Heavy burden as underdog tag threatens to bite champion

Daniel Geale is the only Australian boxer to travel to Germany twice and return with belts he won from world champions, but he has never been in a situation like the one he will face against Anthony Mundine on Wednesday night at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

In both those bouts, against International Boxing Federation champion Sebastian Sylvester and World Boxing Association title holder Felix Sturm, Geale was the underdog. He went into the fight with little interest from the German media or fans.

Against Mundine, Geale will not only go into the fight as favourite but also bound by the weight of expectation from those desperate for him to finish the outspoken former rugby league star’s boxing career.

”Danny has got a lot of pressure on him,” Mundine’s father and trainer Tony Mundine said after Tuesday’s weigh-in at the Star.

With a large crowd in attendance to watch the pair take to the scales, many – including IBF featherweight world champion Billy Dib – compared the atmosphere to Mundine’s 2006 bout against Danny Green. Mundine’s father said he hadn’t seen the 37-year-old as hyped up for a fight since.

”He is all pumped up for this fight like he was against Danny Green and l reckon it will be a great fight for the opening rounds and then Anthony will take over.

”Daniel Geale is a good fighter, but he is a typical amateur. He keeps pumping the punches out like a machine but the name of the game is to land clean punches on the target to clock up points.”

However, the Geale camp is equally confident and the 31-year-old Tasmanian said he would try to give those wanting him to knock Mundine out what they want.

”Australia wants me to do it in a big fashion and, if it happens that way, then I will be more than happy,” Geale said. ”I’ve been on both sides before – I have had plenty of fans and I have had plenty of people against me as well – and it is excellent to have the support. I definitely prefer it this way but I am still going to go out there and I am still going to do my job.”

Asked if he was comfortable being the favourite, Geale said: ”I don’t see it that way, I don’t look at who is the favourite or who is not the favourite. I just look at my strengths and weaknesses versus his strengths and weaknesses and I am going to do my job.

”I am going to beat him and I am going to do it convincingly and not leave anything behind in what I do and show everybody what they want to see.”

Geale’s trainer Graham Shaw said his charge was in the best shape of his career and wouldn’t be overawed by the occasion.

”The German thing didn’t bother us and this doesn’t bother us,” he said. ”There is a little bit more action happening around this fight but it certainly doesn’t effect our training, our preparation or what we eat.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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