Felix Sturm vs. Daniel Geale WBA / IBF Unification Fight
By: Barry Lindenman
Saturday’s fight between WBA champion Felix Sturm and IBF champion Daniel “The Real Deal” Geale just may prove to be a better fight than the more publicized Sergio Martinez / Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. middleweight bout which will occur two weeks after. On paper, both Sturm, whose record is 37 (16 KO’s) – 2 -2 and Geale who sports a record of 27 (15 KO’s) – 1 – 0, match up very evenly. In terms of age, height, punching power, boxing styles, etc. this fight has all the makings of a classic. The one variable that could either make this fight turn into an all out war or just another snoozer are the respective game plans that each fighter will carry into the ring with them. Both fighters display very good movement and are excellent counter punchers. If both Sturm and Geale choose to wait for their opponent to make a move, the fans at the Koenig Pilsener Arena won’t hesitate to whistle their disappointment. On the other hand, if they both choose to bring their testosterone into the ring with them and stand toe to toe with each other, then this fight may make the powers that be at HBO and Showtime wish they had chosen to show it in the U.S.
Both fighters have been relatively active as of late and Geale’s late KO’s of Roman Karmazin (TKO 12) and Kariz Kariuki (TKO 11) in 2010 demonstrates that he does possess punching power late in a fight. Anyone who witnessed Sturm’s 10th round TKO loss to Javier Castillejo in their first fight knows that for Geale to win this fight, he will have to mirror Castillejo’s effort. To leave this bout in the hands of the judges in Sturm’s home country of Germany does not bode well for Geale. He knows that he must stop Sturm on Saturday night in order to be assured of a victory. Castillejo proved that Sturm is susceptible to the left hook if he should tire late in the fight.
Sturm’s task is equally as daunting. Geale’s only loss in his 28 fights came via split decision to fellow Aussie Anthony Mundine in 2009. Knowing that Geale has never been stopped should remind Sturm that to win this fight, he must win each round convincingly and hope that he gets the hometown decision should it go the full 12 rounds. Both Sturm and Geale are homebodies having rarely fought outside of their native countries. The enthusiastic German crowd should serve as a boost to Sturm , something that he didn’t have going for him in his highly controversial loss to Oscar De la Hoya in Las Vegas in 2004.
Knowing that the eagerly anticipated Martinez – Chavez, Jr. showdown occurs only a few days after their fight Saturday night, my money says that both Sturm and Geale will want to put on a good show to prove to the world that their fight is the one for true middleweight supremacy. The fight will be streamed live on-line at the following link https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/338122116257437/ beginning at 7:00pm UTC.