OBERHAUSEN, Germany – IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale of Australia outpointed Felix Sturm in a split decision to take the German's WBA title in their unification bout Saturday night.
Judges Stanley Christodoulou and Dave Parris scored the bout 116-112 in favor of Geale, and Eugene Grant had it 116-112 to Sturm.
The 31-year-old Geale appeared more active throughout, though Sturm managed to deliver some of his powerful left jabs.
Sensing a close decision, both fighters stepped up the pressure in the final round, which ended in a flurry of punches.
Geale improved to 28-1. The 33-year-old Sturm dropped to 37-3-2 with his first defeat since 2006, when he lost to Javier Castillejo of Spain.