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Geale to make U.S. debut against Barker on HBO on Aug. 17

Australia’s once-beaten IBF middleweight titleholder Daniel Geale will make his U.S. debut against British contender Darren Barker on Aug. 17 in an HBO Boxing After Dark main event at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y., it was announced by Geale’s American promoter, Gary Shaw Productions, on Monday.

Geale (29-1, 15 knockouts) is fresh off of his redemption win over Anthony Mundine, the only man to have defeated him in the pro ranks, in their January rematch, while Barker (25-1, 16 KOs) has won two in a row since his KO loss in what was a very spirited effort against RING champ Sergio Martinez.

Geale, who owns a victory over veteran former titleholder Felix Sturm, acknowledges that Barker is a tough challenge, but is quick to remind everyone that he has been matched tough for the past few fights in a row.

“Barker has to be one of the toughest opponents I’ve faced on paper, but I’ve been in the ring with world titlists and it remains to be seen whether or not Barker can offer up anything extra,” Geale stated in Monday’s press release. “He is a top rated fighter amongst 160 pounders, but in the middleweight division that’s saying a lot because the entire division is dangerous. A guy in the top 10 at middleweight would be top three to four in almost any other division.

“Fighting in the United States for the first time is truly an honor.” Geale continued. “I’m going to give the fans a great night of boxing while representing my country with dignity.”

Geale mentioned that he is familiar with Barker’s work, specifically against Martinez and he knows that the fighter that he steps in the ring with will likely be better than the one that gave Martinez so much trouble.

Barker has bounced back with two consecutive knockout victories. He promises to bring the title back to the UK.

“This is a golden opportunity for me and I feel it’s my time to shine,” Barker stated. “It’s been a tough journey for me but I’m one fight away from realizing my dream and becoming world champion. I’ve dedicated my entire life to this sport and since the Sergio Martinez fight I really feel like I’ve grown as a fighter. I can’t wait to bring that IBF World title back to the UK.”

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