Jerry Glick reporting from New York: After watching IBF Middleweight Champion Daniel “Real Deal” Geale and his challenger “Dazzling” Darren Barker go through some of their training routine at the Mendez Gym in Manhattan on Monday in front of the media, it looks like it could be a close one.
These two Commonwealth boxers will meet, not in the Champion’s country (Australia), and not in the Challenger’s (England) either. They will fight on August 17th at Revel Resort in Atlantic City, USA. According to both Gary Shaw of Gary Shaw Productions and co-promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing the fight is where it is because HBO wanted it and Geale wants a US career.
The most telling part of watching a boxer isn’t skipping rope, it’s sparring, hitting his trainer’s pads, or shadow boxing, and if I compare how Geale and Barker measure up I must say that the champion appeared to have the faster hands and more skills. Of course things could play out very differently in the ring, but based on what they did in their gym work, the pick here is promoter Gary Shaw’s Australian import Geale.
Their records are close with Geale’s numbers currently at 29-1 (15 KOs), with Barker’s a similar 25-1 (16 KOs), and Barker, at 6’ 1/2” will enjoy a 2 ½” height advantage.
According to Shaw, Geale’s advantage will be his title fight experience and he believes that that will help him to overcome Barker’s size advantage in height and reach.
Geale said that he expects to find a determined fighter in the other corner Saturday night, “We expect Barker to be hungry,” said the champion. “He put on a good performance against Martinez, and he’s got another shot at it now so he’s going to be very hungry. He will come out hard.”
Geale added that he wants to win in any way possible, but more importantly, he wants to make a statement. “It’s my first fight over here (in the US) and I want the public to get to know me and show people what I can do; I can box, I can punch, and I can move as well.”
I asked his trainer, Graham Shaw, about how they prepared and he said that they had many plans for winning and that was confirmed when Geale said that they have plan A, plan B, plan C, and more. “We are going to win no matter how we need to.”
Promoter, Gary Shaw,, pointed out that Geale is calm and confident, “He went to Germany to win the title,” he said. “Normally you have to knock the guy out twice to do that in Germany. That speaks for Daniel.”
A win in this fight, Geale believes, will lead to bigger things down the road, “It sets up more fights here in the US,” said Geale. “A win will definitely set up a fight with Golovkin, or Martinez, I want that number one spot in the world, that’s my goal.”
He added that he sees himself as good as or better than other middleweight title claimants, to support that statement promoter Shaw said, “Daniel Geale doesn’t fight scared. Daniel Geale comes to fight; Macklin fought scared against Golovkin. Daniel Geale won’t come in against Barker or anyone else scared.”
Geale is a personable 32 year old who is a true gym rat. When not training for a fight he stays in the gym to teach and prepare his amateur squad of young competitive fighters who participate successfully in tournaments. A well rounded family man with a life focused on boxing, the biggest moment in his career may be the one happening Saturday. The move to America coupled with a victory over Barker will energize his already burgeoning career.
August 13, 2013