By Danny Winterbottom: Aussie Daniel Geale lived up to his nickname and proved he is indeed the “Real Deal” as he scored a shock split decision victory over German favourite Felix Sturm inside the Koenig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany to add the WBA super world middleweight title to his IBF strap in a thoroughly entertaining contest tonight ,Saturday September 1.
The 31-year-old from Launceston, Tasmania proved once again how comfortable he is fighting on the road, and in particular Germany, as he took the fight to the two time world champion from the off. Sturm, who likes to establish a dominant jab, found it difficult in the early going to land effectively as the IBF boss outworked his older foe with combination punching to both head and body. Sturm was always in the contest but seemed surprisingly subdued in his biggest fight since losing his WBO world title to Oscar De La Hoya in controversial circumstances in 2004.
Whenever Sturm landed a punch of note Geale would fire back in two’s and three’s as he refused to let the German champion dominate him. Some of the rounds were difficult to score as both fighters hit arms and gloves on many occasions. In the final round it was Geale who upped the pace and as the bell sounded to end the contest Sturm looked a beaten man.
The judges’ score cards offered typically differing views with an eight round swing. Judge Eugene Grant scored the bout 116-112 for Sturm but Stanley Christodoulou, the veteran referee and judge came to the same score, 116-112 but in favour of Geale. Britain’s Dave Parris held the deciding card, scoring the same as his colleague Christodoulou, 116-112 for the new unified middleweight champion Daniel Geale. For the record my card read 115-114 for Geale.
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