IBF Middleweight champion, Daniel Geale interview

Interview by Elyas Khaliqi: IBF Middleweight champion, “The Real Deal” Daniel Geale (25-1, 15 KOs) and his management are currently in negotiations for his first world title defence. With his against-the-odds victory, in Germany, over former champion Sebastian Sylvester Sylvester (34-4-1, 16 KOs) , there are options aplenty for the talented Australian. The win against Sylvester was Geale’s coming out party and his arrival on the world scene.

Courtesy of the IBF middleweight strap, Geale now carries a lot of weight at the negotiating table for any title defence or unification bout. Big money fights are available to Geale if he chooses to fight domestically also. A rematch with his sole conqueror, former Super Middleweight and former Middleweight champion, Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine (42-4, 25 KOs) would probably be the biggest money fight for Geale. A Geale vs Mundine rematch seems unlikely, for the moment, as Mundine is now campaigning at Junior Middleweight. Rugby League convert and Anthony Mundine destroyer, Garth Wood (Mundine did win a rematch with Wood ), looms as another likely opponent. World rated Sam Soliman and Sakio Bika have also expressed interest in fighting Geale. The crafty Geale would hold his own against any of the current title holders, in a possible unification bout. Possessing a great skill set and endless stamina, Australia’s newest world champion is set to show the world that he is the real deal.

The new champ graciously took some time out to chat with ESB.

ESB: Hey Daniel, It’s great to catch up with you champ, thanks for your time and a big congratulations on your huge IBF world title win in Germany.

DG: Yeah cool, thanks man.

ESB: How did you celebrate your victory?

DG: I didn’t get much time to celebrate to be honest. Straight after the fight we had to go for a drug test and then yeah it was pretty much straight back to the hotel and by the time we got back to the hotel it was sort of three o’ clock and I was pretty well buggered. I just wanted to get some sleep because I knew I had to get up early to travel back home so yeah there wasn’t too much celebration actually. But it was good to get back to Australia and catch up with family and friends and then I got to relax and celebrate a little bit.

ESB: How was the German experience for you?

DG: I had been to Germany once before when I was preparing for the Commonwealth games. We got looked after a little bit and we didn’t really get much of a chance to have a look around but I didn’t mind Germany. We had no problems with it at all, the weather was actually really nice and yeah we were really happy with everything.

ESB: How confident were you when the judges were tallying the scorecards?

DG: Straight after I was confident and after the first judges’ card was read, you know I was still really confident. After the second judge’s card was read my confidence obviously went down a little. But once I looked over in the German’s corner and once I saw the looks on those guys I knew I’d won. You could just tell that they knew they’d lost and they’d lost their confidence, and yeah, once they announced the decision, she was all good then.

ESB: Which of the other middleweight champions would you like to fight?

DG: A fight with Sergio Martinez down the track would be a good fight for me. There are plenty of Europeans out there at the moment as well, I mean Felix Sturm he’s been at the top for a while now, so there is plenty for us to choose from now that we have this title. They all want a piece of me now so it’s good , we get to see what works best for us and hopefully try to make a couple of bucks out of it.

ESB: The IBF have ordered a box off between Sebastian Sylvester and Aussie veteran Sam Soliman for the right to be your mandatory challenger. Who do you think will win that and who would you prefer to face?

DG: I think it should be an interesting fight. Sylvester’s obviously a very defensive fighter, he’s got a great jab and with Sam, he throws a lot of punches and he’s very awkward , so yeah it will be an interesting fight to watch with the different styles and to be honest it’s not going to bother me fighting either of them.

ESB: If you were to have a rematch with Sylvester, is it going to be staged wherever makes most sense financially.

DG: Yeah that comes into it a lot but at the same time you’ve got to be very careful going back to Germany. The Germans want the title back and they’ll do everything they can to get it back but in saying that we have other big fights that we are looking at so it’s just a matter of us taking our time and as soon as we work out who my next opponent is then we’ll start working on that.

ESB: Has your team brought up Julio Cesar Chavez’ name at all. He’s a huge name in Mexico and America and he is the new WBC middleweight champion.

DG: I don’t think we’ve had any negotiations yet with his team but yeah that’s definitely a fight that I wouldn’t mind either. I actually had a little bit of a look of a fight of him last night and he fights pretty well. My manager is going to see which of these fights we can put together and hopefully we can fight them all.

ESB: How did you become involved in boxing?

DG: I guess as a nine year old boy, I just wanted to try something different. Dad suggested boxing as something a little bit different. I was playing other sports at the time but boxing eventually took over as the sport that I loved the most and the one I wanted to commit myself to.

ESB: Who has been the biggest influence in your career so far?

DG: The biggest influence for me would have to be my dad. He kept me in the right direction most of the time, he’s helped me a lot over the years and he’s helped me make some tough decisions.

ESB: Tell us a little about your involvement with young amateur boxers.

DG: Yeah it’s something I really enjoy doing. I’m training a group of young guys that I’m helping and bringing along. Some of the guys have got some experience and some aren’t experienced at all. But it’s really enjoyable for me to see them train and improve. I get heaps out of it. Some of the training involves things that I used to do and things that I’m still doing now so it keeps everything fresh in my mind. And the guys get to train alongside me which I know they get a little bit of a kick out of.

ESB: You’re an avid Wests Tigers fan, what is your involvement with them and what do you reckon of their chances this year?

DG: I think they will go really well, they’ve lost a few close ones but they are a good team. My involvement pretty much, from time to time I help a few of the guys out with some boxing style training. Also with some motivational stuff, just giving guys a kick along if they need a kick along, so yeah not really that much but it’s great to be involved with a club like that.

ESB: Growing up in Tasmania, do you follow an AFL team also?

DG: Yeah I grew up supporting Collingwood so yeah a huge Collingwood fan. I actually traveled down to Melbourne a week or two ago and did an interview with Eddy Maguire on the MMM radio show and that was pretty cool fun.

ESB: What do you like to do out of the ring?

DG: Well I spend a lot of time with my family and some time with friends. If I can I like to get out and have a hit of golf, otherwise yeah just relaxing with family and friends.

ESB: What is next for Daniel Geale?

DG: Hopefully we’re going to organize a fight very soon, it should be announced very soon. I think it’s mid to late August that we’re trying to work out.

ESB: What would you like to say to your fans?

DG: Thank you very much for all your support. Keep watching because I’m looking forward to some massive fights in the not too distant future.

ESB: It’s been a pleasure talking champ. Take care!

DG : No worries, you too.

Article posted on 18.06.2011

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