By Keith Idec
ATLANTIC CITY — Promoter Gary Shaw hopes to eventually match Daniel Geale against Gennady Golovkin and/or Sergio Martinez, but he doesn’t expect either of those high-profile fights to be next for Geale if the IBF middleweight champion overcomes Darren Barker on Saturday night at Revel.
If Geale beats Barker (25-1, 16 KOs) in their HBO “Boxing After Dark” main event, Shaw anticipates that the IBF will force a mandatory match between Australia’s Geale (29-1, 15 KOs) and Germany’s Felix Sturm (38-3-2, 17 KOs, 1 NC), whom Geale defeated by split decision Sept. 1 in Oberhausen, Germany.
Sturm is ranked No. 2 in the IBF’s middleweight ratings. Australia’s Sam Soliman (42-11, 17 KOs, 1 NC), who is ranked No. 1 by the IBF, scored a unanimous decision victory over Sturm on Feb. 1 in Dusseldorf, Germany, but the result was changed to a no-contest because Soliman tested positive for an illegal stimulant.
“We may have to fight Sturm in a mandatory,” Shaw said. “I don’t know myself. The IBF hasn’t told me. And they haven’t said definitely that he’s our mandatory.”
When asked when he thought the IBF might mandate a Geale-Sturm rematch, Shaw half-jokingly said, “probably ringside, right after the fight.”
Regardless, beating Barker would give Geale plenty of options.
“After he wins this fight, Martinez is there, Golovkin is there,” Shaw said. “Maybe somebody else will pop up.”
Golovkin (27-0, 24 KOs), the hard-hitting WBA middleweight champion from Kazahkstan, still seeks an opponent for his Nov. 2 date in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. It probably won’t be Geale, but Shaw would welcome a Golovkin fight for Geale after facing Sturm again.
“As soon as I do my mandatory, yeah,” Shaw said. “But he’ll fight Golovkin. We’re not afraid of the fight.”
Shaw acknowledged, though, that facing Martinez is more appealing at the moment. Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs) is 38 and recovering from hand and knee injuries sustained during his unimpressive unanimous-decision defeat of England’s Martin Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs) on April 27 in Buenos Aires.
“I’d like to fight Martinez first because I don’t think that Martinez has that much gas left in the tank,” Shaw said. “So by fighting [Martinez first], at least we’d get our crack at him. Otherwise, I don’t know how long he’ll last.
“I would think [he’ll come back] in the spring of next year, assuming he’s well. The question is, how well is he? Does he come back 100 percent of Sergio Martinez? Does he come back 80 percent? Does he fight at [154 pounds]? Does he fight at ? Does he look to fight Chavez at  and cash out? I’m not his promoter. I don’t know. But those are all good questions.”
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. Tags: Gary Shaw , Felix Sturm , Gennady Golovkin , Daniel Geale , Sturm-Geale , Sturm vs Geale