Slice of lucrative American pie next up on menu for victor
"I just wanted to knock his head off but it didn't work that way" ... Daniel Geale. Photo: Brendan Esposito
AFTER revealing that he drew motivation from Anthony Mundine's pre-fight trash talking to beat the three-time world champion, Daniel Geale has set his sights on the middleweight division's top ranked boxer Sergio Martinez - but he won't fight for chump change.
''Daniel Geale is a real champion and he is going to be paid like a real champion,'' Geale's American promoter Gary Shaw said.
Shaw, who compares Geale to Welsh great Joe Calzaghe, told Fairfax Media that people he had spoken to in the United States were enthusiastic about Wednesday night's unanimous points decision over Mundine.
''Daniel is already recognised because he is the No.2 middleweight in the world, behind Martinez,'' Shaw said. ''I get calls from [US network] HBO all the time about Daniel so it doesn't take anything to get Daniel Geale on HBO - it is getting HBO to pay us the right amount of money for Daniel Geale and then us deciding what the fight is. We are not going to talk about small money.''
Geale was granted an exception to regulations by the IBF to fight Mundine over fellow Australian Sam Soliman but the WBA stripped him of the belt he won from Felix Sturm in Germany last September for delaying a bout with Gennady Golovkin of Khazakstan.
With Sturm and Soliman fighting an IBF eliminator bout in Dusseldorf on Friday, Geale is slated to defend his title against the winner but Shaw said he would speak to the sanctioning body about another opponent - likely to be Golovkin or Russia's Dmitry Pirog.
''Martinez wants to fight Julio Cesar Chavez jnr because that is where the real money is,'' Shaw said. ''After that fight I would probably bet that we are next up to bat.''
For his part, Geale said he wanted to take the mantle of the world's No.1 ranked middleweight from Martinez - the 37-year-old Argentinian, who is tipped for a rematch with Chavez in September if he survives a bout against England's Martin Murray in Buenos Aires on April 27.
''There are a couple of middleweights we are really chasing hard now and I want to beat those guys,'' Geale said. ''I want to be the No.1 middleweight in the world. At the moment I am No.2 and for me that is not good enough.''
While he was open to a rematch with Mundine, Geale said beating him avenged the only loss of his 26-fight career in 2009 and would help him secure bigger fights.
''He is known a little bit in the United States so that definitely helps my cause,'' Geale said. ''That is going to open the doors for me more.''
Asked about a third Mundine-Geale bout, he said: ''If the fans want that, I will be there for sure.''
One motivation for Geale would be to try and knock Mundine out and the Tasmanian admitted he was disappointed he had been unable to do so after having his Aboriginal heritage questioned before the bout.
''I just wanted to knock his head off but it didn't work that way,'' Geale said. ''He is a great defensive fighter, he is smart and he has got great experience. I had to dig deep and in those last few rounds I knew I had to step up.
''I just thought about a few little things that really helped me through … some of the disrespectful things that he said … and the last few rounds were good for me. He has still got good skills and he has still got good speed and that, but I studied him a lot and I worked him out.
''If you stand in front of Anthony - because he has got such great speed - he will just throw the jab and move away, throw the jab and move away, or he will crowd you and pull you in close so making myself a moving target made it harder for him to pop that jab off so easily. There were occasions where I got a little too close but on occasions I found the mark too.''