Getty ImagesIBF Middleweight Champion Daniel Geale
of Australia added the WBA Super World belt to his waist on Saturday when he unified the titles by beating Felix Sturm
of Germany right in his backyard in Oberhausen, Germany.
Geale upset the hometown favorite by a close split decision by scores of 116-112, 116-112, and 112-116. Geale raised his record to 28-1 with 15 KOs with the win while Sturm dropped to 37-3-2 with 16 KOs.
The 33-year-old Sturm got off to a good start in the bout as he kept the 31-year-old Geale at bay with his stiff and accurate left jab. He was dictating the pace while Geale tried to get into range to launch an attack.
Sturm was then aggressor in the early rounds and he was proving to be a hard target for Geale to hit. The German was right on the money with several sharp shots and Geale ended the second round with a small cut on his face.
Geale was the aggressor at the start of the third round, but he was still having trouble landing solid blows. Sturm kept pumping out his effective jab and landed some good right hand counter shots over the top.
Geale finally connected on a good shot near the end of the round when he landed a straight right hand to the head which Sturm definitely felt. This energized Sturm though and he answered back with several good punches of his own in the next round.
Both boxers landed some fine shots in the fifth and sixth rounds as the action was back and forth. By the midway point of the 12-rounder, it was quite close with both champions having their moments. They were fighting at a fast pace and throwing quite a lot of leather.
Things stayed the same during the second half of the fight for the most part as they each took turns landing punches and dictating the action. With the fight seemingly on the line, both Geale and Sturm went for broke in the final round. They went to-to-toe during the last three minutes and there were several wild and exciting exchanges.
The local fans were stunned when the scorecards were read, but many boxing analysts and experts believed the visitor deserved the victory and perhaps a unanimous decision would have been more fitting. Sturm said he has to accept the defeat because that’s how the judges scored the fight.
He said Geale threw more punches, but he landed the cleaner shots. He gave his opponent credit though by saying the Australian gave it everything he had and boxed excellently.
Geale may want to consider moving to Germany since he won his IBF title there too when he beat Sebastian Sylvester by a split decision in May of 2011.
The fight against Sturm was his third defense of the belt while Sturm was attempting to defend his title for the 13th time. Geale said he expected a tough fight from the experienced Sturm and that’s exactly what he got.FeedCrossing is a partner of FootBasket. You can see more about them at their website.