Standing in destiny’s way – ‘Time Itself’.

Daniel Geale goes to the big room, live from New York, this Saturday night. (Early Sunday afternoon July 27, Australian time).

In the recently renovated Madison Square Garden, Geale will duck between the ropes to swap punches with the toughest opponent of his career – the man known as GGG – middleweight annihilator Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin.

I’m not going to confuse you with the political nuances of the ‘Middleweight World Title(s)’ Golovkin is defending against Geale on the night. Suffice it to say, notwithstanding the prestigious competitive lineage brutally enhanced by Miguel Cotto’s conquest of Sergio Martinez (in a fight I previously described on ‘The Almanac’), Geale is perceived to be fighting the best Middleweight in the world … at this moment, currently at the peak of his powers.

So, it is entirely apt such a universally recognised rigorous matchup, as this momentous contest represents, is fought at the site of such renown and historic significance as this.

Madison Square Garden is where ‘The Fight’ took place. Where Joe Frazier, having endured the weeks and months of vitriolic torment returning undefeated Champion Muhammad Ali had unleashed, truly became the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World, in a fearsome, beautifully brutal 15 Round war.

Madison Square Garden is the place where a rejuvenated Roberto Duran won a World Title in his third weight-division, against local junior-middleweight champion Davey Moore … and in doing so turned the storied pugilistic colosseum into a hostile, blood baying, torture chamber of ‘Little Panama’ for its native son, when the crowd realised it was the Legendary Duran they were watching … not the flabby, pasty pale imitation, who had muddled through numerous desultory losses in his recent fights … and almost as one, turned against their hometown boy, with a violent, bloodthirsty desire to see history made, as Duran turned back the clock.

Madison Square Garden is where, after almost a decade away, big time promotion was returned to ‘The Mecca of Boxing’ by ‘The Golden Boy’, Oscar de la Hoya, in his Lightweight Championship defense against Jesse James Leija.

Madison Square Garden is the place where, most poignantly, boxing honoured New York’s fallen – innocent citizens & brave custodians alike – on September 29, 2001, less than three weeks after the tragedy of Sept 11.

On that night, the normally boisterously bombastic, packed to the rafters crowd of pugilistic partisans, paid ‘deafeningly’ silent tribute, before witnessing history once more, as Bernard Hopkins mastered Puerto Rican wrecking ball, Felix Trinidad, to become the first Undisputed Middleweight Champion of the World since Marvelous Marvin Hagler, almost two decades earlier.

This is the Big Room. Full of violent history and poignant, pugilistic destiny fulfilment.

Now, an Australian having his second fight in the U.S.A, is about to contend fiercely with, a native of Kazakhstan looking to indelibly carve his name into the same boxing firmament I described above.

Golovkin vs Geale is the toughest matchup that can be made in the Middleweight Division. Each fighter is universally acknowledged as by far his respective opponent’s toughest foe, thus far in their careers.

And Golovkin is still a 1-10 odds-on, betting favourite.

After the disappointment of his missed opportunities in his North-American debut, I think Daniel Geale’s decision to wade right back in, against a scything thresher on a 16 fight KO streak like Golovkin, is admirable … And of course lucrative, risk-reward being what it is.

Both fighters have a chance to make the occasion yet another historic one, in MSG’s already epic, page-filled tome of hosting pugilistic accomplishment.

For Daniel Geale, a chance to win a third Middleweight Championship, all on foreign soil, as the ‘despised outsider’ in an Away contest, no less.

For Gennady Golovkin, a continuation of his apparent inexorable march to Bernard Hopkins’ successful Middleweight Title defenses record of 20. Only time can stop him seems to be the rhetoric coming out of New York.

Golovkin is already 32 years old, but his willingness to fight at least four times a year, might mean he does actually have a shot at Hopkins’ record. He has defended his current Middleweight Title, 10 times.

So perhaps time & timing really are his only roadblocks on the yellowbrick road to a historic destiny. On the other hand, I hope our own rejuvenated warrior from Oz, Down Under, Daniel Geale can find the characteristic wherewithal to endure & persevere, that was strangely missing for all but two rounds against Barker.

Having done that, I expect Geale might just need to change his own nickname … To ‘Time Itself’.


  1. top notch boxing is gripping – there’ve been some classic replays on cable TV recently. The Gardens are synonymous with the sweet science. Geale might be in trouble here.
    Thanks for the mouth-watering preview.

  2. Gregor Lewis says

    Good onya Crio.

    There is no ‘might be’. Geale IS in trouble here.
    He knows it.
    Relishes it.
    I think, perhaps too parochially, he has it within to …
    … Overcome it.

    Gary Shaw is renowned for ‘cashing out’ his fighters. All promoters do it … And Geale is being well paid, especially if he gets a cut of the local ‘Main Event Pay Per View Money’.

    And Geale also has a vibrant local scene to fall back on if he loses … Even badly.

    If he wins or keeps it competitive, he becomes a HBO staple, with lots of potential possibilities.

    Unlike many modern-day boxers, I trust Geale’s competitive integrity to fulfil that potential – if it comes to pass – in extremely challenging, fan-friendly fashion.

    Same with Golovkin by the way … But too many of his contemporaries seem to be busy ‘shitting themselves’, when he dials up their numbers.

    All credit to Geale for ‘answering the call’.


  3. Great stuff Gregor. I’m in Rome at present. Will say a few prayers for Geale. I think he is a chance.

  4. Great writing and perspective Gregor. Almost makes me want to love boxing today as I did up to Sugar Ray, Marvellous Marvin, Hit Man and No Mas. After that it jumped the shark and became a caricature of itself.
    Good to see there are some genuine people who want it to become a serious contest again.
    Of course Bruce Springsteen ‘Live in NYC’ is the greatest performance ever seen at the Gardens.

  5. Paul Young says

    Good work Gregor.

    I’ve watched a bit of Gennady Golovkin on Youtube recently and can remember the hammering he gave to Matthew Macklin last year. Up til then, Macklin was regarded a a tough bugger who could take some punishment. But he capitulated to a body blow from GGG that initially didn’t look much, but with the benefit of slow-mo, was highlighted by the sweet timing and brutality of the punch.

    Golovkin will be the Real Geale’s toughest test to date. Should be fascinating.

  6. Yeah really good work, Gregor.
    But to get to the money rounds Geale’s going to have to take a lot of those body shots.
    Good luck with that. My kidneys were screaming at me to turn off YouTube as I watched Golovkin.
    Was it Stevens he hit around his arms with a left into the kidney? Made me think of a watermelon I shot with a thirty-ought-six once.

  7. Andrew Starkie says

    DG is one of our great sports stars, however is rarely recognised for this by media and public. His humility, dignity and class are uplifting. Such courage to step into the ring with GGG (when so many at the top avoid the big challenges), hopefully the sporting gods will look after him and he produces one of the great performances and upsets. And hopefully he receives the accolades back home. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a boxer win Australian Sportstar of the Year.

    What about Frank at the Garden: ‘Quiet down, we’ve only got an hour’.

  8. Gregor Lewis says

    Thanks for the kind compliments lads.

    Someone as inspirational as Daniel Geale, in a sport as quixotic as boxing, makes waxing lyrical a pleasure.

    Ah Dips! From metaphoric colosseum to close proximity to the historic one.

    Peter, that legendary period you mention is beautifully captured by George Kimball in his book ‘Four Kings’.

    I heartily recommend it.

    That period provides one of my favourite in ring quotes. Halfway through the three-round donnybrook between Hagler & Hearns, ref stops fight to have Hagler’s deep, blood streaming cut high on his head, bathing his forehead crimson, examined.

    The following exchange ensued:

    Ref: ‘Can you see?’
    Hagler: ‘I’m hitting him aren’t I ?’

    Paul & AJC – Yes indeed!

    The body shot is that great equaliser many modern boxers ignore.

    I used to wail and gnash my teeth watching the best bodypuncher I have ever witnessed – Kostya Tszyu – seemingly deliberately ignore one of his most effective weapons, in favour of going headhunting.

    Sure … He still had success. Lots of it. But watching all those wasted opportunities when he could effortlessly cut opponents in half … Oooooohhhh!


    I actually think investing in his own bodywork will be key for Geale to offset Golovkin’s ability to get his feet set, to generate his devastating leverage. But it’s gonna require some special intestinal fortitude to wade into the meat-grinder, where Golovkin likes to whistle while he tenderizes.

    – Andrew … ‘Hear! Hear!’


  9. Patrick_Skene says

    Good writeup Gregor.

    I’ve been counting the sleeps till this one.

    For me if Geale wins this will be the greatest overseas win by an Australian boxer since Lionel. (ranked by opponent quality)

    Golovkin is a top 5 pound for pound brute that nobody wants to fight.

    Geale has a high workrate and is a 12 round specialist. Throw in an unshakeable temperament and his old school ways – a throwback to the great gentlemen boxers of Australia’s rich pug history.

    A fantastic role model and a great Australian, humble to the bone.

    With Golovkin, nobody has made it past the 10th.

    In return he has never boxed 12 rounds which could be the key.

    Geale is paying $5.15 and I shall be partaking.

    Show the world Real Deal!

    Note: Fenech’s effort against Azumah Nelson was Hall of Fame level but it was horrendously given a draw.

  10. Gregor Lewis says

    Right on Patrick!

    Geale is good value for it.

    I love matchups that ask critical questions of each participant, demanding they reach deep within for answers.

    This looks to be such a one.

    Agree completely with your ranking of a Geale success. And although Fenech was hard done by against Azumah, I kinda see it as a moot point, given Nelson’s crunching return victory.

    Lots of ifs & buts. Some brazen larceny from Rafael Garcia in Nelson’s corner with the mouthpiece, but Fenech’s phoenix burnt out in Las Vegas, while Nelson’s Championship hunger continued to blaze fiercely.

    That’s why I love this match so much. I expect to see the furnace within both fighters exposed … To the greater glory of both them & their sport.


  11. Andrew Starkie says


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