Former IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale took time out from training for his July 26 world title challenge against the big punching Gennady Golovkin in New York to speak to Andre Cristiano about the arguably the biggest fight of his 30-2-(16), fight career.
Daniel Geale, thank you for joining us at secondsout.com. Firstly, let me say that the boxing world is really looking forward to this fight. Two strong, exciting middleweights in their prime fighting at Madison Square Garden for the world title.
Q; Before speaking about your upcoming fight tell us how you enjoyed watching the Cotto-Martinez bout? Did it play out the way you expected?
DG: I’m glad I got the chance to have a look at Madison Square Garden. It’s a great venue for boxing and am excited about fighting there. I was expecting Martinez to be too fast but Cotto had a great game plan and I had a feeling that if Martinez wasn’t at 100 percent that he would struggle. I was a little surprised how easily Cotto hurt him but Cotto showed why he is regarded so highly.
Q; How did it feel to be watching the fight knowing that you will soon be headlining at that very special venue?
DG: I got a special feeling being there, knowing how many great fighters had fought there and the history of great fights at that venue. But I’m keeping level headed about it and not being over-awed by the occasion, I have a job to do.
Q; Madison Square Garden. Middleweight world title fight. You are really at the pinnacle of your sport. Leading up to the fight will you be able to step back and appreciate the experience? Or is it something that you will only fully absorb when it’s all over?
DG: I think I will fully absorb after I have fought there, I mean it is exciting and it’s what you dream about as a young fighter but I need to be focused on my fight, not titles or venues.
Q; Boxing fans are excited to see Golovkin tested against a higher-level opponent such as yourself. Many feel he hasn’t yet faced anyone of your caliber? Do you take that as a validation of your belief that you can beat this guy?
DG: I’m not listening too much to what people are saying, I know he hasn’t fought anyone like me yet and I will take advantage of that. I fully believe in my own ability and thats what I will focus on.
Q: You’re a tough fighter and don’t mind stepping through the occasional punch but it’s quite clear that Golovkin is an especially hard puncher. The obvious question is ‘How do you intend to cope with his power?’
DG: Golovkin does have power but if you stand if front you deserve to be hit, I won’t make it easy for him to hit me and I will be throwing plenty back.
Q; If all goes according to plan tell us how you imagine the fight panning out? How will you beat this guy? Will you stay out of range until the later rounds where you have proven yourself in the past? Or do you beat him at his own game and fight fire with fire?
DG: I’m not going to give away all my game plans but I think it’s important to be prepared for whatever happens out there and adapt, it’s a matter of using my strengths and capitalising on his weaknesses.
Q; Forget about reality for a moment. Is there any one within range of the middleweight division, past or present, that you would just love to fight? Why?
DG: I have always been a huge fan of sugar ray Leonard. He was such a greatly skilled fighter and would love to test myself against a guy with that ability. To be able to fight him or anyone of that era would have been a buzz, it was an exciting time.
Q; You have mentioned that fighting in front of your home fans is important to you as it helps support local boxing. On behalf of Australian boxing fans let me assure you thats what we really want is our best boxers headlining fights at the MGM Grand and Madison Square Garden! Arguably, not since Kostya Tszyu has an internationally relevant Australian fighter been in such a high profile bout. Do you feel that Australian fans have realized just how significant the fight against Golovkin is?
DG: I’m not sure if everyone understands the enormity of this fight with Gennady. This is a guy no one wants to fight and at one of the biggest venues in the world so I hope when people do hear about it, they support me.
Q: Thank you very much, Daniel. It’s great to hear from you and all the best for your world title fight.
DG: Thank you. Its going to be a great fight.
July 8, 2014