Daniel Geale, Billy Dib Aim To Grab Regional Title

By Adrian Warren

Deposed boxing world champions Daniel Geale and Billy Dib will fight for regional titles before the end of this year as they each look for another world title shot.

Former IBF featherweight title holder Dib will fight Indonesia's Ruben Manakane for the vacant Pan Asian Boxing Association super featherweight title at the Melbourne Pavilion on October 31.

On December 3 at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion, Geale, the former IBF and WBA Super world middleweight champion will fight world ranked compatriot Jarrod Fletcher for WBA, IBF and WBO regional middleweight titles.

It promises to be one of the more interesting domestic bouts or recent times between two highly skilled fighters who know each other very well.

Former Australian amateur teammates Geale and Fletcher have sparred hundreds of rounds together, but each needs a win after losing a recent world title bout.

Geale was stopped in three rounds by Kazakhstan's heavy handed WBA Super champion Gennady Golovkin in New York in late August.

Two weeks later in the same city, Fletcher was stopped in five rounds by American Daniel Jacobs in their clash for the vacant WBA regular middleweight title.

Fletcher and Geale were among five Australian fighters to lose major bouts in the United States in as many weeks in what is turning out to be a horror year for local boxing.

Australia currently has no globally recognised world champions after middleweight Sam Soliman and super middleweight Sakio Bika lost their respective world titles.

The December 3 show will also feature the second professional fight of NSW rugby league captain Paul Gallen, who is currently serving a suspension in that sport, following an investigation into the supplements program at his NRL club Cronulla.

The stacked card will also include Australian title fights in the super middleweight, light heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions and the professional debut of Sydney Roosters rugby league youngster, Willis Meehan, the son of former heavyweight world title contender Kali Meehan.

Sydneysider Dib is hoping a win over PABA fourth-ranked Manakane will move him closer to a mandatory challenge with one of the super featherweight world champions.

Dib, who had one bout at super featherweight earlier this year when he outpointed Alberto Garza, hopes to fight again in December.

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