Daniel Geale has spurned a potential million dollar pay cheque to have his first boxing world title defence in his home state of Tasmania.
The IBF middleweight champion will fight Nigerian-born American-based Eremoesele Albert at Hobart’s Derwent Entertainment Centre on August 31 – Tasmania’s first major boxing world title fight.
“I remember shadow boxing as a kid, dreaming about what it would feel like to have a world title fight in front of my home fans,” said Geale on Friday as he announced the bout.
“That dream has become a reality now.”
Launceston-born Sydney-based Geale took the title from Sebastian Sylvester last May, winning a split decision in the German’s home state.
He had the option of a rematch with Sylvester and other potentially-lucrative fights overseas against Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez, but was adamant his first defence should be at home.
“There is no question Daniel is taking a pay cut by having a fight in Tasmania,” Geale’s manager and event promoter Garrie Francisco said.
“But he was adamant on taking a world title fight back home and I think that should be commended.”
The 36-year-old Albert has a 24-4-1 record and will have a slight height advantage over Geale.
“Daniel Geale is a very smart boxer and a deserved world champion, but he goes from the underdog to the favourite for this fight,” Albert said from Miami.
“I think he likes being the underdog, but that won’t be the case this time around, so let’s see how he copes with the pressure of being favourite to win.”
A strong undercard includes Garth Wood fighting Johannes Mwetupunga for the national middleweight title plus bouts involving up-and-coming featherweight Joel Brunker and super middleweight Jamie Pittman.
Buford Balony says: Imagine Mundine or Green fighting where they make less money. They only fight ‘has beens’ or ‘bums’ for the money. That’s the difference between Geale & the the other two.