It’s been six months since Daniel Geale lost his IBF middleweight crown to Darren Barker in Atlantic City, NJ.
Though Barker was awarded the split decision by scores of 116-111, 114-113 and 113-114, Geale feels he did enough to keep his crown.
“I have watched that fight many times. Each time I have watched it I have the same opinion as I did on the night. I felt I had done enough to retain my title,” Geale told RingTV.com, before classily adding “having said that sometimes decisions don't go your way but it’s important to take it on the chin, move on and train harder.”
With that in his past, the 32-year-old Australian veteran returns on Wednesday (a traditional night of boxing in Australia) when he meets Garth Wood, famed for scoring a fifth-round stoppage of Anthony Mundine in 2010.
Geale (29-2, 15 knockouts) will be a sizeable favourite but he respects what Wood brings to this fight.
“Garth isn't going to stand there and box, he is going to want to fight and try certain tactics,” he said.
Clearly focused on the job in hand, Geale refused to be drawn on talk of a possible meeting with Gennady Golovkin later this year.
“I only think about one fight at a time but knowing that there are such big fights in the future really helps to keep me very motivated,” he said.
Geale is well positioned with three of the four major sanctioning bodies – No. 4 in the WBC, while the WBA, IBF and THE RING magazine have him at No. 3. Geale took time out to speak with RingTV.com ahead of his return.
Anson Wainwright – What do you think of this fight and what Wood will bring to this fight?
Daniel Geale – I think this will be a good fight. Garth isn't going to stand there and box he is going to want to fight and try certain tactics, I will need to stick to what I do best and box how I know that I can. It's a dangerous fight but I will be ready for it.
AW – It's your first fight since you lost to Darren Barker last August. Looking back at that fight, what are your thoughts on it? It was close. Do you feel you deserved to win the decision?
DG – I have watched that fight many times. Each time I have watched it I have the same opinion as I did on the night. I felt I had done enough to retain my title. Having said that sometimes decisions don't go your way but it’s important to take it on the chin, move on and train harder.
AW – How have you spent the six months since your last fight?
DG – I have spent most of the time with my family, had a nice quiet Christmas. I have also been training since my last fight as my motivation has been very high, as with my only other loss I have been prepared to train harder and smarter to make sure that any similar things don't happen again.
AW – It has been mentioned that if all goes well from your point of view that you will fight Gennady Golovkin in April, or maybe later this year, on HBO in America. While I'm sure you won’t be looking past Wood, what is the situation for you as things stand with Golovkin?
DG – I only think about one fight at a time but knowing that there are such big fights in the future really helps to keep me very motivated. Whether it’s Golovkin, Sturm or any of the other champions I will be ready.
AW – Barker lost to Sturm who you beat. It was quite a surprise to see Sturm stop Barker in two rounds. What were your thoughts on what happened?
DG – I seen it as, Barker got rushed into that fight and hadn't fully recovered. Don't get me wrong Sturm looked good but Barker may have expected an easier fight and underestimated Sturm's power. Was a bit of a surprised to be honest.
AW – You've won a world title and unified it. What goals do you still have in boxing?
DG – My goal has always been to be recognised as the number one middleweight in the world and I am still chasing that. With so many tough fights to come this year I am excited and even more motivated to achieve my goals.
AW – What were your early years like growing up in Tasmania?
DG – Tasmania was and is such a beautiful place. I enjoyed my childhood and my early years of boxing. I gained a lot of experience with plenty of amateur fights. I have a lot of good memories of travelling around Tasmania fighting in small towns as a kid, but I also played a lot of other sports as well.
AW – And how did you become interested in boxing?
DG – It was a suggestion from my dad and after my first training session I enjoyed it so much that I kept annoying my dad to keep me training as much as possible. I trained for a year before I stepped into the ring.
AW – You had a very solid amateur career, appearing at the 2000 Olympics which took place in Australia. You also fought at the 2001 and 2003 World Amateur Championships, plus won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Can you tell us about those experiences?
DG – I had such great amateur career that I enjoyed so much, I especially enjoyed the travel and adversity you faced while being the underdog fighting in someone else's country. The Olympics, Worlds and Commonwealth tournaments were especially good and set me up for some of the challenges I face in the pros. From an early age I set my goals high and worked hard to achieve them.
AW – The middleweight division looks strong at the moment. When you look at the division what do you think of the current champions, Sergio Martinez, Gennady Golovkin, Felix Sturm and Peter Quillin?
DG – I have respect for all of the champions but I am looking forward to meeting any of them in the ring. It is a strong division which makes it exciting and my management are working hard for me to secure these fights.
AW – When you're not boxing what do you like to do with your free time?
DG – I love spending time with my family. My kids keep me very busy when I'm not at the gym. I enjoy doing any other sports when I get the chance like tennis, golf, basketball. I also enjoy going fishing with the family.
AW – Do you have anything you would like to say to the middleweight division?
DG – I just want to say that after the last six months, I am looking forward to a huge 2014 and am very keen to achieve the goals I have set for myself. There are some great fights to be made at middleweight and I will be ready.