Daniel Geale says the desire for more world title glory still burns brightly after announcing his first fight since losing the IBF middleweight title to Darren Barker last August.
Geale officially announced on Friday he will fight former sparring partner Garth Wood at Sydney’s Hordern Pavillion on February 19.
The fight is the former two-time world champion’s first since his split points loss to England’s Barker.
The bout is seen by many as a stepping stone to a possible showdown with Kazakstan’s dual world champion Gennady Golovkin.
But Geale insists his priority is former South Sydney utility back Wood.
“I’m not looking past my next fight, I’m solely focused on Garth,” Geale told AAP.
“My team might tell you that’s what going to happen (a world title fight) but I am only worried about Garth at this stage.
“But I do know that my next fight after that could potentially be one of the champions so I know I have to go out there and not only box good but great and put on a statement.
“I have to show my fans in Australia and show the people around the world that I have still got it that I am still one of the best ranked fighters in the world.”
Geale said the hurt of his narrow loss to Barker, who retired this week due to a chronic hip injury, still lingers.
“That loss is what spurs me on,” he said.
“Knowing I was so close in that fight and knowing that if I get the chance again against any of the world champions that I can beat any of them on the night.
“So I have to making sure I can get to that position again and make the most of those opportunities when they come.
“I have had disappointment in my career and it just motivates me to do more.
“I don’t want that to happen again.
“I am going to do everything in my power to ensure that doesn’t happen again and whether that is against Garth or whether it is the best fighters in the world I want to make sure I am exactly where I want to be.”
NSW and Cronulla captain Paul Gallen will make his professional debut on the undercard of Geale-Wood against 19-year-old Queenslander Herman Ene-Purcell, who has a win and a loss to the his name after two fights.