Mundine vs Geale will cap off big few months for Australian boxing
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)
The announcement of the blockbuster rematch between Daniel Geale and Anthony Mundine will cap off a big few months for Australian boxing.
‘The Man’ versus ‘The Real Deal’ rematch is a done deal, with the two Indigenous pugilists to slug it in early 2013, potentially on January 23.
This will be a hell of a fight – Geale with the chance to avenge his only loss, a controversial split decision to the former NRL star in 2009, and shut up the mouthy ‘Man’ who has been a vocal critic.
For Mundine, this is just about his last chance for greatness and another world title. His plans for the US have largely fallen on deaf ears and his pleas for a shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr remain laughable to many.
Defeating Geale again would not only be a huge deal, it would give him another world title and vault him back in the spotlight as a worthy contender.
The bout would also be a huge draw – our best fighter at the moment, a dual world champion who has just travelled to Germany twice to win world titles, up against Australia’s self-styled Muhummad Ali. Mundine has been the biggest name in Australian boxing for the past 12 years and has dominated the local scene.
It might not make as much money as the Danny Green versus Mundine fight in 2006, but it will go close. A juicier fight between two quality Australian boxers we haven’t seen in ages.
At the same time local fight fans are being treated to some quality bouts in the coming weeks. Green will face off against New Zealand’s Shane Cameron for the vacant IBO cruiserweight world title in Melbourne on November 21. On the same card IBO super featherweight world Will Tomlinson will take on Panama’s Irving Berry.
Green may have disposed of Danny Santiago in fairly impressive fashion recently, but his career is coming to an end. He has a chance for another world title but will be up against it.
The big Kiwi with the 29 win, 2 loss record is an opponent to be respected and it may be a step too far for the Perth-raised pugilist.
This will also be an important fight for the promising undefeated super featherweight Tomlinson. The boy from Blacktown will defend his belt against the solid Panamanian, as a debut in the US beckons.
Back to the US is where Billy Dib is headed, after signing with Mayweather’s promotional team. It is unclear exactly where his next bout will take place but the opponent is expected to be Argentinian Mauricio Javier Muñoz, after Muñoz defeated Luis Franco in their IBF featherweight eliminator.
The fight needs to happen by December 7, and the talented IBF world champion from Sydney will face the South American who has moved up from super bantamweight. Partnering with the promotional prowess of ‘Pretty Boy’ should see Dib’s name soar in boxing circles.
And then there is Joel Brunker, another Aussie featherweight with a lot of potential. On October 27, the 26-year old will be pitted against the Dominican Carlos Fulgencio at Turning Stone Resort and Casino, in Verona, New York in his US debut.
Brunker has aligned with Geale’s promoter, Gary Shaw, and is looking to make a big splash with American fight fans. He has spent the past five weeks training at top gyms in Vegas, sparring with the likes of Rances Barthelemy and Sharef Bogere, and is raring to go.
“My preparation is going good, it’s hard being away from home but it’s worth it,” Brunker told me in a recent interview.
Brunker expects Fulgencio to use his superior height and box from the outside, but remains confident.
“I will cut the ring off and control the tempo of fight,” he said. “My USA debut is just another step to me getting to a word title and get some good exposure. Of course there will be nerves but that’s a part of the game, I have fought all over the world as amateur so that should help.”
The brawler from Richmond and former Olympian looked up to Kosta Tszyu and Robbie Peden as a kid, and has eyes on the WBO featherweight belt currently held by Orlando Salido. If Brunker can claim that title, a super battle with fellow Aussie Dib may await.
“WBO is what we are chasing at moment but that could always change,” he said.
“I am interested in a fight with Billy, it would be good for Australian boxing. I’m not worried with which one (is my next opponent), all I want to do is test myself and see what I’m capable of. Plus I have to get over my next fight first, you are only as good as your last fight.
“Of course it would be good to make a big impression in the US, but all I am worried about is getting another win under my belt, that’s the main thing.”
So we have Geale-Mundine, Green-Cameron, Tomlinson-Berry, Dib-Muñoz, Brunker-Fulgencio. And with Michael Katsidis back in Australia, training on the Gold Coast for his next bout, and the evergreen Vic Darchinyan eyeing another world title after demolishing Luis Orlando Del Valle, things are shaping up nicely for the sweet science down under.