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Berlin - Australia's Daniel Geale admits he will need to prove himself again in Germany in his bid to beat home-favourite Felix Sturm in Saturday's unification middleweight bout.
Geale, 31, is back in Germany to put his IBF middleweight title on the line against 33-year-old Sturm, the WBA super world middleweight champion, when they meet in Oberhausen, west Germany.
Having defeated German Sebastian Sylvester in May 2011 to win the belt he has defended twice, Tasmanian-born Geale says he expects no home-fighter bias for Sturm from the two American and one South African judges.
“I have to go out there and win. It being in Germany, I have to make sure I do it convincingly, especially if it goes down to a decision” said Geale.
“We know he's going to be tough, but we are covering all the bases.
“It's coming at a good time for me: Felix hasn't performed that well recently where as I feel I am improving with each fight.”
Sturm has been the WBA middleweight champion since 2007, but after compatriot Abraham took the WB0 super-middleweight title last Saturday with a unanimous win over Robert Stieglitz in Berlin, a war-of-words erupted.
Another possible all-German bout is being touted in the media here, but Sturm's focus seems to have been pulled away from Geale by words from the Abraham camp.
“I would be ready (to fight Abraham), but he actually has no right to be at the top level,” fumed Sturm after Abraham's management Sauerland claimed Sturm has twice turned them down as they raised the ante over a possible future bout.
“They just want to make fun of me.
“They want to use my name to advertise Arthur, that is just a joke from Sauerland. They also know that I am the stronger boxer.”
But Sturm insists he is ready to defeat Geale and fulfill his dream of unifying the titles.
“I will fulfill my dream, I am very, very sure that I am going to beat him,” he said.
Sturm has also spent his final preparations without his coach Fritz Sdunek, who is training heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, who faces Manuel Charr in Moscow on September 8.
“Vitali is a priority, because it could be his last fight, but Felix knows exactly what he has to do”, Sdunek said recently.