THE first round was, quite simply, stunning.
Daniel Geale dropped Garth Wood with one of those crisp combinations he is forever underestimated for and, from there, the mood was set.
Geale was always the class in the fight.
He knew that and Wood knew that, which was ok by Wood, as he didn’t come to give a seminar.
But nobody expected the ease at which he dropped Wood in the first.
Or the second.
Wood did a good job of conning referee Charlie Lucas.
Dropped with a body shot, Wood suggested it might have been a low blow and Lucas took the bait.
Geale was called to centre ring and wrongly deducted a point for the foul.
Geale didn’t seem to mind too much.
After the mind-games before the fight, Wood seeking to intimidate him, Geale returned to his corner after the second but not before letting his opponent know he was on to him.
Wood’s bravery found its limit last night. His courage brought him victories against Anthony Mundine and several other world rated fighters, but on Wednesday night Geale was a step above.
He froze Wood into throwing single punches through the early rounds, controlling centre ring and picking Wood off with combinations that, in all truth, are simply too subtle for broader sports fans to identify.
It wasn’t until the fourth round that Wood started to look comfortable, although Geale was still working at an easy pace.
And then he dropped him again.
A short left hook, a right cross, and Wood was on Queer Street.
He managed to beat the count but he was rubbery and brave. He received no favours from Lucas, who missed the bell ending the round and allowed Geale to continue landing several more blows as Wood’s corner frantically yelled to stop the round.
Geale’s corner seemed happy to let it continue.
It was the beginning of the end, though..
Geale was simply too good, and it was all becoming one-way traffic.
Geale bullied Wood throughout the fifth, walking him back onto the ropes before cutting loose.
He was down again in the fifth, and nearly fell through the ropes as the fifth bell sounded.
Why it was allowed to continue is anyone’s guess.
Wood only ever had a puncher’s chance, and even that was diminishing by the minute.
Nobody looked forward to the sixth, and as the round neared sanity prevailed and trainer Lincoln Hudson stopped the fight.
The victory was a perfect tune-up for Geale, who will now set his sights on WBA champion Gennady Golovkin.
He was everything he pertains to be last night.
Humble, elusive, and efficient, embracing Wood after the fight.
“That’s what prize-fighting is about,” Geale said.
“You guys want to see a bit of anger but you can also see that we can be human as well.”
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