Geale and Dib to defend their titles in Tasmania

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Australia’s two reigning IBF world titleists defend their belts tomorrow night on the same card, with IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale taking on IBF No. 1 contender Osumanu Adama and IBF Featherweight champion Billy Dib defending his title against No. 3 contender Eduardo Escobedo.

Geale makes the second defence of the belt he won in May last year when he travelled to Germany to dethrone Sebastian Sylvester.

Geale is slowly turning himself into a household name to casual Australian boxing fans, continuing to take on decently ranked opposition. This contrasts with other, more well known Australian fighters.

A win over the IBF No. 1 contender clears him from mandatory defences for another 12 months which could set up a fight with the man regarded as the real linear middleweight champion, Sergio Martinez. It could also possibly lead to a rematch with Anthony Mundine, who Geale lost to via a controversial decision in 2009.

His opponent Adama earned his number one contender ranking the same way that Geale did, by knocking out former champion Roman Karmazin.

Hailing from Accra, Ghana (the same city as Jeff Fenech nemesis Azumah Nelson) and fighting out of Florida, USA, Adama is a rough fighter with a solid punch who is fairly unpolished.

In his 22 professional fights he’s won 20, with two losses, but has only been past six rounds in nine of those bouts. Geale is much more experienced and should have too much skill.

The co-feature sees Dib defend his title for the second time and many are hoping his opponent puts up more of a fight then Dib’s previous title defence.

Escobedo should provide a tougher fight for Dib, having not lost since 2007. He has won 18 of his last 19 bouts with his one loss coming via unanimous decision against hard hitting Daniel Ponce de Leon.

As impressive as the numbers are, Escobedo lacks wins over any top contenders and while he may prove durable, I doubt Dib’s management will have brought in anyone who can seriously test their fighter when he’s filling in a co-feature slot. The fight should be more competitive, but Dib should win comfortably.

Also on the card is former heavyweight contender Kali Meehan, who takes on heavyweight journeyman Travis Walker.

Finally, there will be two entertaining six-rounders with Tasmania’s Steve Maxwell taking on tough journeyman southpaw Alex Ahtong, and unbeaten Steve Lovett battling local veteran Frank Ciampa.

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