Friday, 31 August 2012

Felix Sturm vs Daniel Geale Prediction

WBA middleweight champion will have it very tough in his fight against tough Australian challenger and IBF champion Daniel Geale. This is in no way a walkover for the long reigning German champion.

Sturm is the favourite with the bookmakers as one would expect after 12 successful title defences of his WBA title. He has an impressive record of 37-2-2 with 16 knockouts. During his career he has matched his talents against such notable fighters as Oscar De La Hoya, Javier Castillejo, Sebastian Sylvester, Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray and Sebastian Zbik.

However, some criticism can be labelled at Sturm. He is noted as being one of the top middleweights in the world but with no unification to his name since he won his first world title in 2003 it is very difficult to truly know how good he actually is. On top of that, last year he received what many considered to be dubious results against British middleweight duo Matthew Macklin and Martin Murray.

He does have many positives though: He has a fantastic jab, a defensive style which makes it hard to get to him and also a strong offence; when Sturm throws his combinations his opponents know about it. Let’s also remember he only has 2 defeats; one of which was against Javier Castillejo who he would defeat in a rematch and the other was against Oscar De La Hoya, which many considered to be a distinctly unfair decision.

There is no doubt the man has talent but without a unification bout to his name the jury is still out despite the fact he is now in his 11th year as a pro.

Daniel Geale is perhaps the least known of the current middleweight champions but he is in no way a massive underdog. This fight is a 50-50 “pick em” fight despite what odds the bookmakers might be giving.

He has fought mostly out of his home country where he has featured in some fantastic bouts against the likes of Anthony Mundine, Roman Karmazin and Daniel Dawson. His most famous bout to date though might be his 2011 bout against then IBF champion Sebastian Sylvester in Germany where he won a split decision.

He is similar to Sturm in that he can move in using the jab and staying behind his high guard but he can also throw combinations in abundance when he needs to and often features in exciting bouts.

His one loss was to Australian legend Anthony Mundine by split decision in 2009, in a bout considered by many to be one of the most controversial in Australian history.

He has only fought in Germany once and that was when he dethroned Sebastian Sylvester. He will need to have his best performance to date in order to beat Felix Sturm, who is far superior to Sylvester.

This fight is a chance for both of these world champions to finally “arrive” on the elite scene. The winner will no longer be known as a “nearly” champion but a full on world champion, in every sense of the word.

MY VERDICT: Call me a coward but I’m going with the smart money and picking Felix Sturm by the closest of decisions. 

Gennady Golovkin vs Grzegorz Proksa Prediction

This is yet another tough middleweight fight to predict as Gennady Golovin pits his WBA “ordinary” world title on the line against European champion Grzegorz Proksa.

Golovkin is considered by many to be perhaps the best middleweight in the world. Considering he has yet to make a step up to world level yet, despite holding a title, and considering this is a division which contains the majestic Argentine Sergio Martinez that is a very bold statement. It isn’t one I agree with but one which I am very willing to believe could become the truth.

As an amateur Golovkin defeated such boxers as Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell and Andy Lee and picked up a world championship gold as well as an Olympic silver. It is credentials like these that make many believe he could become middleweight’s number one star.

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As a professional, he has yet to beat a single notable middleweight contender despite having turned pro in 2006. One would have to think this is very slow progress for a fighter who entered the pro ranks with superb amateur pedigree.

His amateur pedigree is not only what has impressed fans of Golovkin but also his style. He likes to stalk his opponents down with his orthodox style and then unleash his power punches when the timing is right. Despite having a near 90% KO ratio after 23 bouts, he is in no way a limited boxer with just a big punch to his name. He has the skills as well as the power.

Grzegorz Proksa doesn’t have anywhere near the sort of amateur pedigree as Golovkin but as a professional he has also impressed many fans. His exciting style always makes for interesting bouts such as his two fights with Welsh middleweight Kerry Hope or his epic 3 round destruction of former IBF champion Sebastian Sylvester. He can use the jab, he can counter punch and he’s more than happy to get involved in a war.

Despite the bookies offering short odds on Gennady Golovkin to win, I think he will have his work cut out if he is to retain his WBA title in New York.

VERDICT: I have spoken to a few people who think this might be Proksa’s night to shine. I think this is more than possible. But, I am picking Golovkin to pull off a points win after 12 rounds of superb action where both fighters will showcase their talents to the world.