Tasmanian born Indigenous boxer Daniel Geale is one step closer to becoming a double world champion after he comprehensively outboxed, then knocked out former world champion Roman Karmazin.
While Anthony Mundine may get most of the headlines, Daniels performance against the experienced Russian should rank as one of the most impressive displays by an Aboriginal fighter in recent years – a performance enhance by the calibre of his opponent.
Karmazin is a former world title holder who also only recently lost a very close decision to current world champ Sebastian Sylvester and, leading into the fight, Daniel spoke about the bout as his chance to announce himself to both the Australian and International audience as one of the division’s elite fighters.
Held at the Olympic Sports Stadium in Sydney’s West, the fight was an IBF middleweight world title eliminator, with the winner getting the inside running for a shot at the world title held by German, Sebastian Sylvester.
”I knew that he was going to come out hard but I am younger, fitter, stronger and I was fully prepared. He was bigger and had a longer reach but I knew what I had to do. I just had to pick him off, hit hard and not let him catch me with a big one,” said Daniel after the fight.
Daniel, now 29, entered the fight with only one defeat on his record, the split decision loss to Anthony Mundine in 2009, and with the impressive victory, hopes he can now move out of the shadow of his former opponent. Proving that he’s still improving with every bout, Daniel was rarely troubled throughout the fight, and amassed a comfortable point’s lead before eventually stopping Karmazin in the final minute of the 12th round.
”I think I probably could have went on with it a little bit earlier but the way I was feeling … I was just sort of comfortable racking up the points. I think I caught him in the last round and I thought ‘why not? It is time.’
”We knew I was going to have to work hard and we knew it was going to be tough. He had just fought the best and got so close, so we knew he wasn’t going to be a walkover. To get that and to get that finish I am pretty happy.”
A former IBO middleweight champ, Daniel is now focused on bringing the more respected IBF title back home to Australia. There is a possibility the world title showdown may even be staged in Australia.
”I am the mandatory No.1 contender and he (Sylvester) has got nine months to fight me otherwise they will strip him of the title, as far as I believe,” said Daniel. ”All I can do is hope that he wants to do it as soon as possible, so hopefully in three or four months’ time I will go over there and bring that title back.”