Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin made plenty of noise on Saturday with his crushing fifth-round knockout of Grzegorz Proksa, but his was only one of the two notable middleweight fights over the weekend.
In Germany, Daniel Geale (28-1, 15 KOs) of Australia pulled off the upset of hometown hero Felix Sturm to unify two alphabet belts in a split decision, something hard to earn on the road. Now Geale has done it twice, having also scored a split-decision win against Sebastian Sylvester in Germany in May 2011 to win his other belt.
Geale-Sturm was an excellent fight and a very close one, and now Geale, like Golovkin, is looking for a big fight in the future.
Even though Geale and Golovkin are mandatory opponents for each other, it remains to be seen whether that fight will be made (and it would be a good one, in my view). What they each want is to fight the winner of the showdown between lineal champion Sergio Martinez and titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who will meet Sept. 15 (HBO PPV) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Gary Shaw, Geale's promoter, said he hopes to line up the winner for Geale and will bring his fighter to Las Vegas for Martinez-Chavez.
"Being around Team Geale leading up to this fight [with Sturm] was one of the best experiences I've had as a promoter," Shaw said. "Together we are willing and ready to take on the toughest challenges out there. I plan to have Daniel sitting ringside for the Martinez versus Chavez Jr. fight in Las Vegas and then sit down with HBO to discuss all the options in the newly electrically charged middleweight division, where Geale is the only fighter holding multiple belts. There are many great fights that can be made and we'll make the announcement on who we'll fight next in the near future."
Shaw said a big reason for Geale's victory was the professionalism of his team.
"Team Geale was very relaxed going into this fight," Shaw said. "Just hours before the fight, we were all hanging out in the dressing room, joking around and laughing to the point we had tears in our eyes. I've never been in a fight where the atmosphere was so calm. There was no yelling, just very relaxed.
"Geale ended sparring 10 days before the fight and was on weight the entire time. There was no struggle to make weight, and the game plan Graham Shaw [no relation] put in place was incredible. Graham is a very underrated trainer. I nominate him for trainer of the year, and he needs to be recognized as one of the best trainers in boxing.
"I realized that Daniel didn't have people around him that were dead weight. His brother, Joe, was a pleasure to be around and he provided an uplifting spirit. When you have people that really love you around you for the biggest fight of your life, then good things are going to happen."