By Elyas Khaliqi: Australia’s newest boxing champion, Daniel Geale, has placed himself at the top of the Australian boxing tree, and amongst elite company in both Australian and world boxing. With his sensational May 7th victory over German champion Sebastian Sylvester, on German soil, Geale joins Australian ring legends Lionel Rose (RIP), Jimmy Carruthers and Jeff Harding as the only Australian fighters to win a world title overseas. The Aussie’s name will now be mentioned alongside Marvin Hagler, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr, James Toney and Michael Nunn, as owner of the IBF Middleweight title.
Geale achieved what most perceive to be mission impossible in boxing, that is travelling to Germany and beating the champ on home soil. The magnitude and importance of Geale’s win on German soil is why his name is now mentioned with the greats listed above. Anthony Mundine tried and was knocked out, Danny Green tried twice unsuccessfully, as have Rick Thornberry, Nadar Hamdan, Shannon Taylor and Peter Mitrevski Jr. After years of hard work, the accolades and recognition are finally coming Daniel Geale’s way, and deservedly so.
Geale’s sole loss to compatriot Anthony Mundine, two years ago, is now well behind him. Despite the loss, Geale gained great exposure on the big stage and has gone on to become the middleweight champion. The loss to Mundine was so controversial, the IBO mandated an immediate rematch but that fight never eventuated as a result of Mundine choosing to campaign at Junior Middleweight. The tables have now turned, with the new champion being one of the most sought after Australian boxers. Geale has remained lukewarm at the prospect of a rematch with Mundine, insisting he has bigger fish to fry overseas.
Buoyed by his successful title fight, Geale has stated that he wants to fight the best out there. One name that Geale has most mentioned is Sergio Martinez, the WBC Middleweight champion from Argentina. Martinez is regarded as the best middleweight on the planet and number three on the pound for pound rankings. Geale’s attitude is a breath of fresh air, choosing to call out the most formidable champion in his division, rather than chasing overmatched or over the hill opponents. He wants to test himself against the best, and has enough confidence in his abilities to think he can get the job done. Geale now brings with him the IBF middleweight belt to the table when he negotiates for a fight and indeed a unification fight might interest the uncompromising Argentinian. Geale’s last few performances indicate that he will be a handful for Martinez or any of the other middleweight champions at the moment. Having so far amassed a fine record of 25 wins against a sole loss, with fifteen of those fights ending inside the distance, the doors are wide open for Geale and his management. A successful unification bout against any of the other champions would see Geale’s stocks rise dramatically. To date, Team Geale haven’t made any sort of announcement as to their next move but whichever way they decide to go, Australian fight fans are set to be rewarded with real world class fights.
Born in Launceston, Tasmania, Geale now trains at the Grange Old School Gym, in Sydney’s west, under the watchful eye of expert trainer Graham Shaw. Since training fulltime at the Grange, Geale has shown continued improvement in each fight. Quality training and quality sparring with the likes of Rob Medley and Jamie Pittman and expert guidance by Gary Fransisca and the Grange Team, have been a huge advantage for Geale, going into the biggest fights of his career thus far. Geale’s ability to change from softly spoken, mild mannered gentleman outside the ring to a killing machine inside the ring is remarkable. One of the true nice guys of the sport, Geale has gone about his work in a quiet and self assured manner and he’s now getting his just dues.
Geale had a distinguished amateur career, highlighted by a Gold medal at the 2002 Commonwealth games. The former amateur standout puts a lot of time back into the sport at the junior level, often accompanying amateurs to tournaments and holding boxing classes four times a week. Aside from his involvement with the youngsters, Geale also trains with the Wests Tigers Rugby League team and he and his wife are raising three children. Despite the hectic schedule, Geale is always generous with his time to both fans and media.
Daniel Geale has only just started to make noise, not with his mouth, but with achievements in the ring. At the peak of his powers, the 30 year old Tasmanian knows his time is now. The man affectionately known as ‘The Real Deal’ has announced his arrival on the world scene, and is set to show the world that he is a worthy champion.