By Keith Idec
Gennady Golovkin has one more sparring session scheduled for Friday, just before beginning preparation to leave his training camp in Big Bear Lake, Calif., for New York on Monday.
Trainer Abel Sanchez plans to continue hammering home the theme of camp, just as hard as Golovkin delivers those devestating left hooks to the body. Daniel Geale, Sanchez says respectfully, is the most complete opponent Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) has agreed to face during his eight-year pro career.
Whether Geale’s resume amounts to the stiffest test of Golovkin’s career July 26 at Madison Square Garden remains to be seen. But the usually blunt Sanchez’s praise of Geale (30-2, 16 KOs) is an indication that the 32-year-old Golovkin’s handlers consider the tough former middleweight title-holder from Australia a serious threat.
“I think he’s for sure the most accomplished fighter we’ve faced so far,” Sanchez said. “He’s not necessarily the biggest puncher or the best boxer, but just accomplished as far what he’s done. He’s a two-time world champion, beat two Germans in Germany, which is almost impossible to do, in [Felix] Sturm and [Sebastian] Sylvester. And his only [recent] loss was a disputed loss [a split decision to England’s Darren Barker, 11 months ago in Atlantic City].
“I thought he won against Barker in that fight. But we are taking him very seriously because, as I said, he is the most accomplished, highest-caliber fighter we’ve faced who has 12-round experience. The one thing we haven’t done – we’ve been moving along and doing very well – but we don’t have that 12-round experience that he his very aware of. We’re very cognizant of that in the gym and trying to make sure we’re ready for that, if it happens.”
Geale, 33, most recently stopped fellow Australian Garth Wood (12-4-1, 8 KOs) after six one-sided rounds Feb. 19 in New South Wales, Australia. That TKO win marked Geale’s lone fight since suffering an aforementioned disappointing defeat to Barker (26-2, 16 KOs), who retired earlier this year. The first loss of Geale’s career was a debatable split-decision five years ago to Australian rival Anthony Mundine (46-6, 27 KOs).
The Golovkin-Geale fight for Golovkin’s WBA middleweight title will be broadcast as the main event of an HBO “World Championship Boxing” telecast. The broadcast is set to open with a 12-round WBC heavyweight elimination match between Philadelphia’s Bryant Jennings (18-0, 10 KOs) and 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.