DANIEL GEALE has warned Anthony Mundine that he is a vastly improved boxer from the last time they fought and declared that it would be ''war'' in Wednesday night's IBF middleweight world title bout at Sydney Entertainment Centre.
The usually reserved Geale, who was dressed more like a member of The Star's security than a world champion at Monday's press conference to promote the bout, left most of the talking to his US promoter Gary Shaw but fired up when Mundine claimed he was the same fighter who lost their 2009 bout.
Daniel Geale prepares to fight Anthony Mundine
Daniel Geale is the current IBF and former WBA (Super) Middleweight Champion. Watch him prepare for the very anticipated rematch against Anthony Mundine.
''If he thinks I am the same fighter then that is perfect,'' said Geale, who has since twice travelled to Germany to win world titles from Sebastian Sylvester and Felix Sturm. ''I know that deep down he knows I am not the same fighter, but if he does then he is in for the biggest shock in the world.''
Before the press conference, detailed statistics were shown on a big screen that left no doubt Mundine won their first bout, which was also for the IBF middleweight belt he later relinquished in a bid to win another world title in the junior middleweight division.
Despite Mundine winning by a split decision, the 37-year-old landed 153 punches to Geale's 144 and knocked down the Tasmanian with a left hook in the second round. He also landed 81 power punches to 69 by Geale, who threw 83 more punches in the bout.
''This ain't the amateurs, where whoever can throw the most punches wins,'' Mundine said.
''This is the pros, where the aim is to hit and not be hit, and it is about who is more effective. If the judges score it on that, then I win all day.
''This boy ain't on my level, he can't box like me. I am adaptable, he is the same old fighter he was when he fought me the first time - and I am better than then.
''He has got more experience and he is more confident but trust me, that is all going to deflate when he is in there with me. He fought robots in Germany. Sylvester and Sturm haven't got hands like me, they haven't got feet like me, they can't move like me. I hurt him more in that first fight than those two blokes did and he is going to get hurt this time.''
Those comments and suggestions by Mundine that Shaw's influence helped him secure the historic wins in Germany prompted Geale's most spirited response during the 45-minute press conference.
''I hope you are going to be ready because this is going to be war,'' Geale said. ''I am looking forward to it, it is going to be a tough fight but with what we have been doing in the gym I can't see him being able to handle that right now. I believe I'm in the best shape of my life - I've been doing a couple of extra things. I've been seeing a different strength coach, and it's made a massive difference - he's a nutritionist as well. Everybody will see, once I get in the ring, that there's a few big changes.''
Geale's trainer Graham Shaw said the 31-year-old had gained a lot of experience since his previous bout with Mundine.
''He is an all-round better boxer and obviously he has got a lot more experience,'' Shaw said. ''That was over three years ago so he has done an awful lot since then. That was his first real step up in world-class boxing and he knows what it is all about. He has just got better and better.''