Image for A (Tasmanian) legend rises. A legend falls

Geale joins Aust boxing legends - Lewis
Sunday, May 08, 2011 » 08:49pm

Boxing icon Johnny Lewis says Daniel Geale sits comfortably with Australian legends of the sport after his IBF middleweight world title win in Germany.

Lewis and three-division world champion Jeff Fenech have hailed Geale following his 12-round split points win over German Sebastian Sylvester in Neubrandenburg early on Sunday (AEST).

Fenech and Lewis praised the self-effacing fighter, who won a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2002 before embarking on a professional career.

Always respectful, softly-spoken Geale gives the impression trash talking would mean chatting to his local garbo - not rubbishing an opponent.

‘It just shows you that nice guys don’t have to come second,’ said Lewis, Australia’s most successful boxing trainer.

‘For us in Australia, we’ve got to grasp onto Daniel Geale as much as we have any of our legitimate world champions in the past.

‘He’s proven beyond doubt that he sits comfortably with the real legends of our sport.

‘He’s a wonderful person, and he’s really come of age over the last couple of years.

‘He’s the one we’ve got to follow in the next few years, and he’s going to be an inspiration to any young kid that does come into our sport.’

Fenech said Geale was great and hoped he would get the recognition his achievement deserved.

‘He’s not as outspoken as some of the others. He deserves all the credit he gets,’ Fenech told AAP.

Fenech expected great things of Geale after first seeing the Tasmanian as an amateur in his early teens.

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Tributes flow for boxing great Lionel Rose

Anthony Mundine led the tributes for Australian boxing great Lionel Rose, who died aged 62 on Sunday.

Mundine described Rose, the first Aboriginal boxer to win a world title when he defeated Japan’s Fighting Harada in 1968, as the “best fighter in Australian history”.

The two-time WBA super middleweight champion and son of trainer Tony Mundine used Twitter to express his feelings on the news of Rose’s death.

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