DANIEL Geale (pictured) believes tonight's State of Origin-themed fight against Queenslander Jarrod Fletcher is a vital building block in his quest to get back in the ring with a world champion.
Geale's last fight was against a champion of the highest quality - WBA and IBO title-holder Gennady Golovkin.
That didn't go as planned for the Tasmanian, who resides in Sydney, the 33-year-old losing by TKO in the third round at the famous Madison Square Garden.
But a win against Fletcher in a fight for the IBF Pan-Pacific and WBO Asia-Pacific interim title at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion tonight would get him back on track.
"This fight is really important to put my ranking where it needs to be in order to challenge the best fighters," Geale (30-3, 16 KOs) told APN.
"Whether or not my next title fight is a world title fight I'm not sure, but this would definitely put me in a position where it could at least force one of the champions to fight me."
Fletcher, who lost a WBA world middleweight title bout against Daniel Jacobs in August, said he was also treating the bout as "make or break" for his career.
Fletcher (18-2, 10 KOs) said his best chance of beating good mate Geale would be to last the 12 rounds.
"All I'm thinking about is winning ... I can't think about anything else," he said.
"I've had a faultless preparation and I know I've done everything I could. If I put it all together I can win."
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