Gennady Golovkin is pretty familiar with Daniel Geale, the man he’s fighting on July 26.
They first met in an amateur contest 13 years ago, with Golovkin prevailing by a wide decision.
A lot has happened to both boxers since. Geale turned professional in 2004 with Golovkin doing the same two years later.
Geale, 33, captured the IBO middleweight title in his eighteenth bout.
Golovkin, 32, picked up a championship strap in 2010. Geale lost his belt three years later to Anthony Mundine, but reclaimed in 2011.
Geale was upset by Darren Barker last year.
Golovkin hasn’t come close to losing. The Kazakhstani bomber has knocked out 26 of 29 opponents with 16 stoppages in a row.
Geale, who was born in Launceston, Tasmania, has 16 wins by knockout.
This Saturday night, inside the hallowed walls of Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY, the friendly rivals will meet again with Golovkin’s WBA and IBO titles on the line.
Golovkin has the utmost respect for Geale.
“Daniel is a great fighter,” Golovkin said during a media conference call a few days ago. ”I have watched his tapes, and the last fight in particular, makes me realize this is not going to be an easy fight.”
Golovkin is referring to Geale’s lone fight in 2014, a punishing victory over Garth Wood at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, Australia. The normally easy-going Geale made Wood pay for some less-than-complementary comments in the weeks leading up to the fight.
Geale is very aware that Golovkin is not Wood, either verbally, or talent wise.
“Mentally I have been preparing for the toughest fight of my life,” said Geale. “It's going to be a tough fight against a very tough fighter. I put in a very difficult training camp.”
Golovkin had a spectacular 2013, winning all of his fights inside of 10 rounds. His patient attack, coupled with bone-crunching power has made the baby-faced Golovkin one of the most popular boxers in the game, but the quality of his opposition has been questioned.
In his last fight, Golovkin easily dispatched Osumanu Adama in seven rounds. The reviews were mixed. It was suggested that he needed to fight someone of similar pedigree and talent.
Enter Daniel Geale.
“To be honest, Gennady has got titles and I want titles,” Geale said. “That's my main goal here.”
But is Geale good enough to defeat Golovkin?
If he fights flatfooted, like he did against Wood, Golovkin will break him down. Geale will need to fight in bursts, keep his jab in Golovkin’s face and stay off the ropes. His right hand packs more power than Golovkin is used too.
Golovkin expects Geale to make him work every round.
“Yes, absolutely, because he has a specific style,” said Golovkin. “He has proved that in his fights and it will be difficult to solve.
Geale is more a fighter than boxer. As soon as Golovkin touches him with a powerful shot, the Australian might forget his gameplan and decide to rumble. A firefight is exactly what Golovkin wants.
Geale could hurt Golovkin, but the undefeated champion’s power has proven to be explosive, and deadly.
Look for Golovkin to extend his knockout streak to 17.