Daniel Geale's manager Garrie Francisco believes his middleweight champion will embarrass Anthony Mundine when the pair meet in a sequel to their controversial 2009 fight that proved to be a fork in the road for both of their careers.
Boxing rumblings turned into reality late yesterday when it emerged the pair would meet early next year in a grudge match that will settle a three-year debate about the result of their previous bout, won by Mundine after a split decision in Brisbane but later reversed after an IBO review.
Since then, Geale has gone on to establish himself as a world-class fighter by winning the IBF and WBA crowns against quality German opponents Sebastian Sylvester and Felix Sturm. Mundine has had nine fights, losing one to Garth Wood and struggling to make an impact in his long-awaited foray into the American market.
A potential date of January 23 has been mentioned for what will be one of the biggest fights in the history of the sport in Australia. Both fighters are scheduled to face the media in Sydney on Thursday.
Mundine has long talked about getting the big fights and has now landed one, even if it isn't against the American star he always envisaged. But in Geale he faces one of the game's best middleweights and the 37-year-old will put no less than his career on the line.
The Geale camp is over-flowing with confidence, with Francisco saying Mundine should be ducking for cover.
''Anthony should go in to hiding, Daniel will embarrass him,'' Francisco said.
Geale's co-manager Bill Treacy was equally as strong in his prediction.
''It's time for Daniel to put an end to the circus,'' Treacy said.
Geale has a number of high-profile options and has been granted an exception by the IBF to take the fight prior to his mandatory defence. This indicates this fight is personal and the Tasmanian clearly believes there is unfinished business after 2009.
''When Mundine and I first fought, I thought my hands were going to be raised after the fight,'' Geale said. ''It was close but I thought I was the better man that night. I've always wanted revenge against Anthony and now I have the opportunity.''
Mundine said he beat Geale once and would beat him again.
''This is a fight that all of Australia has wanted to see and I'm glad it has finally come together,'' Mundine said.
''I always said Daniel would be a world champion if he didn't have to fight me and that has proven to be the case.
''People are saying he is the best middleweight in the world but he is not even the best middleweight in Australia. I beat him once and I'll do it again.''
Geale's trainer Graham Shaw said his fighter had improved by a huge margin since the last Mundine fight while Mundine had stagnated.
''Since that decision went against us we have moved on and successfully campaigned against the best fighters in the business and I expect Daniel to win the rematch as he has improved 200 per cent and Anthony has not,'' Shaw said.
''Daniel now has two world titles and we will not leave this fight in the hands of the judges.''
The venue and date for the fight is yet to be confirmed.
- Brisbane Times
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