Australian middleweight Daniel Geale must list Germany as one of
his favourite places.
The 31-year-old from New South Wales won his first world title
in the country when he defeated Sebastian Sylvester last year and
in Oberhausen last night he unified the IBF and WBA crowns by split
decision over long-time titleholder Felix Sturm.
In typical fashion, Sturm made a solid start behind his jab and
even managed to open up a cut on the side of Geale's head in the
The Aussie, however, didn't let that get to him and began to
move through the gears in the third session.
After both fighters had landed quality shots in the fourth,
Sturm looked to have regained the initiative a round later, but
once more Geale upped his work rate to earn parity.
And it was done the stretch that an aggressive Geale took
control of the fight. Sturm still battled hard but the Australian
landed the more eye catching work.
Sturm did manage to make things interesting late in the fight.
By then, though, it was too little, too late.
In the end two judges had it 116 -112 to Geale, while American
Eugene Grant scored the same margin to Sturm.
"It's a dream but we did believe it could happen," Geale told
Fox Sports afterwards.
"We thought we could go over there and do it. He's been a great
fighter for many years but he'd never fought me before. We had a
game plan and stuck to it pretty well.
"There was a couple of times where I caught him with some power
shots and hurt him."
He added: "I'm still extremely hungry and want to win more, beat
"The middleweight division has got lots of strong fighters and I
beat one of them tonight. Now I want to take on some of the
Geale's record now stands at 28 - 1 (15 KOs).