In a shocking upset on Saturday night in Germany, Daniel Geale (28-1) became the first Australian-born unified world champion as he edged Felix Sturm (37-3-2) by split decision, winning on scores of 116-112, 116-112 and 112-116.
Full press release below:
September 1, 2012 – Today Australia’s WBA Super Middleweight titlist, Daniel “Real Deal” Geale (28-1, 15 KOs), became the first Australian born prize fighter to win a unification world championship when he defeated former IBF champ, Felix Sturm (37-3-2, 16 KOs) by split decision on his home turf at the Koenig Pilsener Arena in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Judges Stanley Christodoulou and Dave Parris scored the bout 116-112 for Geale, while Judge Eugene Grant scored it 112-116 for Sturm.
“When my hand was raised in victory, there were a few emotions going through my mind at that stage; elation and relief,” said Geale. “We put in a lot of hard work for this fight and we were very confident traveling over to Germany. We knew we had to put in a massive fight. We are extremely excited how it turned out.”
This marks the second time that Daniel Geale has traveled to Germany to win a world title. The first came in May of 2011, when he defeated Sebastian Sylvester (34-5-1, 16 KOs) to win his first world championship, a title he’s now defended for the third time.
“I don’t think that anyone believed I could do it the first time when I challenged Sylvester, and when I came back after beating him people started to take notice,” stated Australia’s hero Daniel Geale. “When we said we were going back to Germany again, people started to write us off a little bit. They said we were crazy, that I was going to lose my title. From day one we were confident though. It didn’t matter who it was against, whether we had to travel or stay in Australia, we were confident in fighting anybody. It makes it a little tougher when you do have to travel overseas and win big fights but that’s what makes a good fighters step up.”
With the win, Geale’s options are vast with big fights looming in the future. The winners of either Gennady Golovkin (23-0, 20 KOs) vs. Grzegorz Proksa (28-1, 20 KOs) or Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 29 KOs) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are both unifications bouts for Geale that would be appealing to any television network.
Geal weighs in on his options saying, “At the moment I just want to take a little break for a few days. I have an awesome team with my promoter Gary Shaw and the guys at Grange Old School Boxing as well. Those guys do such a great job all the time. I put my faith in them and they put their faith in me as well. Together we’ll sit down and have a bit of a chat in the next couple of days and we’ll work out what’s best after that.”
“Daniel Geale is a great human being, a tremendous world champion, and I’m honored to represent him,” said promoter Gary Shaw. “When you’re willing to travel overseas, as Daniel did for the second time, and put everything on the line, it shows he’s a true throwback fighter and great ambassador for the sport of boxing. We will talk as a team about what’s next for him. Sky is the limit.”