DANIEL Geale looked sharp in the ring ahead of his
DANIEL Geale looked sharp in the ring ahead of his "State of Origin" battle against Queenslander Jarrod Fletcher.

Geale surprises with praise for Mundine

DANIEL Geale has done something many Australian boxing fans never thought would happen, praised his arch-enemy Anthony Mundine.

Geale will attempt to defend his IBF Pan Pacific middleweight title against his good mate and Queenslander Jarrod Fletcher in Sydney on December 3.

It will be a bumper State of Origin-themed night, with rugby league bad boys Paul Gallen and Anthony Watts to square off on the undercard.

But Geale gave a surprising response at the promotion for the fight yesterday, when asked about Mundine.

The two share some history, with Geale beating the controversial former rugby league star in January last year, after Mundine questioned Geale's aboriginality.

Following his recent win over the previously unbeaten Sergey Rabchenko for the WBC silver light middleweight title, Mundine called out American superstar Floyd Mayweather.

Somewhat surprisingly, Geale didn't criticise "The Man" for being outspoken once again.

"To be honest with you, he (Mundine) has proved a few people wrong," Geale told APN. "He's done well to come back and get a victory against a guy with an unbeaten record."

Geale even said Mundine could challenge Mayweather, who holds eight championship belts.

"If he can get motivated and train really hard, I'm sure he could pose a little bit of a threat," Geale said.

"If he kept fighting lower-ranked fighters, he wouldn't have a lot of respect."

One man Geale has respected for a long time is Fletcher - the two were roommates at the Australian Institute of Sport back in 2001, and have sparred many rounds over the years.

"Jarrod's respectful and we've got along pretty well over the years," said Geale, looking to bounce back from a round-three defeat to the seemingly unstoppable Gennady Golovkin in July.

"It doesn't change the fact we've got to fight, but when we come out we'll shake hands and stay mates after."

Fletcher labelled this fight a "must-win", after he also lost his last fight to American Daniel Jacobs.

Meanwhile, former NRL bad boy Watts said boxing had helped him on the road to redemption after two stints in jail.

Gallen, who caused headlines for punching Queensland's Nate Myles in an Origin game in 2013, said, "to jump in the ring with someone who says he's from Queensland and punch him in the head will be good".


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