By Craig Watt
Fomer two-time WBA super-middleweight champion Anthony Mundine (35-3, 23 KO’s) was in confident mood at the final press conference in Brisbane today for the highly anticipated IBO middleweight title fight with unbeaten champion Daniel Geale (21-0, 13 KO’s) to be held at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Wednesday. This fight is the biggest bout in Australian boxing in 2009 so far and pitches together two genuine world ranked middleweights with Mundine currently ranked in the mandatory WBA#1 position for Felix Sturm’s title and Geale holding the IBO crown. Mundine is well known for his outspoken views and controversial comments in his build up to most fights, but surprisingly today he was respectful, yet confident. He stated, “I respect him as a fighter. In his career he hasn’t lost many rounds, let alone fights. Daniel will beat most fighters and most contenders but he won’t beat me.”
The former WBA champion at 168 pounds added, “This step is what I need at this stage of my career and a win will catapult me to the top echelon of the sport.”
When asked about a prediction for the fight, the 34 year old stated he was confident of stopping the much fancied Geale. He stated, “I will show him who the real deal is on Wednesday – ask him after round five. He is a top fighter and a tough opponent but there is only one winner – that is the best middleweight in the world- Anthony Mundine- The Man.”
There is no doubt that Mundine has the greater experience at world level with eleven world title fights in his career so far and twice holding the WBA 168 pound title. He is hoping that securing the IBO title and a strong win will enable him to engage in future match ups with Felix Sturm and Kelly Pavlik.
However, many people are questioning Mundine’s strength at 160 pounds and he looked drained at today’s press conference. In the last week there have been some substantial bets from two punters who stand to win $120,000 AUD if the unbeaten Geale is the victor. Many feel that perhaps Mundine’s best years are behind him and that the younger, fitter and determined IBO champion, Geale at 160 pounds is just one test too far. This is only Mundine’s second fight at the 160 pound limit, whilst Geale is an experienced middleweight.
Geale holds an impressive amateur pedigree representing Australia at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and winning Gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and is unbeaten in his 21 starts to date with 13 KO wins.
Overall, this is a close and exciting match up of the best Australian fighters at 160 pounds with the victor ready to progress further into the world rankings in 2009.
The fight can be seen in Australia on PPV via Main Events with the promotion due to start at 6.30pm AEDT.