CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale ready for Barker, America
IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale (29-1, 15 KOs) defends his title against Darrin Barker (25-1, 16 KOs)in the main event of an HBO broadcast from Revel Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ on Saturday, August 17 beginning at 9:45 PM/ET. It will be Geale’s first bout in the United States.
“I want to show the American press and the American people how good I am,” Geale said during a media workout session at Mendez Boxing Club in New York. “
Geale is one of the best middleweights in the world. Geale has been the IBF champion since May 2011. The 32-year-old Australian is best recognized for accomplishing an impossible feat. In 2012, Geale traveled to Germany to defeat Felix Sturm, via split decision. Sturm, best recognized by American fight-fans for his controversial WBO middleweight title loss to Oscar De La Hoya in 2004, is one of the very best conditioned fighters in boxing.
Geale believes that the Sturm fight was his toughest.
“Definitely Felix Sturm,” Geale said. “I fought good, but eventually I knew I’d be up against that big German crowd and the judges. The press told me I wasn’t going to win the fight. Sturm kept making adjustments by switching up his style. You can’t make any mistakes in Germany.”
Aside from Sturm, Gennady Golovkin, “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin help to shape what is a very strong middleweight class of fighters.
“It’s a strong division,” Geale said. “A lot of great fighters and a lot of other tough fights are out there. That’s what I want.”
Barker is a tough fighter from England. He’s fought most of his entire career in England before challenging WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in October 2011. Barker gave Martinez a run for his money before he was knocked out in the eleventh round. Barker has won his last two fights, but has only fought once in each of the last two years.
The big question is why is Geale, an Australian, fighting Barker, an Englishman, on U.S. soil in the main event of an HBO broadcast on the East Coast?
“Darrin Barker is the best fighter in England and it’s the biggest fight I can get for him,” said Geale’s promoter Gary Shaw of Gary Shaw Productions. “He’s taller with a longer reach, but Daniel has more experience. Let’s see what happens.”
Shaw also expressed the significant importance of fighting in America.
“Fighting in America is the biggest stage in the world,” said Geale’s promoter Gary Shaw. “People always ask me ‘when is Daniel Geale fighting in America?’ People don’t realize how good he is. When you go to Germany and win two world titles, it says a lot.”
Shaw was referring to the two occasions Geale went to Germany to defeat Sturm and Sebastian Sylvester, winning both fights by split decision.
Golovkin on the rise
While Geale is looking to make a name for himself in America, no one can ignore the impact that Golovkin and Kid Chocolate has had on American fight fans.
Golovkin is the WBA middleweight champion. He might be the heir apparent to the dominant Sergio Martinez, who has been sidelined by multiple ring injuries and inactivity. Golovkin is the current longest middleweight titlist of the bunch having defeated Milton Munez (KO 1) in August 2010. Golovkin, a product of K2 Promotions headlined by the Klitschkos, has made nine successful defenses. Three of Golovkin’s last four bouts have occurred in the United States and he won all of them by knockout. Golovkin posts a 89% career knockout percentage.
“Daniel Geale has better movement,” Shaw said when asked to compare Geale of Golovkin. “Golovkin is a bigger puncher. Golovkin is a great fighter and did what he had to do to become a star. I know Tom [Loefler] very well. When the times comes [to fight], we’ll talk.”
Peter Quillin on the move as well
“Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin is an unbeaten WBO middleweight champion. He was a homegrown product of New York City, but promoters like Lou DiBella and Cedric Kushner didn’t know what to do with him. Since his professional debut, Quillin fought entirely in New York, but wasn’t getting the right fights. In 2011, Quillin packed his bags, went to California to train under Freddie Roach at his Wild Card Boxing Club and signed under Golden Boy Promotions. Quillin went on an incredible tear that included a breakthrough victory against former Undisputed WBA/WBC and IBF junior middleweight champion Winky Wright in 2012.
Quillin became a world champion in October 2012 by dropping undefeated WBO titlist Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam six times en route to a unanimous decision at the Barclays Center. In his first title defense, Quillin returned to his native Brooklyn to knockout Fernando Guerrero (KO 7) at the Barclays Center in April.
Between Geale, Golovkin, and Quillin the future of the middleweight division appears bright.
Kovalev challenges Nathan Cleverly for WBO light-heavyweight crown
In addition to Geale vs. Barker, HBO will also televise Sergey Kovalev (21-0-1, 19 KOs) challenge of undefeated WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (26-0, 12 KOs). The bout will commence from the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales.
Kovalev is on a roll having knocked out his last five opponents. The task of defeating Cleverly in his hometown will not be an easy task. However, there have been countless examples of fighters having to travel to another country to win a world title. Geale did it when he went to Germany. Kovalev is a strong puncher, so anything is possible.
“It doesn’t concern me at all,” Kovalev said of fighting in Wales. “This is the fight I’ve waited for and I am confident that I will do my best.”
Trained by former WBA middleweight champion John David Jackson, Kovalev became a mandatory challenger for IBF light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins by knocking out Cornelius White (TKO 3) in June. However, with Hopkins scheduled to fight Karo Murat soon, Kovalev simply couldn’t pass-up the chance at fighting Cleverly.
“He’s not a bad fighter,” said Jackson. “I’ll give Nathan this, he moves well. He’s slippery. He doesn’t take three or four rounds to get started. But once he gets hit the first time, all that’s going to leave. He’s going to become one of two things. He’s either going to go into defensive mode, or he’s going to become too brave for his own good. Either way, it’s not a problem for Sergey.”