Future is bright for Geale
January, 30, 2013
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Matt King/Getty ImagesDaniel Geale made a good case for himself on Wednesday as one of the best middleweights in the division.
I woke up early on Wednesday, came down to my office before dawn and watched a nice Internet stream as Daniel Geale toyed with Anthony Mundine to retain his middleweight title in Sydney, Australia.
Geale, who I consider the best middleweight in the world not named Sergio Martinez, outclassed Mundine in a battle of Australians as Geale gained revenge for his only loss, a 12-round split decision against Mundine in 2009. Since then, Geale’s star has risen while the overrated Mundine’s has sunk.
The rematch was an entertaining fight, but it was all Geale, who didn’t look like he had even been in a fight afterward. The scores were all for Geale, 117-111, 117-111 and 116-112. As far as I am concerned it wasn’t even that close. I had it 119-109 for Geale.
Geale, 31, worked him over with combinations, landed a lot of solid right hands and forced him backward for much of the fight. The slower, stiffer Mundine (44-5, 26 KOs), 37, did not look like he had much on the few punches that landed either.
Mundine is obviously living in a fantasy world, because after the fight, he tweeted, “Hate seriously blind people! I dictated (the fight), caught him with more shots and power shots! Told you this would happen if didn’t KO him.”
Caught him with more shots? Ummm, OK. Whatever. Mundine has always been a sore loser, so it’s no surprise that he is as delusional as ever.
But forget Mundine’s nonsense. This is about Geale (29-1, 15 KOs), a fine fighter who romped to victory in an encore to his upset split decision win against Felix Sturm (in Germany) in September to unify middleweight belts, even though he was forced to vacate one of the titles in order to take this big-money rematch with Mundine instead of facing Gennady Golovkin in a mandatory defense.
I’d love to see Geale-Golovkin as much as anyone, but I can’t blame Geale for going home for a big fight for big money instead of facing the very dangerous Golovkin for less money.
Geale-Golovkin could become a big fight. Geale is ready to come to America and Golovkin is gaining steam here after two knockout wins in his last two fights, both on HBO and in the United States. HBO wants to sign Golovkin to a contract.
After the fight, Geale, who is with American promoter Gary Shaw, said he wants to come to America to fight and Shaw has also said he wants to bring him here. Geale should be welcome here with open arms. He has an aggressive fan friendly style and he’s very well spoken. I met him and interviewed him in September in Las Vegas and he made a great impression. Fans in the United States will love him.
Since I don’t happen to think a Golovkin fight will be made right away, and Geale still wants to fight in the U.S., the perfect fight would be against contender Matthew Macklin, the Irishman from England, who lives in New York. Macklin is also an exciting fighter and has nothing lined up at the moment.
Macklin, who is with promoter Lou DiBella (who is partners with Shaw on some fighters and could make a deal with him in probably about 15 minutes) gave Martinez, the real middleweight champion, a run for his money in a very spirited fight in last March. Macklin dropped Martinez in the seventh round before being stopped in the 11th round.
In the fight before that, Macklin challenged then-titleholder Sturm for his belt and lost a split decision that was one of the worst of 2011. Many, myself included, thought Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) beat Sturm easily but was robbed in a hometown decision.
Geale-Macklin is a can’t-miss fight that would make a lot of sense for HBO – which is heavily invested at middleweight and super middleweight because of its ties to Martinez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Golovkin and Andre Ward.
Macklin told me after Geale’s victory that it’s a fight he wants. He also tweeted about it: “I beat Sturm, didn't get the decision, he did get decision. Let’s get it on! Fight makes sense to everyone. The only reason it doesn't happen is if Geale doesn't fancy it.”
Give Geale a little time to enjoy his victory and Shaw, DiBella and HBO a chance to talk and I think it might happen.