Geale vs Sturm: Australian boxing’s fight of the year nears
Daniel Geale punches Sebastian Sylvester - Credit: Graham Anderson (supplied)
Daniel Geale’s opportunity to join Australian boxing royalty is just over a week away.
Next weekend Geale will take on Felix Sturm in Germany in a middleweight unification bout – Australia’s IBF champion against the German WBA champion.
It doesn’t get much bigger, two world champions slugging it out to hold two of the most recognised belts in boxing, in one of the most glamorous divisions.
This is Geale’s chance for greatness and for his profile at home, and abroad, to soar.
Geale is an unusual beast compared to many fighters.
The 31-year hails from Tassie and has been boxing since the age of nine He doesn’t talk trash, doesn’t bag his opponents and does his talking in the ring. And he’s done that very well – 27 wins from 28 fights, with the only loss coming by split decision to Anthony Mundine in 2009.
Geale strikes me as a humble, easy-going guy. Not flashy in the slightest and without a big ego, the hallmarks of today’s pro fighters.
The former Olympian and former charge of Jeff Fenech follows the Mayweather team’s ethos of ‘hard work and dedication’.
The 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medallist lives up to his ring name, ‘The Real Deal’. He is the quiet assassin, the graceful cand decent hampion who gets the job done.
There is no denying that while the rewards will be huge if Geale can win, it will be a massive task to defeat Sturm.
The vastly experienced German is two years older, three centimetres taller and has had 13 more fights. His record is 37 wins, two losses and two draws.
Sturm is a skilled defensive boxer, with punching power, who is fighting at home and has successfully defended his title 14 times in the past five years.
He has rumbled with the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Javier Castillejo and Sebastian Sylvester (a former Geale victim). And he is fighting in his hometown, which is not to be forgotten.
Getting a decision in front of a German crowd for an overseas fighter is no mean feat.
Sturm is no slouch, and the bookies have him as the favourite. But Sturm has shown some signs of decay in his recent fights, and Geale has the experience of winning in Germany before on his side.
Geale’s IBF middleweight title win came against Sylvester in Deutschland, and the NSW-based boxer is out to repeat the feat.
He has been sparring the likes of Namder Hamdan, Rocky Jerkic, Sakio Bika and Ben McCulloch ahead of the bout. Geale is approaching the fight of his career and knows these kind of title shots don’t come around every day. He has says he is hungry for the WBA belt.
Now he has to show it.
Australian boxing and fight fans around the country, will be behind him.