Geale pledges home defence
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September 25, 2007 12:00am
IF Tasmanian boxer Daniel Geale is successful in winning the IBO middleweight world title next month, he will defend the belt in his home state.
Geale, 26, from Launceston, fights fellow undefeated boxer Daniel Dawson, 29, from Western Australia, at the Penrith Panthers League Club on October 12 in the biggest bout of his 16-fight professional career.
"It is a big step up for me," Geale said yesterday from his training base in Sydney.
"If it all goes to plan on the 12th then we'll really be able to get up (in the rankings) and get over to the US.
"And my management has also pretty much promised me that I'll defend my title down in Tassie.
"That would be good and then hopefully I can get overseas, maybe the middle of next year, and start having a real crack at some of the top 10."
While the IBO is not considered in the same class as the big four world titles -- the WBC, WBA, IBF or WBO -- it is not far off.
"It is only just half a step down from them and it will give me a top 15 world ranking," Geale said.
"That is really what I'm looking at, get myself a top 15 then I can start looking at some of the guys in the top 10 and really looking at a big world title shot."
Both Geale and Dawson have excellent pedigrees, with the Tasmanian a Manchester Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Dawson a former world kickboxing champion.
Dawson packs a powerful punch and has won 20 of his 29 fights by knockout.
But Geale said he and his trainer Graham Shaw have plans in place for the bout.
"He has been looked after pretty well, I don't think he has really been challenged at all," he said. "In his 29 fights he hasn't really pushed too much, which is probably to my advantage.
"I've had a couple of hard fights and gone the distance a few times and I think that will be an advantage for me in the later rounds.
"I'll probably be cautious early on and try to take him to the later rounds and see how he goes there."
Geale is training five to six hours a day under Shaw and former triple world champion Jeff Fenech. Fenech believes Geale will outbox his more experienced opponent.
"Daniel Dawson has great power, no doubt about that," Fenech said earlier this month. "But in terms of boxing skills and technique Daniel Geale is in a much higher league."
While Geale's immediate future rests on the outcome of the Dawson bout, he was keeping a level head, believing preparing for such big events like Olympic and Commonwealth Games was good experience for just such an occasion.
"I make sure I treat it like I would any other fight, I don't put anybody I'm fighting up on a pedestal.
"I take everyone as they come and make sure I don't worry myself at all and keep as relaxed as possible