Former world middleweight champion Daniel Geale has “no doubt” Canberra boxer Dave Toussaint can win a world title and signalled a changing of the guard in Australian boxing.
Geale fought one of the world’s best in Gennady Golovkin at Madison Square Garden and his backing has propelled the largely unknown Toussaint into the spotlight.
The light may soon get brighter for Toussaint, with talks in place to have the Canberran fight on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium on July 2.
It will be the biggest fight ever seen on Australian shores and possibly another step in what Geale predicts could be a long and successful journey for Toussaint.
The pair sparred last May after one of Toussaint’s fights fell through, and amidst his own uncertain future Geale has passed the torch to Australia’s No.3 ranked middleweight.
Toussaint quit his job as an electrician a year ago to chase his boxing dream and improved to 10-0 with a TKO victory over Junior Talipeau last November.
“He definitely would have the potential to win a world title, I have no doubt,” Geale said.
“I know it’s extremely tough in Australia making sure that you have the right team around you, and I’m sure his team are doing the best for him.
“But it’s very hard in Australia to get the right fights and normally Australians aren’t really looked at from around the world as that big of a challenge to be honest.”
Geale believes Australian fighters can be “taken for granted” on the world stage, but says Toussaint has the potential to change all of that.
It would mean travelling overseas and winning tough fights with the weight of the world on his shoulders – but Geale is adamant Toussaint “has what it takes to be able to do that”.
“He’s at the stage of his career where things are a little bit tough and he has to take a few risks and fight guys that are ranked much higher than him and perform under pressure as well,” Geale said.
“The way he’s been going, that’s something that will probably suit him pretty well.”
Toussaint says for someone who has “been there and done that” to give him such a rap shows that taking a punt on a boxing career has been worth the risk.
The 26-year-old is itching to test himself overseas but for the moment has unfinished business in his home country, with eyes on the Australian title.
“It’s all going in the right direction,” Toussaint said.
“As long as I keep training, put my head down and work for it to try and get it, [winning a world title] could happen. Why not?
“[Geale is] probably the best middleweight Australia’s had in the past decade if not longer. It was good getting in there and doing some rounds with a legend like that.”
Much like Geale, Toussaint has always let his boxing do the talking – in a sport brimming with “loudmouths” the Canberran has no ambitions to be one of them.
Geale had seen Toussaint fight as an amateur experienced firsthand just how impressive he is in the ring when they sparred together.
Geale has gone through his fair share of sparring partners in his 36 professional fights and usually their nerves are par for the course – but Toussaint “got straight down to business”.
“I knew there was a fair bit of talk about him as well and he’s got a lot of potential,” Geale said.
“He had plenty of confidence in his own ability so that’s always a plus, that under a little bit of extra pressure he still performed as well as he wanted to.”