Daniel Geale Interview: “I do all my talking with my fists”

Daniel Geale Interview: “I do all my talking with my fists”
By Anson Wainwright (Sept 1, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Team Geale)

Daniel Geale
One of the most anticipated fights of the year takes place on 15th September between Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr. and Sergio Martinez for the WBC and lineal middleweight titles. However, it’s not the only noteworthy middleweight fight on tap; we also have the WBA/IBF title unification between Felix Sturm and Daniel Geale in Oberhausen on 1 September. It looks like the perfect appetiser in the ever-improving division with the winner well positioned for even bigger things. Even the loser can fit right back into the mix. At 31, the Tasmanian-born Geale is in the prime of his career and going to Germany doesn’t faze him. He's 15 months removed from a previous trip to Germany where he won a well-deserved split decision over then-champion Sebastian Sylvester to claim the IBF crown. Since then, he’s defended his title twice on home turf, taking his overall ledger to 27-1 with 15 inside the distance. His promoter, Gary Shaw, comments on his charge, “Daniel is a great human being and he is always mentally and physically prepared to go to battle with anyone that steps in the ring with him. He took the fight with Sturm with no hesitation because he's always willing to fight the best and biggest challenges that are presented to him. I think Daniel's relentlessness and will to win will prevail him to victory in this fight.”
Anson Wainwright - You’ll be fighting Felix Sturm in title unification on 1 September in Germany. Could you share your thoughts on that fight?
Daniel Geale - I'm really looking forward to the bout. I only ever take a week or so off after a fight and this preparation is coming along well.
AW - What do you see as Sturm's strengths and what areas of his game do you believe you can exploit? What was your thinking in taking on Sturm?
DG - Felix has been on the radar since I won the IBF strap. One of his greatest assets will be his mental strength as he has defended his title 12 times on home soil against good opponents, although he has not fought anyone like me and let’s face it; 13 is not a good number. As for his weaknesses and our strategy, you will have to wait until the bell rings.
AW - Originally you were due to face WBO titlist Dmitry Pirog. What happened to that fight?
DG - You would have to ask my management; all I know is that it fell over.
AW - Your most recent fight was a decision win over your mandatory challenger Osumanu Adama; it was relatively wide on the scorecards. Can you tell us about the fight?
DG - I thought we put on a bout worthy of a mandatory challenge. Osumanu didn't bring his usual come-forward style into the ring, so I adapted and did what was necessary to win the fight.
AW - That was your second title defence since you beat Sebastian Sylvester just over a year ago. Could you tell us about going into the lions’ den and what that was like?
DG - It was a little surreal to be surrounded by thousands of disappointed German fans after the announcement. However, we were treated exceptionally well before, during and after the bout by everyone involved, including Sebastian, who raised my hand in defeat. I'm really looking forward to returning.
AW - Germany is known to be a tough place to go with Matthew Macklin and Martin Murray coming up short in title challenges when many believed they had won. Can you tell us about your mindset when it had gone the distance? How did it feel when they announced you had won?
DG - I thought I had been busy and effective enough to take the fight but still there were very long minutes waiting for the decision. Stories about how hard it is getting a result in Germany were in the back of my mind but I leave all that to people around me.
I am surrounded by an A-class team and with Gary Shaw on board to ensure the playing field was level in Germany, all that was left to do was perform as best I could. When the decision came in, outside of meeting my wife and seeing my kids born, it was the greatest moment of my life.
AW - Who are the key members of your team and how long have you been with them?
DG - I have been with the team at Grange Old School Boxing for eight years. It is owned by Bill Treacy, managed by Garrie Francisco and the head trainer is Graham Shaw and we have an amateur team of around 80 which I am lucky enough to coach. We sort of have a “No Superstars” policy where everyone who comes through the door is an equal. They have been Australia's best promoters for years and since teaming up with Gary Shaw, it has given local fighters fresh inspiration to be the best they can be.
AW - Have you ever travelled away from Australia to train? Can you tell us about that?
DG - I was lucky enough to travel a fair bit representing my country as an amateur and have had a fair bit experience in different countries and I don't mind fighting in opponent’s backyards as being the crowd’s underdog spurs me on.
AW - The lone loss of your career is to Anthony Mundine three years ago. Is a rematch something you would like?
DG - I was keen to fight him again but Anthony vacated [his IBO middleweight strap] when the rematch was ordered. I think that says it all.
AW - What are your thoughts on the middleweight division at the moment? What do you think of the other champions like the WBC’s Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr., Sturm and WBA “regular” champ Gennady Golovkin? Who do you consider the top five at 160?
DG – Potentially, I think we have the most dynamic division in the sport at the moment when you add Sergio Martinez, Dmitry Pirog and myself to the list above. Then fighting each other to determine exactly who is the boss is what boxing is all about for me and a dream come true.
AW - What did you think of the Chavez-Andy Lee, Sturm-Sebastian Zbik and Martinez-Macklin fights? How do you see Chavez-Martinez going?
DG - Chavez v Lee was pretty much as expected. Sturm v Zbik showed that you never underestimate a champion. Chavez v Martinez is a fight that had to happen and should be a great fight with no clear winner in that bout.
AW - In closing, do you have anything you’d like to say to Felix Sturm?
DG - No, not really. I do all my talking with my fists in the ring.
Questions and or comments can be sent to Anson at elraincoat@live.co.uk and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright. Anson is also a member of The Ring magazine’s ratings panel.

This Article provided to Doghouse Boxing from MaxBoxing.com.

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