Awinonya 2011



Trainer Joseph Awinongya Interview: A Critical Analysis of Geale Versus Barker

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent


In a Real Combat Media international exclusive, Joseph Awinongya of Ghana, who owns and operates the Will County Boxing Gym in Joliet, Illinois, where he trains former top rated former International Boxing Federation middleweight contender Osumanu Adama of Ghana. Adama, with Awinongya in his corner, lost a 12 round decision for Daniel Geale’s IBF World Middleweight title on March 7, 2013, at Derwent Entertainment Centre on Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, Daniel Geale’s home territory, by scores of 115-113, 117-111, 118-110. The 115-113 score for Geale may have been the score scorecard closest to correct, but according to Awinongya, Geale deserved won the championship bout to retain his title fair and square. Adama will attempt to regain the USBA Middleweight title and earn a shot at new IBF world champion Darren Barker when he battles 23-1 Caleb Truax of Minnesota at Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on September 21, 2013.


Real Combat Media interviewed Awinongya immediately after Darren Barker of Great Britain won a controversial 12 round split decision over Daniel Geale to win Geale’s IBF Middleweight title on August 17, 2013, at The Revel Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.


Real Combat Media: “What were your impressions of Daniel Geale versus Darren Barker?”


Joseph Awinongya: “I noted the energy Geale had. Geale’s a consistent fighter. He showed me that he works hard for his championship title belt. I think Geale versus Barker should have been scored a draw. I think Geale is going to come back and regain the middleweight title.”


Real Combat Media: “How was Daniel Geale a different fighter against Darren Barker than when Geale fought your fighter, Osumanu Adama, in 2012? Your impressions?”


Joseph Awinongya: “Daniel Geale fought Darren arker better than before when he fought Osumanu Adama. Geale’s picked up a little more energy. Geale brought the fight to Barker. The bout went back and forth, but it was Geale who tried to make Barker fight.”


Real Combat Media: “Do you think Daniel Geale or Darren Barker won the bout?”


Joseph Awinongya: “They (the judges) were supposed to give it (the decision) to Geale. They (the judges) should have scored it a draw. I don’t think Darren Barker won the fight.”


Real Combat Media: “What about the female judge who scored the bout 116-111 for Barker, eighty rounds to four with a 10-8 round for Barker, though it was Barker who was knocked down by Geale.”


Joseph Awinongya: “That’s too much. Geale dropped Barker, so that’s a 10-8 round for Geale with the knockdown. Geale won only four rounds? That’s wrong. That’s not true. It was a good fight and a good show. That was a good fight. American people would like to watch that fight again. You don’t have to take the fight (rematch) to Australia or England. You have to take the fight to American again. Geale gave Barker a chance, and if Barker doesn’t fight Geale again, that’s wrong.”


Real Combat Media: “Did Geale win a lot of fans with this fight?”


Joseph Awinongya: “Yeah, because most people had not seen Geale, the IBF world champion, before he fought barker. Geale fought most of his championship bouts on telecasts from Australia.”


Real Combat Media: “Reflect on 2012. In retrospect, did your middleweight Osumanu Adama actually defeat Daniel Geale in Tasmania? Your view looking back of that bout.”


Joseph Awinongya: “No. That was not a close fight. That decision loss for us is in the past. But the scoring of Barbara Perez, the female judge, of 116-11 for Darren Barker over Daniel Geale was not fair. I don’t know what fights she’s been working, but that score was not fair. I don’t think the New Jersey State Athletic Commission should allow her again into big fights like this. The commission ran into trouble in July 2011 at Boardwalk Hall when Paul Williams was awarded an undeserved majority decision over Erislandy Lara. All three judges, Hilton Whitaker, Donald Givens, and Al Bennett, were suspended, and they had to complete required retraining and retesting. The New Jersey State Athletic Commission needs to go back and go over how they do scoring. They need to suspend some of their judges again, and teach them a lesson!”


Reader’s Note: New Jersey boxing judge Hilton Whitaker was back working again on the Geale versus Barker undercard, judging the Dolorme-Figueroa, Maicelo-Rodriguez, and Brunker-Oliver bouts. Only the Brunker versus Oliver bout went the distance, and all three judges scored it 78-74 for Brunker. Real Combat Media scored the bout for Oliver.



Real Combat Media: “Do you think Daniel Geale or Darren Barker came into Atlantic City concerned about the judges?”



Joseph Awinongya: “No, because Atlantic City was considered neutral territory by both fighter’s camps. When a fighter goes to fight in somebody else’s hometown, if he’s done his hard work preparations, he doesn’t worry about the fight. He worries about the judges.”



Real Combat Media: “Was Darren Barker effective in roughing up Daniel Geale on the inside in his game plan? Why or Why not? Your views.”



Joseph Awinongya: “Not so much like Daniel Geale did to him. Barker had to be in top condition to fight Geale the way he did.”


Real Combat Media: “Did Daniel Geale do anything in his fight with Darren Barker which was wrong? What did you see? Your observations.”



Joseph Awinongya: “Daniel Geale was supposed to be fighting in America a long time ago. Geale and promoter Gary Shaw waited too long to make the decision to allow Geale to fight in America, and become better known.”



Real Combat Media: “Did you think Darren Barker was going to get up when Geale knocked him down with a liver shot for a nine count in the sixth round? The meticulously placed punch by Geale was similar to the one former WBA Welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko of Ukraine (now preparing for an October 2013 bout with Kell Brook in Yorkshire) threw to knockout Ricky Hatton in Manchester last November.”



Joseph Awinongya: “No, I did not think Darren Barker was going to get up. I thought Daniel Geale was going to stop him (at that point in the bout). I was surprised Barker got up, but this is boxing. The punch thrown by Geale which put Barker down was a perfect punch, but Barker was in shape and that’s why he got up. Barker was not lucky against Geale. Barker trained better for Geale than he did his middleweight title bout with for Sergio Gabriel Martinez. (The difference is) Daniel Geale will make you look bad. Daniel Geale will fight, and keep fighting until the round is over.”


Real Combat Media: “Did promoter Gary Shaw make a major mistake promoting his fight Daniel Geale’s bout with Darren barker in the United States instead of Australia?”


Joseph Awinongya: “A big mistake. Gary Shaw had to know for sure one hundred percent Daniel Geale was going to win this fight on the scorecards on American soil. Last year judge Barbara Perez scored a middleweight bout in Atlantic City 100-90 for middleweight Patrick Majewski over Latif Mundy, which male judge Shafeeq Rashada scored a 95-95 draw. She also scored the NABF lightweight title bout in Atlantic City as a ten round draw, where both over the male judges scored the bout for Raymundo Beltran over Henry Lundy. Both of these bouts were important recent bouts in Atlantic City. The facts have to be considered before you say you’re okay with the judges or give silent approval of them. If Geale had fought Barker in Australia, the judges would have given the fight to Geale.”



Real Combat Media: “What does Gary Shaw have to do for Daniel Geale now?”



Joseph Awinongya: “Gary Shaw has to find out if and when Daniel Geale can get a rematch with Barker, because Geale would not be a mandatory defense for Barker.”



Real Combat Media: “Has Daniel Geale’s stock dropped with the loss to Darren Barker?”



Joseph Awinongya: “I think Geale’s good. HBO would like to show him again.”



Real Combat Media: “Can Geale win a rematch with Barker in the United Kingdom?”



Joseph Awinongya: “No. That’s London (Barker’s home territory). Geale would have to knock Barker out in his homeland. The judges will give it to Barker.”



Real Combat Media: “Gary Shaw lost a second time on the Geale-Barker card when Kiko Martinez of Spain stopped Shaw’s fighter, 23-0 Johnatan Romero of Columbia, to win the 122 pounds IBF Super Bantamweight title.  Gabriel Sarmiento, the trainer of Sergio Gabriel Martinez (Kiko’s manager), trained Kiko Martinez for the Romero bout. Your view of trainer Gabriel Sarmiento.”



Joseph Awinongya: “Gabriel Sarmiento is a good trainer. He produces champions. He has good people around him. If you don’t have a good manager or trainer, the trainer’s talent can’t be shown. Kiko Martinez is the first world champion produced by the new boxing management company of WBC World Middleweight champion Sergio Maravilla Martinez. Gabriel Sarmiento is a trainer who cannot be underestimated. He does his homework.”


Real Combat Media: “Can Darren Barker win a rematch with Sergio Gabriel Martinez? At 38, Sergio Gabriel Martinez barely beat Martin Murray in his last title defense four months ago, and perhaps he is about done with his boxing career. Your opinion?”



Joseph Awinongya: “Now Barker can beat Sergio Gabriel Martinez. I think Sergio Gabriel Martinez is about done. Barker has more confidence. If Sergio Gabriel Martinez is going to win over Barker now, it won’t be easy. Sergio is getting old, and has (had to deal with) injuries also.”



Real Combat Media: “I was impressed at how calm, egoless, humble and unassuming Barker was in the ring with Geale, a sharp contrast to his fight with Sergio.”


Joseph Awinongya: “I don’t think a rematch between Darren Barker and Sergio Gabriel Martinez will ever take place.”



Real Combat Media: “Can Daniel Geale beat Sergio Gabriel Martinez at this point?”



Joseph Awinongya: “Yes, Daniel Geale can beat Sergio Gabriel Martinez now, because of his superior movement.”


Real Combat Media: “Osumanu Adama, Daniel Geale, and Darren Barker. Who can beat who right now?”


Joseph Awinongya: “Adama can beat Barker, because of Barker’s style. Neither Adama nor Barker should be able to beat Geale. Daniel has a very different fighting style than others, going back and forth, inside and outside. Daniel is the kind of fighter, before you jab, before your head comes down, he’s right there already. Daniel has good legs, he’s right there with you.”



Real Combat Media: “You complained vigorously about the Geale bout with your fighter Osumanua Adama in the past, including the lack of officials in the dressing room and in the corner during your bout with Geale, and a claim of coagulant which got in your fighter’s eyes. Don’t make excuses now. Could Osumanu Adama have beaten Daniel Geale in his native Ghana, or in New Jersey, versus the world title bout your team had with Adama versus Geale in Tasmania, Geale’s back yard? Can he beat Daniel Geale now?”



Joseph Awinongya: “I don’t think so. I think Daniel Geale’s fighting style will always give my fighter Osumanu Adama a problem.”



Real Combat Media: “Let’s discuss options. Is a rematch between Daniel Geale and Osumanu Adama realistic, or would you rather go to England to fight Darren Barker?”



Joseph Awinongya: “My fighter Osumanu Adama would rather go to England to fight Darren Barker. The British have offered the Barker fight to Osumanu before. I don’t know if they’ll offer him the bout again. Maybe.”



Real Combat Media: “How would Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. do against Darren Barker, Daniel Geale, and Osumanu Adama? If Chavez beats Brian Vera at StubHub center in California next month, a bout between Chavez and Barker, Geale or Adama could possibly be on the table. Your thoughts on Chavez.”



Joseph Awinongya: “Chavez will beat Barker. Chavez is a big guy. I don’t think Chavez would beat Geale, no. Adama can beat Chavez. If you move move move, you can beat Chavez. Geale likes to fight on the inside and would beat Chavez. If a fighter does not move against Chavez, Chavez will win. Sergio Gabriel Martinez stopped moving for an instant and Chavez put him on the canvas.”


Real Combat Media: “How would top ranked middleweight contender Marco Antonio Rubio of Mexico, always an active fighter, perform against Adama, Barker and Geale?”



Joseph Aweinongya: “Adama, Barker and Geale can all beat Marco Antonio Rubio. True, Rubio did beat 25-0 Canadian David Lemieux in Montreal, but Lemieux’s whole game is to come to you and see if you can take a punch. If you can, Lemieux will eventually punch himself out, as he did with Rubio and Joachim Alcine. Rubio is still a very sharp fighter because he’s a very active and winning fighter. Rubio doesn’t duck anybody. Rubio would take any match put on the table and do his best, so he’s still a factor and a risky opponent.”







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