By Adrian Warren
Australia's IBF middleweight boxing world champion Daniel Geale is optimistic his unification fight against Russia's WBO title holder Dmitry Pirog will still go ahead, but has revealed a contingency plan should it not get sanctioned.
Germany's WBA world middleweight Super champion Felix Sturm is among the possible options for Geale should his scheduled August 25 clash with Pirog in Washington not proceed.
WBO president Francisco Valcarcel said on his organization's website this week that it had not sanctioned the bout.
Pirog (20-0, 15 KOs) made a third title defence earlier this week, out-pointing Japan's Nobuhiro Ishida in Moscow.
The WBO want Pirog to defend the title against the winner of Friday's bout between Ukrainian Maksym Bursak and France-based Cameroon-born fighter Hassan N'dam N'jikam, within 90 days of that contest.
Geale's global agent Gary Shaw and Pirog's promoter Art Pellulo will meet Valcarcel in Puerto Rico in an attempt to try and persuade him to sanction the bout between their fighters.
"As far as they are concerned they believe the fight will eventually go ahead," Geale told AAP on Thursday.
"We're not too worried about it, there are a couple of back-up plans if the fight does happen to fall though.
"We've had some pretty good offers from Felix Sturm, to go over and fight for the WBA and IBF unification in September.
"There is also another offer through Ricky Hatton's camp that (Britain's) Martin Murray wants me to go over there and fight and we're considering it.
"There's plenty of options on the board at the moment.
"It's not one of those things that you think it's the end of the world if it (the fight against Pirog) doesn't happen."
Garrie Francisco, a member of Geale's management team at the Grange Old School Boxing Club, believed an agreement with the WBO could be reached over the unification fight, even if it meant step aside money being paid to the winner of the Bursak-Njikam bout.
Francisco is convinced a fight between Sturm and Geale is almost inevitable.
"Providing he stays on top of the mountain, Sturm is a given at some stage of the next 12 months," Francisco said.
While all of Sturm's world title fights, bar his controversial loss to Oscar de la Hoya were in Germany, Francisco said it wasn't definite any bout with Geale would automatically land in that country.
"Due to it being a unification, we have discussed fighting on neutral territory, in the UK or the United States, and they are not against that," Francisco said.