By Adrian Warren
Daniel Geale is set to make a childhood dream come true later this month when he fights Gennady Golovkin at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Geale will be just the third Australian to fight in the main theatre at boxing’s most hallowed venue on July 26 when he tackles WBA/IBO middleweight champion Golovkin.
“As a kid, I definitely dreamt of fighting at a place like Madison Square Garden, a place that is steeped in so much history and so many great fighters have fought there before,” Geale said.
“I think probably as a year five kid, I wrote a little story about fighting at Madison Square Garden.
“I think it was against (former heavyweight world champion) Mike Tyson as well, so I actually won that fight, too!”
Trainer Graham Shaw didn’t anticipate Geale suffering stage fright and liked what he was seeing from his charge during the preparation.
“I think he’s sitting on his punches a bit more,” Shaw told AAP.
“To me, he’s faster than I’ve ever seen him in the sparring.
“His head is in the right place. He’s certainly not going to be nervous so the mental side doesn’t come into it.
“He’s done all the hard work in regards to the training, so he’s going in there in a good state, so we’re quietly confident.”
While Golovkin looms as Geale’s greatest challenge, the Australian camp says the reverse also applies.
“A lot of guys have talked confident when they’ve gone over and fought him and, when they have stepped into the ring and when the bell goes, things change,” Geale said.
“But I’m very confident in myself. I’m just going to back myself.
“I’ve got nothing to lose – he’s got everything to lose.”
Geale said Golovkin wasn’t just a big puncher, but had great skills and footwork.
“You have to be versatile as well; that’s going to be the trick,” Geale said.
“You can’t just go in there with one plan. I’m going to have many plans.
“It’s about frustrating him, making it hard for him to land those big punches and, as soon as fatigue starts to set in a little bit, I’ve been there before and that’s where I’ll take over.”
Shaw has confidence in Geale’s ability to survive the punching power of Golovkin, who has logged 26 KOs in 29 wins.
“Maybe he will tag him at some stage, but I think Daniel Geale is a lot tougher than what people think and he’s certainly not in there waiting to be hit,” Shaw said.