By Paul Upham: In Australia, facing Anthony Mundine is usually the biggest fight of any boxers’ career. But for Daniel Geale, who will put his IBO middleweight boxing world title on the line against “The Man” on Wednesday May 27 in Brisbane, he claims it is just going to be another match.
“I just see it as another fight for me,” Geale told SecondsOut. “It is going to be a big step for me. It is a big stepping stone for me. But I am not going to put it up too much on pedestal or anything like that. I am just going to take it as it comes. It is going to be a tough fight, but I am going to be ready for it.”
Originally from Tasmania and a gold medallist at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, 28 year-old Geale 21-0 (13) is currently rated No.9 by The Ring magazine at middleweight.
The 28 year-old won the vacant IBO middleweight title in an impressive performance against the previously undefeated Daniel Dawson in December 2007. It was an important win which confirmed the promise he had shown since his professional debut in October 2004.
In his last fight on March 11, Geale blew away Canadian Ian MacKillop in one round. At the pre-fight press conference, MacKillop had stated that while Geale was a good young fighter, he didn’t have any real power that could hurt him.
“What he said was in the back of my mind,” explained Geale. “But I had no intentions of knocking him out, especially early like that. It just happened. That’s the sport. That’s boxing. You never know. It only takes one good shot. I am going into the fight with Mundine with no intention of trying to knock him out either. I am just going in there and box and stick to my plan. If Plan A doesn’t work, then go to Plan B, or go to the next one. Just keep working hard through.”
The stoppage win over a tough guy like MacKillop, who had a prior victory over Australian Shannan Taylor, provided the perfect launch pad for Geale going into his fight with Mundine.
“It is good for the confidence, for sure,” agreed Geale. “I took a few points out of that fight and I still have plenty of things to work on. I have been talking to Jeff Fenech and (trainer) Graham Shaw, we have got our plans and we know what we have to do. It is just a matter of making sure that we can do it on the night.”
Geale’s promoter Grange Old School Boxing has expertly guided the talented and likeable boxer over the last few years. Bill Treacy and Garrie Francisco, who run the Smeaton Grange based promoter’s operations, have proven to be one of Australia’s best run promotional companies
It has allowed Geale to develop at the right pace under Grange head trainer Graham Shaw and mentor Jeff Fenech, to the point where many local boxing industry insiders expect Geale to give Mundine one of the toughest battles of his career.
A former two-time WBA world champion at super middleweight, Mundine 35-3 (23) will enter the fight as a firm favourite at the Brisbane Convention Centre. However, Mundine turns 34 one week before the match and has not really been made to work too hard in any of his matches since his impressive win over arch-rival Danny Green in 2006.
“I don’t think we have seen his best in the ring,” Geale said, of Mundine’s recent performances. “It doesn’t seem like he has been pushed. People have talked about that. From my point of view, I don’t believe he has probably fought to his potential. He is staring to get a little bit older now. That can be a factor as well. I am only 28 and I am raring to go. I am young, I am happy and I am ready.”
Geale, who expects to have plenty of family and friends at ringside in Brisbane, agrees that it is hard to find sparring partners to mimic Mundine’s unique style and physical gifts, but is very pleased with his preparation.
“He is pretty unique, yeah,” he said. “There is nobody in Australia who fights like him. I am going to do everything in my power to be ready. We sit down and have a look at the tapes. I don’t watch them over and over. Some guys do, but that is not me. I have seen plenty of his fights over the years. I know what I am up against. It is not like I am fighting someone I haven’t seen before.
“I have just got to box to my ability. I know that I have got good skills and I know I can do a lot of different things. I can put pressure on if need be. I can move, I can dance and I can avoid punches. I can mix it up a bit and that’s what I plan on doing. It is the perfect opportunity for me right now. I am really happy this has happened because it is my time now.”
* The Geale vs. Mundine fight will be televised live on pay-per-view in Australia from 6:30pm Eastern on Wednesday May 27 on Main Event Television and at participating venues on Fox Sports Pub & Club Vision.