NEW JERSEY - Ever since Daniel Geale (29-1, 15 KOs) pulled off the unthinkable by defeating Felix Sturm on Sturm's home turf of Germany in September of last year, Geale has essentially cemented himself as one of the elite 160 pounders in boxing. With the prestige and pageantry associated with such esteem comes the responsibility of self-improvement, a trait that often associates itself with the kind of high caliber athlete with an obsession for competition. It wasn't enough for Geale to take a bite out of the world stage nor was it completely satisfying when he became the No. 1 fighter in his home country of Australia.
That is why Geale is thrilled to have his next fight scheduled on U.S. soil. Immediately following his victory over Strum, Geale made it apparent that he had all intentions to make a name for himself in America, but had unfinished business in Australia with Anthony Mundine, in which he scored a unanimous decision victory. He is still adamant about growing his brand in America.
This American campaign begins August 17th when Geale defends his middleweight crown for the 5th time against England's Darren Barker (25-1, 16 KOs) at the Revel Casino-Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ. The middleweight clash will air live on HBO's Boxing After Dark and will act as the main event for a scheduled split-site tripleheader, which features Jhonatan Romero vs. Kiko Martinez for the IBF Junior Featherweight title and Nathan Cleverly vs. Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title.
"I'm extremely excited to be making my U.S. debut. I think it's the next logical step for me right now. I know how talented I am and I know how great I can be but sometimes winning fights isn't enough. You have to be prepared to go the extra mile. Fighting in the U.S. has been on my radar for the past year or two, and now I get to fight in front of the great U.S. fans on the greatest boxing network in the United States against a truly worthy opponent," Geale said.
This seems like the perfect moment to come over to the States with so many great middleweights fighting Stateside, but in order to continue up the ranks Geale is going to have to get past a tough competitor in Barker. The style matchup suggests that U.S. fans are in for an incredible night of boxing and Geale prefers the kind of fight that will get the attention of the market he's venturing into.
"This is a great opportunity for me because I can show a new group of fight fans my talents and the fight will almost definitely produce the kind of fireworks that will have every fan clambering to have me back," Geale continued. "I can gain a lot of credibility with this one fight. Barker is that kind of fighter."
It would appear as though Gary Shaw waited for the perfect opportunity to get Geale a fight in the US and this is it. Geale realizes that he had to be careful deciding what fight would work best and he knows how fortunate he is to have Shaw on his side.
"I'm so grateful that Grange old school boxing decided to start working with Gary Shaw as my international promoter. Gary is doing such a tremendous job for me. I don't think there are many people that could've done a better job at finding the right opportunity for me and Gary did it with so much confidence. He always seemed sure and I can see that he knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He did his job about to perfection, but come August 17th it's my turn," Geale said.
Shaw seems to share Geale's sentiments and believes that he can be the very best in the world.
"I have to first thank Garrie Francisco and Bill Treacy of Grange Old School Boxing for allowing me the opportunity to work with Daniel Geale," said Shaw. "Together we are working as a team to get Geale the best opportunities in boxing. They have done a great job of getting Geale ready for the world stage and I'm very thrilled to be working with such great people.
Its refreshing working with other promoters like Grange Old School boxing and guys like Daniel because he is a no-nonsense kind of fighter and he isn't afraid to take on anybody. This is a tough sport and it is always a true test of character when you step into the ring, but even if you aren't genuine you can still talk the talk and fool people for years. Daniel is a different breed of fighter.
Tickets prices start at $30 and are on sale now at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and by calling 1-800-745-3000. The HBO Boxing After Dark telecast will begin at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT