Daniel Geale on points
This is a fairly close fight I think. Barker is a talented boxer but injuries and inactivity have scuppered his progress over the last few years. Since his loss to Sergio Martinez in 2011 he has bounced back with two dominant stoppage victories and looks in really confident mood ahead of the fight with Geale. If there is a title holder at Middleweight you would really want to face, it is Daniel Geale. He is a good boxer himself but his best assets for me are his stamina and punch output. He is not a big hitter like the other title holders so Barker won't have to worry about that. I just expect Geale to outwork Barker in many of the rounds. They will be close and Barker may land tha better shots but Geale will land more each round and his busy style will catch the judges' eyes. I think a 115-113, 116-112 win for Geale is on the cards with Barker angry with himself afterwards for not letting his hands go more.
Daniel Geale on points (possible split decision)
Geale comes into this fight high on confidence after two career best wins in Germany and avenging his only career defeat against Anthony Mundine at the end of January this year.
Both are highly competent, technical boxers with excellent amateur pedigrees. Since losing to Sergio Martinez in late 2011, Barker has only fought twice in 2 years against fighters, who, to be fair, are not on his level. In those two performances Barker has shown more spite, whereas before he was more content to box his way to victory.
Geale has flown under the radar somewhat and widely considered as a top 3 Middleweight. The Real Deal is a pure boxer, whilst some suggest he is not a massive puncher, he carries enough pop to get his opponents respect. He employs excellent lateral movement, is a good combination puncher, has an excellent engine with a great volume of punches and cleverly moves out of distance.
Barker showed against Martinez that he can more than handle his own and even gave Martinez problems in the early rounds until the class of Martinez shown through, however this fight is going to depend on how Barker approaches it.
He has stated he has employed a new aggressive style but against B or C level opponents this may bear fruit but against an opponent that appears to be in his prime and who has the ability to outwork Barker then his new style may not be the best tactics to adopt.
Barker will have to employ a very good jab to try and keep Geale on the back foot and has to punch and match Geale when the Aussie decides to go to work. If Barker is going to have any chance of winning over the distance he has to be better than the Aussie at his own game - in other words he has to out punch and out land Geale and keep it going for 12 rounds...failure to do that then Barker, I feel, will be on the losing end of a tight decision.
I expect Barker to make it very competitive in the early rounds, but his lack of activity over the years, coupled with career threatening injuries that have required surgery may see this as a step too far for Barker, who knows that he is in the last chance saloon to bag a Middleweight bauble.
Geale on the other hand has been here before, he knows what it takes to win in a tight contest, he has been active over the years and is on a crest of a wave and should have enough to beat Barker.
I think this is a good competitive fight with two of the division’s elite but I see Barker pulling out the decision. Geale is a solid fighter who does not have many weaknesses, however I think Barker is a little more skilful and that should be enough to see him take the decision. Barker seems to have added a little more aggression and spite to his game after a meek but mostly competitive losing effort to Sergio Martinez.
Daniel Geale by UD
All that we KNOW about Barker says that when he steps up to world level, he doesn't work enough. Geale has never had a problem being willing to throw. If I was Barker's trainer, I'd tell him to look to assert himself very early and land something big to shake Geale's confidence and maybe force a stoppage. I can't see that happening though. Instead, Barker will probably turtle up and lose most of the rounds. Even though his punch resistance looked poor against Sergio, I think Barker will see twelve because of Geale's fairly light punches.
Daniel Geale is one of the most underrated fighters in the sport today. Although he isn't a big puncher, he has enough pop to get your respect, and when coupled with a great workrate, excellent upper body movement and solid footwork, Geale is a tough fight for anyone. Given his excellent volume, if Barker chooses to fight Geale in the same manner he fought Sergio Martinez, I can't see him having much of a chance. On the other hand, if Barker shows a little more aggression, I think this could be a surprisingly entertaining and competitive bout.
No matter how Barker chooses to go about this fight, I think Geale is just too much for him. Barker doesn't have game changing power, and I haven't seen anything that tells me he can outwork Geale. Hopefully, no matter the outcome, a quality opponent for GGG will be shown in this fight. I think it is quite possible that Geale is the second best middleweight today, and a dominating victory over Darren Barker (that's Barker with two r's, Michael Buffer) will hopefully make a few more people take notice of the middleweight division's best kept secret.
I'm leaning a little towards Geale here...I think Barkers aggression will be suited for Geale's quicker hands and higher punch volume. American judges like punch output so while i dont think much separates these two guys in terms of talent, I expect Geale to win a deserving but maybe wider than deserved decision.