A stronger Daniel Geale is intent on making a statement and silencing some of his critics when he makes his next IBF middleweight boxing world title defence and American debut against Englishman Darren Barker next month.

The fight in Atlantic city on August 18, Australian time, represents Geale's first live opportunity to persuade American fight fans and commentators he belongs in the upper echelons of the glamorous middleweight division.

While he has won two world titles in Germany against fighters from that country, Geale knows winning the hearts and minds of influential people in boxing's biggest market is crucial to the development of his career.

"The big thing is unless you fight in America, some of the people over there, some of the commentators probably don't regard you as highly," Geale said.

"It's a huge challenge, but I am looking forward to it greatly.

"Just like Germany, the people in the US appreciate their boxing, they love their boxing.

"We know he (Barker) is one of the top middleweights in the world and it's a big opportunity for me to go and make a statement and I guess silence the doubters a little bit."

Renowned for his silky pure boxing skills more than his physicality, Geale said his increased strength would be noticeable against Barker.

"I've just added a little bit of extra strength where maybe I could have been lacking before," Geale said.

"I think my sparring partners have noted a few times that they believe my punching power has improved and my accuracy, which is pretty positive."

Geale has done the majority of his sparring against nationally-ranked stablemates Trent Broadhurst and Ben McCulloch.

"My sparring partners are all a little bit taller and bigger ... very strong," said Geale, who is six centimetres shorter than Barker.

"It's been good. I've been getting exactly what I needed out of them.

"Guys like Trent Broadhurst and Ben McCulloch are similar in style to Barker - tall, rangy, smart boxers.

"He (Barker) loves to come forward and make the fight, so that's what we're planning.

"He's not going to stand back and dance around. We know he's going to come to me and that's perfect."

 

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