Daniel Geale: New Unified WBA & IBF World Middleweight Champion
By Srithar Visuasam: Daniel ‘The Real Deal’ Geale (28-1, 15 KOs) has performed the unthinkable in world boxing and has won his second world title in Germany by defeating WBA middleweight super champion Felix Sturm (37-3-2, 16 KOs) via split decision in becoming the first Australian born fighter to unify world titles within a weight division.
Fighting long time reigning WBA super champion Felix Sturm in Germany, the fight was a close affair which went the full twelve rounds as expected. Sturm started the stronger fighter, with his effective jab and punch accuracy. Geale’s trademark workrate started to pay dividends throughout the middle stages and with two rounds to go the fight was still up for grabs.
Geale continued his intensity and the final round was a very exciting close to the bout which Geale clearly finished the stronger fighter. When the scorecards were read, it wasn’t clear who was to win the fight, with the first scorecard reading in Sturm’s favour 116-112, the second reading 116-112 to Geale and the final scorecard again reading 116-112 to the Australian, crowning Daniel Geale the unified WBA and IBF champion.
Sturm was gracious in defeat and suggested a rematch in his post fight interview, with Geale in his own interview humble in victory and willing to explore a rematch aswell. Both fighters performed admirably and this was a worthy unification bout.
This is a major moment for Australian boxing and if this fight was held 20 years ago, the streets would be lined giving Daniel Geale a homecoming ceremony. With boxing given less mainstream attention these days, it would be great to see the quiet achiever get the attention his deserves for this monumental achievement.
To win the IBF title last year against Sebastian Sylvester was special, but to repeat the medicine in heading to Germany to claim the WBA title against the longest reigning champion in the division is sensational. The fact he was also willing to head back to Germany just a little over a year after the Sylvester victory also highlights his willingness to seek the best challenges available.
Geale now can look forward to the Sergio Martinez – Julio Cesar Chavez Jr fight in a couple weeks time with a view to a big money fight early next year against the winner.