Harrington Park boxer Daniel Geale lived up to his nickname ‘‘The Real Deal’’ on Wednesday when he stopped Garth Wood in the sixth round.
Geale finished off Wood the way he was expected to, winning the vacant IBF Pan Pacific Middleweight title and add Wood’s WBA Pan African middleweight title.
Now Geale has a big chance to put Australian boxing back on to the world stage. He has his sights set on taking on WBA champ Gennady Golovkin, of Kazakhstan.
Golovkin is a different prospect from Wood as he is unbeaten in 29 fights, having won 26 of them by knockout.
Geale has won by knockout in 16 of his 30 victories as a professional.
If Geale does take on Golovkin, the good news is that he doesn’t need to knock out his opponent - a points victory will be a more than adequate reward for the humble, down-to-Earth local champ.
But when there is good news, it’s sometimes followed by the bad news.
And of course there is definitely a potential for some bad news in this situation - ask the 26 fighters that Golovkin sat on the mat with his powerhouse punching displays.
There’s no question Geale has the skills, the stamina and the willpower to outbox Golovkin and return to where he belongs as a world champion.
But he will have to have both eyes firmly fixed and be 100 per cent focused when Golovkin unleashes his fists of fury so he avoids being another statistic ending up on the canvas.
Geale has lost only twice as a professional, both times on split points decisions.
And he also has proved he is no mug, refusing to allow Wood’s unsettling tactics at the weigh-in intimidate him.
On the wrong end of a headbutt, Geale knew he could make amends in the ring and had no need to stoop to a level he is unfamiliar with.
The experience could stand him in good stead if he steps in the ring with Golovkin, making him more focused on the job at hand and concentrating on what he has to do, rather than be too preoccupied with his opponent’s capabilities.
A lesser boxer could have re-assessed their boxing career after a loss, but Geale’s defeat at the hands of Englishman Darren Barker last August has given him a taste in his mouth he doesn’t like.
He looked on the positives from that loss, which has resulted in him being more confident and more willing to wear a world title belt again.
And if I can see that, so can any future opponents.
They will be ready for the Tasmanian-born boxer and expect him to give it everything he’s got against them.
So let’s hope he gets his chance.