Geale takes jab at footy's fighters
Daniel Geale and former NRL star Anthony Mundine will square off in January. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Champion boxer Daniel Geale wants to use his world title bout with Anthony Mundine in January to prove footballers should stick to what they're good at.
Geale, who will put his IBF belt on the line against Mundine, admitted his frustration at footballers using boxing as a sideshow for a quick cash grab.
Outcast Australian rugby star Quade Cooper is the latest footballer to potentially throw his hat into the ring, while Sonny Bill Williams has it written into his newly inked NRL contract that he be allowed to box on the side.
Known as ''The Real Deal'', Geale doesn't want footballers making a mockery of the sport.
Geale admitting laughing when he heard Cooper was considering boxing, the controversial Wallabies flyhalf revealing he'd donned the gloves in training during rehabilitation from a recent injury.
''He must have hit the bag a few times and thought maybe I can do this. I had a bit of a chuckle to myself,'' Geale said.
''There is money to be made there, people do want to watch that sort of thing and unfortunately they don't get behind the guys who are legitimate fighters that are wanting to be the best in the world.
''If they're going to prove they're going to fight and do it seriously then, to me, that's showing they appreciate the sport and they're not just using the sport to make a few dollars on the side.
''It is frustrating because so many boxers struggle and don't get any media attention … it does frustrate me that guys can switch over from other sports and gain that attention straight away.
''I was talking to someone yesterday about the talk of [retired AFL footballer] Barry Hall having a fight a little while back.
''That got more attention than most boxers around Australia have got and he hasn't even had a fight yet. That's the frustrating part of it.''
Geale, who has been boxing since he was nine, commended Mundine for committing to the sport once he quit rugby league in 2000.
But Geale said it was time - at their bout on January 30 - to prove Mundine was finished. Mundine controversially beat Geale in 2009.
''He's definitely had his time and a lot of people know Mundine is probably on the back end of it and this is his last big shot at things, anyway,'' Geale said.
''I know the way I'm boxing now is five times better than when I fought him the first time. He knows that as well. He likes to tell everyone how good he is, but when it comes down to it, he hasn't been fighting the quality I have.''