Boxing


Focused Geale Ready to Settle Score with Rolph

16.03.05 - By Mike "Kryptonite" Altamura: As an amateur, Tasmanian Daniel Geale was as good as anyone Australia has seen in recent times. The 24-year-old was a multiple-time Australian champion, 2000 Sydney Olympian, and 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist. For half a decade, Geale was near unbeatable when pitted against fellow Australians.. His international record was very impressive too. Many were predicting a medal in Athens, but unfortunately, a questionable decision loss at the Oceania qualifiers would see Geale surprisingly miss a second Olympic birth. But Geale didn't dwell on that too long. His focus turned to the professional ranks.

Now as a professional, middleweight Geale has chalked up a ledger of 4-0 (4) since debuting last October under the guidance of Jeff Fenech. Many are predicting a golden future for Geale, with world titles often alluded to, however none of that will mean anything if he can't get past 6-6-1(1) Queenslander Peter Rolph tomorrow night. The two fought twice in the amateurs, for a win each.. Hence, this bout is being aptly dubbed "The War to Settle the Score." A former Queensland State champion, Rolph no doubt will be looking to cause the upset and go ahead 2-1. But as I found out earlier today, it's going to be a tall order against a talented kid that is a picture of focus and discipline.

Mike Altamura) This fight with Peter Rolph is your first main event as a professional. How are you feeling?

Daniel Geale) Yeah, my first main event. I'm looking forward to it actually. I'm treating it like any other fight and I'll be going into it just concentrating on doing all the things I've been doing in training.

MA) You were such a sensational amateur boxer that I mean after perfecting that sort of style, how was it making the transition to the pros in your first couple fights?

DG) It started off, like I mean, just like anybody, it's a little difficult to begin with having such a long amateur career. But [in camp] I'm around guys like Danny Green, Vic Darchinyan, the Hussy boys. I'm around a lot of these guys that are world title contenders, and I mean Vic is a world champion. I've got the best around me. Jeff [Fenech] and Billy [Hussein] they're teaching me the right things, and it has just made it so much easier learning from them guys. I think it has made me pick it up a lot quicker than I would have anyway.

MA) What were some of the adjustments at first they made in the gym?

DG) It was basically just not boxing as an amateur, not just trying to tap and score punchers. I'm throwing punchers a lot harder now, and I'm moving a lot better too. I'm being evasive, whereas before I was sort of jumping away, moving around, and moving my feet a lot. Now I'm sort of staying there, hitting harder, and being ready to hit again.

MA) A couple hours before your fights, where are you usually at mentally?

DG) Usually the day of my fight I'm just keeping as relaxed as I can. I try not to waste any energy leading up to my fights. I sort of only really start switching on when I'm starting to get my gear ready. Throughout the day I'll probably think about little things, and just making sure that I'm feeling good. I usually though am just keeping very relaxed, keeping my body loose, and making sure I'm staying positive and feeling confident.

MA) Your amateur trainer Graham George has been in your corner for all your professional fights. Is he going to be there tomorrow night?

DG) Yeah, he will be there tomorrow. It's good. Angelo [DiCarlo] organized to get him up here. He's got another young guy on the card as well.

MA) Much respect to you too mate for not forgetting Graham. I know a lot of boys go to the pros and then completely forget about their amateur trainer.

DG) Yeah, I couldn't forget about Graham. The things we've done together over the years, I definitely couldn't forget about him.

MA) Peter Rolph is a solid, hard-nosed sort of fighter. What are your impressions of him?

DG) Well I fought Peter twice as an amateur (for one loss, one win) so yeah, I sort of know a little bit about him. I haven't seen a lot of his fights since he's been professional, but I know he's the type of guy that he's tough, he's strong, and he'll keep coming. I don't think anything has changed too much.

MA) What can we expect from you tomorrow night against Rolph?

DG) I've just sort of been practicing the same things I've been working on since I turned pro. Things like getting down a bit lower, and hitting harder, and being ready for once I hit the guy being in position to keep on hitting him if need be.

MA) Will we see that sizzling left hook?

DG) Yeah, I think the left hook has been going pretty well. But I also think my right hand coming along pretty well, so hopefully that'll all come together tomorrow night.

MA) I know that you have a great deal of support back home in Tasmania. Are you hopeful of returning for a pro fight some time in the future?

DG) Definitely. Tassie has gotten behind me really well, which I'm really lucky and happy for. Hopefully after a few fights I can get back down and hopefully hold a pretty big event and get a good crowd there. It would be awesome to have a home Tassie crowd there supporting me. Awesome.

MA) Everyone I speak to in boxing, around the country pretty much, they always make reference to how "humble" a guy Daniel Geale is. Where do you get that from?

DG) I guess it has to be from my parents, my family and stuff. I don't know, it's just how I grew up and how I was taught.

MA) What are your goals for 2005 and beyond?

DG) I'm hoping to get a shot at the Australian title, and if possible, fight a few of the good guys in my weight division around Australia. Then hopefully move on to fighting international guys. Maybe then next year try to get a shot at a world title or something.

MA) Do you have any final comments or anything you would like to add?

DG) I would just like to thank Angelo DiCarlo for getting me up for this show. It has been awesome so far and hopefully I'll fight well tomorrow night and put on a good show.

Daniel Geale will be fighting Peter Rolph on March 18 at the Mansfield Tavern, located in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. For ticketing information visit: http://www.rightcross.com.au/fightnight.html

Article posted on 16.03.2005



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