Daniel Geale faces the most devastating puncher in boxing at Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden this weekend, but it is nothing compared to the battle his beloved mum is facing back in Australia.
Michelle Geale is fighting cancer.
It’s an uphill struggle, but the Geales are used to overcoming adversity.
“This one is for Mum,” Geale announced at his pre-fight press conference on Wednesday.
Las Vegas oddsmakers give the Launceston-born boxer next to no chance of upsetting Kazakh heavy hitter Gennady Golovkin in their world-title fight, with most expecting Geale to end up flat on his back on the canvas.
As the bout draws close and Geale is inundated with pre-fight hype half a world away in New York, the quietly spoken former world champion looks to his mum, diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, for inspiration.
“Mum is going through a bit of a tough time, but she’s a tough girl,” Geale told AAP.
“She fights hard.
“Mum says, ‘I’m fighting hard and I’m going to beat this too’.
“That gives me a lot of motivation.
“If she can battle through that and not give up I can do the same in the ring.”
Golovkin, 32, is risking his WBA and IBO middleweight belts against Geale in Saturday’s (Sunday midday AEST) bout inside the hallowed New York indoor arena.
The undefeated Golovkin collected and repeatedly defended the belts by destroying opponents.
The Kazakh has knocked out 26 of his 29 victims, a statistic unrivalled by any other champion in the sport.
But, Geale has shown plenty of mettle.
He claimed the IBF belt by going to Germany to beat Sebastian Sylvester in a split decision in 2011, went back to Germany a year later and took Felix Sturm’s WBA title and won the war with Anthony Mundine in their Sydney grudge match in 2013.
Geale lost a split decision to Darren Barker almost a year ago, despite the Australian knocking the UK fighter down in the sixth round.
Just as Geale, 33, has no doubt he will beat Golovkin, he knows his mum will also be victorious.
“I can see the little tinkle in her eye which is good,” Geale said.
Geale has a 30 win (16 KO), two loss professional record.
The fight will be broadcast in Australia by Main Event.