By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Daniel Geale laughed off the fact Gennady Golovkin was scheduled to play a guest role in a Broadway play just three nights before their middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden.
“While he’s on Broadway,” Geale said before a news conference Wednesday at the Garden, “I’ll be relaxing.”
Golovkin’s relaxed approach prior to their 12-round fight for Golovkin’s WBA middleweight title has led Australia’s Geale (30-2, 16 KOs) to believe his heavily favored foe is underestimating him.
“I’ve heard in some of his interviews that he’s not looking past me, that he’s concentrating on me,” Geale, 33, said. “But I don’t believe he thinks it’s going to be a tough fight. That’s good. I’m happy that he’s looking past me. He might not say that, but I believe they are. If they are doubting me, if they’re overlooking me in certain ways, that suits me down to the ground.”
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin is an 11-1 favorite over Geale, a two-time middleweight champion who has lost only a pair of split decisions to Darren Barker and Anthony Mundine during his nine-year pro career. One of boxing’s most devastating punchers, the 32-year-old Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) has won 16 straight bouts by knockout.
That’s enough, Geale believes, for Golovkin to have begun believing all the hype surrounding his own career.
“Because of [my] credentials,” Geale said, “they thought, ‘He’s a guy that’s been a world champion. He’s probably not going to be as tough as he probably should be.’ That’s good. That’s what I want people to think. That’s what people always thought about me. They put me in that underdog position and always overlooked me.”
The Golovkin-Geale fight will headline HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” doubleheader Saturday night. It’ll begin at 9:30 p.m. with a 12-round WBC heavyweight elimination match that’ll pit Philadelphia’s Bryant Jennings (18-0, 10 KOs) against Cuban southpaw Mike Perez (20-0-1, 12 KOs).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.