Geale storms past Sturm to claim WBA crown in Germany
WBA middleweight world boxing champion Felix Sturm, left, and IBF world boxing champion Daniel Geale of Australia fight during their unification title bout in Oberhausen, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012. Geale won the fight by points. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Daniel Geale elevated himself into the top echelon of world boxing and created a piece of Australian boxing history, as he added Felix Sturm’s WBA middleweight Super title to his IBF crown with a 12-round split decision points win in Oberhausen, Germany.
British official Dave Parris and South African Stanley Christodoulou both scored the unification fight 116-112 in Geale’s favour, while American judge Eugene Grant had Sturm ahead 116-112.
Tasmanian-born but Sydney-based Geale became the first Australian-born boxer to unify two globally recognised titles in the same division.
It was an absorbing strategic contest between two accomplished technicians.
Sturm worked well off the jab in the early rounds, but Geale asserted himself more in the middle and latter rounds.
The Australian did better in the inside exchanges, while Sturm’s best work was done on the outside.
Geale, 31, suffered a cut near his left ear early in the fight, but it wasn’t a factor.
He mounted sustained pressure for the first time in the third round and was particularly strong in the sixth and seventh.
Sturm dug deep in the latter rounds, but Geale shaded him in work rate and power punches.
Geale, who was making the third defence of his IBF title, improved his overall record to 28-1, 15 KOs.
Sturm 33, who was unbeaten in his last 14 fights over six years, dropped a points decision in Germany for the first time, with his log now reading 37-3-2, 16 KOs.© AAP 2013
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