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Geale vs Macklin: May 24 fight highly important for both middleweight contenders

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Daniel Geale and Matthew Macklin need the win when they square off on May 24, or another shot at a world title may be hard to come by.

Rich Schultz

Former middleweight titleholder Daniel Geale and three-time title challenger Matthew Macklin will meet on May 24, live on HBO, in a fight that could set the winner up with another shot at some gold, and could push the loser to the back of the line for another opportunity.

Geale (30-2, 16 KO) beat Garth Wood on February 19 in Australia, his only fight since dropping the IBF belt to Darren Barker last August. He won the belt in 2011 from Sebastien Sylvester in Germany, and made successful defenses against Eromosele Albert and Osumanu Adama. After those bouts, he unified with Felix Sturm's WBA title in 2012, but never made a defense of that belt, which came down to the usual political issues. He again successfully defended the IBF title against Anthony Mundine in January 2013.

"I can't wait to make my return on HBO and fight Mathew Macklin," said Geale, 33. "I'm keen to prove I am still one of the best middleweights in the world. Macklin is a very tough opponent who likes to go to war, as do I, our clash of styles could make a fight that steals the show. I will confirm my status as one of the top fighters in the division with a victory. When I win, I still want to fight Golovkin, if he comes back to 160, or the winner of Sturm vs Solomon."

Macklin (30-5, 20 KO) is 0-3 in world title shots, losing to Sturm controversially in Germany in 2011, then getting stopped in 2012 by Sergio Martinez (a competitive fight until late), and then knocked out in three by Gennady Golovkin last year.

"I'm really excited about the fight with Daniel Geale. He's a good fighter, a former world champion, and he throws a lot of punches like me so I'm expecting it to be a tough, action-packed fight," said Macklin, 31. "After the Golovkin fight, the win over (Lamar) Russ got me back on track and a much-needed 10 rounds of work. Winning on May 24th against Geale will throw me back into the world title mix, so in many ways this is almost a world title eliminator. It's a great fight between two of the best and most exciting middleweights in the world."

Macklin is confident of his chances on May 24, but respects Geale and won't be taking anything lightly.

"Most people are saying that this is a 50/50 fight. I don't know Geale personally but he seems like a good guy and I respect him as a fighter for what he has achieved and accomplished in his career. That being said though, I always believed he was tailor made for me and there only going to be one winner on May 24th and that is me."