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Sylvester vs. Geale this Saturday

By Dan Ambrose: IBF middleweight champion Sebastian Sylvester (34-3-1, 16 KO’s) will be defending his title this Saturday night against Australian challenger Daniel Geale (24-1, 15 KO’s) at the Jahnsportforum, Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. This will be the 30-year-old Sylvester’s 4th title defense of his International Boxing Federation belt that he won back in 2009 with a victory over Giovanni Lorenzo.

Thus far, Sylvester hasn’t taken on anyone interesting and good enough to really test him and take his title. His defenses have come against junior middleweight Billy Lyell, Roman Karmazin and Mahir Oral. Karmazin has spent most of his career at junior middleweight and that would be Sylvester’s second opponent out of three that really isn’t much of a middleweight. As for Oral, he’s a decent bottom 15 fringe contender. So as you can see, Sylvester has been matched soft since he captured the IBF title.

Geale, 30, has fought the majority of his fights in his native Australia against largely obscure opposition. He’s stepped it up before a couple of times, losing to Anthony Mundine by a 12 round split decision, defeated Karmazin. That’s about it as far as recognizable opponents go on Geale’s seven-year pro resume. Geale clearly needs to step it up a couple levels and stay there after this fight. Hopefully, Geale doesn’t capture the title and then start facing unknown guys in Australia fight after fight until getting stripped. We saw fellow Australian Mundine do pretty much zero after capturing the WBA super middleweight title in 2007 and defend it a couple of times against another Australian fighter and fail to take on anyone dangerous like Mikkel Kessler. I would hate to see Geale falling into that pattern.

Geale and Sylvester are pretty evenly matched. Neither are big punchers and both are flawed as heck. I rate them both around number #10 in the division. However, the middleweight division is incredibly weak right now other than a small handful of fighters and there is a huge gap between the top guys like Sergio Martinez and guys like Geale and Sylvester.


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