AFTER weeks of speculation, the worst kept secret in boxing is finally official.
Unified WBA/IBO middleweight champion and renowned knockout artist Gennady Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) will defend his world titles against Australian Daniel Geale (30-2, 16 KOs) inside the main room at the iconic Madison Square Garden on July 26th live on HBO.
“A fight with Golovkin is a fight that I have been interested in for a while now, my team has done all they can to secure this fight,” said Geale in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “I believe I have the right style to beat Golovkin.”
“I’m pleased to be making my way back to HBO against Gennady Golovkin, a fighter who everyone thinks is invincible,” Geale continued in the official press release announcing the fight. “A victory will get me back to where I want to be. The people of Australia believe in me and that’s what drives me, my countrymen.”
“I want to show them they have a great champion. On July 26th the world will see me back on top.”
The Kazakh-born Golovkin and his promoter, K2 Promotions, have worked tirelessly to get the Geale fight approved despite multiple lingering issues.
Golovkin, 32, was originally mandated by the World Boxing Association (WBA) to face mandatory challenger Jarrod Fletcher. However, HBO, the network who fund Golovkin’s US fights turned down the Australian as an opponent – who like K2 – preferred Geale, a two-time middleweight titlist, who was without doubt the most credible opponent available.
“Since his HBO debut less than two years ago, Gennady has become the hottest international star in boxing and we’re thrilled to promote his return to Madison Square Garden,” K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler announced. “This will be Gennady’s first fight in the main arena at Madison Square Garden, where only a select few could headline today.”
Those select few include Hall-of-Famers Lennox Lewis and Joe Calzaghe amongst many other iconic names, such as Roy Jones Jr and Miguel Cotto, the latter who has become a staple at the legendary venue for the better part of a decade.
For Geale, 33, the fight against Golovkin is well overdue, given they have been in negotiations to meet on several occasions. The most recent of these discussions were in place for a showdown in April, which was later canned when Geale was unable to receive pay-per-view revenue due to existing obligations that Australian broadcaster Main Event had already pre-committed to.
In hindsight, the issues were indeed trivial as Golovkin later withdrew himself due to the passing of his father.
Geale was last seen on American shores last August, where he was dethroned of his IBF middleweight title – now owned by Sam Soliman – against Englishman Darren Barker. Despite flooring Barker and looking impressive, Geale was on the short end of a split decision verdict.
“Daniel Geale is a throwback fighter who has never backed down from a tough challenge and his mindset is no different going into the Golovkin fight.” said Geale’s co-promoter Gary Shaw of Gary Shaw Productions. “GGG is considered the top dog in the middleweight division by those in the business, but I believe Geale is the best.”
“We will see how Golovkin fares against someone on his level. I have confidence Geale will come out on top.”
Photo: Action Images