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Betting Preview: Daniel Geale vs. Jarrod Fletcher

 
WHEN long-time sparring partners and good friends Daniel Geale and Jarrod Fletcher step into the ring tomorrow night on Main Event pay-per-view, almost everyone sees the fight as a routine victory for Geale.

 
This is no way, shape or form a blight on Fletcher’s ability, as he has shown that he is a top-tier domestic fighter that is capable of mixing it with the best. However, it’s simply the fact that Geale has competed in world level fights for the best part of four years.

 
Below is the scouting report for the match-up:

 
Strengths:

 
Take away the fact that neither Geale or Fletcher are known as pure punchers and we are left with the simple fact that both are boxers that fight with intelligence, poise and show a high ring IQ.

 
Over the years, many fighters have tried and ultimately failed to solve the defensive puzzle that is Daniel Geale – namely Felix Sturm, Sebastian Sylvestser, Roman Karmazin and Anthony Mundine amongst many others – and with the exception of Gennady Golovkin, no one has dominated the former unified middleweight champion.

 
The strengths for both fighters are very similar. Fletcher has a high work rate and is fit enough to do twelve fast-paced rounds without question, just ask Max Bursak. As for Geale, it is his ability to counter effectively on both the back foot as well as on the attack.

 
Weaknesses:

 
The weakness Geale may suffer in this fight, is perhaps, a lack of motivation. Having climbed to the pinnacle of the middleweight division, lifting both the IBF and WBA middleweight straps abroad, the question can be rightly asked, is Geale motivated to face Jarrod Fletcher?

 
For Fletcher, many doubt his ability to absorb a punch at the highest level. Stoppage losses to both Danny Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders do not make Fletcher’s punch resistance questionable, but the facts show both times Fletcher has taken a substantial step-up in class, he has been stopped.

 
Experience:

 
Wins with the headgear on over established professionals Adonis Stevenson and James DeGale show that Fletcher can mix it with the best. However, when compared to the resume of Geale – who has two decision wins in Germany – as well as a handful of US appearances, it is near impossible to favour anyone but Geale in this category. Add to that high pressure pay-per-view fights with Anthony Mundine, both fought two capacity crowds in Brisbane and Sydney respectively, it’s fair to say that the occasion will not get to Geale.

 
Power:

 
Both sport relatively average numbers in the power category, with Fletcher sitting right on 50% for his knockout ratio, whereas Geale sits at 48.48%. But knockout wins over Roman Karmazin, Garth Wood and a knockdown of Darren Barker suggest that Geale is the bigger puncher between the two.

 
Endurance:

 
This is a category where both Geale and Fletcher are almost identical. Both have the ability to complete twelve rounds at a high pace and have the fitness to do the championship rounds against elite competition. Given that neither are renowned punchers, going the distance is something both have become familiar with.

 
Accuracy:

 
Although his attack is more often than not calculated and methodical, Fletcher does have the ability to be relentless in his attack, due to his inability to hurt an opponent with a singular shot. In that way, his accuracy will be a key part to his game plan, as he can let his hands go for twelve straight rounds. If put in a position where he is not under pressure, Geale can pick opponents apart and has proven in recent fights, he can hurt opponents to the body as well as his signature counter right hand.

 
Defence/Chin:

 
As previously mentioned, Fletcher’s whiskers have struggled when they have been put to the test at the highest level. However, with the Golovkin defeat aside – where Geale was blown out of the water by the Kazakh titan – Geale has shown an ability to absorb punishment without taking too much damage. Defence will be a key element to the fight and this is a category where Geale arguably stands alone.

 
Variables:

 
Geale was floored by Golovkin in a savage third round exchange in their title fight at Madison Square Garden. As many pundits have noted, Geale was able to return to his feet, but instead decided to stay down. In the case of Fletcher, his body appeared to give way when Jacobs launched his first round onslaught but he opted to stand and trade with the bigger puncher. Will Geale have the desire to back himself if a shootout takes place? And how will Fletcher’s body react to the first clean blow landed by Geale?

 
Betting Odds:

 
Daniel Geale: $1.28, Jarrod Fletcher: $3.75
Geale by KO/TKO/DQ: $2.10
Fletcher by KO/TKO/DQ: $10.00
Geale by Decision: $2.75
Fletcher by Decision: $5.50

 
 
Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images AsiaPac

 

 

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