Gene Blevins, Los Angeles Daily News
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. could not answer the bell for the 10th round Saturday night at StubHub Center, Andrzej Fonfara of Poland stopping Chavez via ninth-round technical knockout.
Chavez told trainer Joe Goossen after the ninth round to stop the fight, that there was something wrong with his leg. But Chavez never mentioned a leg injury during a post-fight interview inside the ring. Chavez was beaten to the punch by Fonfara all the way through, getting decked by Fonfara in the ninth round ahead of the fight being stopped between rounds.
It was the first fight at light heavyweight for Chavez (48-2-1) , the former middleweight champion from Mexico. Fonfara (27-3) was ahead by seven, seven and nine points at the time. It was Chavez’s first fight in 13 months.
In other action: Lucas Matthysse (37-3) of Argentina won a 12-round majority decision over Ruslan Provodnikov (24-4) at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. One judge had it even 114-114 while the other two had Matthysse ahead 115-113 and 115-113.
Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday played host to a media workout at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood, where he is trained by Freddie Roach. A couple of hundred reporters and photographers were on hand, and that’s not including the 50 or so who were turned away because there wasn’t enough room for them.
During a question-and-answer period, Pacquiao was asked if it would be to his advantage if Floyd Mayweather Jr. opens up and tries to knock him out when they tangle May 2 in a welterweight title-unification fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO and Showtime pay-per-view). Pacquiao responded with a slight smile on his face.
“Well, if he does that, that’s good for me,” Pacquiao said. “I mean, I like that. That’s what I want and that’s definitely what the fans want, you know, action.”