Usyk Aims For The Goal of Unifying Cruiserweight Division

usyk-glowacki (7)

By Thomas Gerbasi

When he’s not punching someone in the face, Oleksandr Usyk can usually be found with a smile on his face, a joke coming out of his mouth, magic tricks, or maybe even a song bellowing out to the world. In the process, it’s made the WBO cruiserweight champion pretty popular these days.

“I’m already popular?” he asks through manager / translator Egis Klimas. “I’m surprised.”

He shouldn’t be. In a division that has always had good fighters but often fell short in terms of crossover potential and charisma, the 30-year-old Ukrainian is bringing new life to the cruiserweights. But as far as he’s concerned, he’s just being himself.

“If I am smiling, if I am laughing, that’s a true laugh and a true smile,” he said. “If I need to be serious, I am serious because I have to be serious at that point. Since I was a kid, I always was happy, I always was joking. I like jokes, I like comedy movies, I like to talk to people, and I just want to be myself. If I’m going to go to the fight, I am serious and I put my mind into it. If I need to be aggressive, I’ll be aggressive. But the most important thing for me is to be myself.”

This Saturday, the American introduction of Usyk continues with an HBO-televised title defense against fellow unbeaten Michael Hunter at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. In December, Usyk fought on U.S. shores for the first time as a pro, dispatching Thabiso Mchunu in nine rounds at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

It wasn’t a flawless performance like the kinds turned in from friend and fellow world champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko, but it was a fun fight to watch and one that made you want to see him again. This weekend, it’s time for him to build off that effort against another 2012 Olympian in Hunter.

On paper, it’s a marketable fight between two boxers with similar pro records, but Usyk’s 11-0 (10 KOs) looks a lot different than Hunter’s 12-0 (8 KOs) when it comes to quality of opposition. Then again, as Usyk points out, the past means nothing when they still have to fight on Saturday.

“Everybody has his own road and his own way,” he said. “He (Hunter) went that direction, I went this direction, and I can’t determine who had the harder or better amateur career. We will see on April 8th.”

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What does bear watching is if Usyk can continue to build his fan base here in the States, and with K2 Promotions and Klimas behind him, that’s a given if he keeps winning impressively. Of course, that doesn’t make the time away from his family back in Kiev any easier, but that is a price he’s willing to pay.

“I’m focusing on what I’m doing, and right now I’m focused on my fight on April 8th,” Usyk said. “If I’m going to be thinking about family or how hard it is to be here…this is my job. Everybody knows that I came here to do my job and that’s what I’m focused on. Of course, I think about my kids, I talk to them, and this is what gives me the motivation. I talk to my wife and my kids and I miss them, but I am here for the job. And as soon as it’s done, I’ll go back home and spend a lot of time with my family and we’re gonna laugh, joke and have a good time.”

First there’s work to be done, and with new trainer Russ Anber in the corner, Usyk is determined to dispatch Hunter and move on to the business everyone is asking him about, and that’s unifying the cruiserweight crown.

“I would like to unify the titles,” he said. “And if we can meet each other and find out who’s the best, who’s the real cruiserweight champion, that would be ideal.”

It also used to be a fairly easy task when there were three sanctioning bodies, but now with four “major” belts and some multiple titlists in particular organizations, Usyk can conceivably be looking at five fights to get through each belt holder. Add in promotional entanglements and the politics of making a unification fight, and it could be more trouble than it’s worth. But if it gets to that point, Usyk has no intention of dealing with such issues. He’ll simply accelerate his move to his final frontier – the heavyweight division.

“If it’s not gonna happen, it’s not gonna happen,” he said of cruiserweight unification. “I’m not going to be just waiting for someone to come here. I’ll move to the heavyweight division.”

Then the real fun begins.

www.boxingscene.com/usyk-aims-goal-unifying-cruiserweight-division–115305?print_friendly=1

Photos: Oleksandr Usyk Arrives Home To a Hero’s Welcome

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

By Vadim Pushkin – WBO cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk (11-0, 9 KOs) arrived at the International airport Borispol of Kiev, Ukraine to a hero’s welcome. After his arrival, Usyk held press conference with the local media to discuss the future of his career.

Last Saturday night at The Forum in Los Angeles, Usyk made his American debut with a ninth round stoppage of Thabiso Mchunu (17-3, 11 KOs). It was Usyk introduction to the American audience as the fight was televised by HBO.

Usyk will make his return on March 18th at Madison Square Garden in New York City. That evening will be headlined by the highly anticipated middleweight fight between Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs. Both Golovkin and Usyk are promoted by K2 Promotions.

The fight will be the second defense for Usyk and his second appearance in the United States.

Usyk had some issues at the start of his first run on American soil, but eventually adjusted and then put Mchunu away.

“I’m very happy with my performance, he was awkward but I’m glad I was able to win by knockout,” said Oleksander Usyk. “Once I was able to find my range and throw combinations my power was too much for him.”

K2 Promotions head and former WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko was sitting at ringside and watched the contest unfold. He was pleased with Usyk performance despite his issues in the early rounds.

“In these types of fights you gain experience. They are uncomfortable for a couple of rounds, but its the type of experience that makes you even better. I was very pleased with the fight. There were a lot of mistakes, but this is the kind of fight that raises you to another level,” Vitali Klitschko said.

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Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

www.boxingscene.com/photos-oleksandr-usyk-arrives-home-heros-welcome–111972?print_friendly=1

04/25/2015 Wladimir Klitschko vs. Bryant Jennings

Date: Saturday, April 25, 2015

WBO/WBA/IBF  HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BOUT

Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York USA

Promoter: K2 Promotions (Tom Loeffler) / Gary Shaw Productions (Gary Shaw)

Supervisor:  Francisco Valcarcel, Esq.

Referee: Michael Griffin

Judges:  Max DeLuca (118-109); Steve Weisfeld (116-111); Robin Taylor (116-111)

Results:   The Super Champion Wladimir Klitschko retained the WBO/WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title against Bryant Jennings by UD.

TV: Germany RTL   USA HBO  Hungary DigiSport

(11/15/2014) WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO VS. KUBRAT PULEV

Date:  Saturday, November 15, 2014

WBO/WBA/IBF  HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BOUT

Location:  O2 World Arena, Altona, Hamburg, Germany

Promoter:   K2 Promotions (Tom Loeffler)

Supervisor:   Istvan Kovacs

Referee:  Tony Weeks

Judges:  Glenn Feldman (40-33); Joseph Pasquale (40-33); Jerry Jakubco (40-33)

Results:   The Super Champion Wladimir Klitschko remains the WBO/WBA/ IBF Heavyweight Championship by KO against Kubrat Pulev in the fifth round.  In this fight only the IBF belt was at stake for the challenger Kubrat Pulev.

TV:  Germany RTL   EU Eurosport

(10/05/2013) Wladimir Klitschko vs. Alexander Povetkin

Date: Saturday, October 5, 2013

WBO Heavyweight Championship

Location:  Olimpiyskiy, Moscow, Russia

Promoter: K2 Promotions/Hrunov Promotion

Supervisor:   Igor Mazurov

Referee:   Luis Pabon

Judges:  Ted Gimza, Glen Feldman, Philliplpe Vebeke

Results:   Wladimir Klitschko retains the WBO/IBF/WBA Heavyweight Title against Alexander Povetkin by UD; the scores 119-104 on all three cards of Judges.

(06/08/2013) Marco Huck vs. Ola Afolabi

Date: Saturday, June 8, 2013

WBO Jr. Heavyweight Championship Title

Location: Max Schmeling Halle, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany

Promoter:  Sauerland Events/Wilfred Sauerland

Referee:  Eddie Cotton

Judges:   John Madfis, Deon Dwarte, Lahcen Oumghar

Supervisor:  John Haandelar

Result:   Marco Huck retained WBO Jr. Heavyweight Title against Ola Afolabi by Majority Decision with scores 117-111 (John Madfis),  115-113 (Deon Dwarte),  114-114 (Lahcen Oumghar)

 

Ola Afolabi talks about trilogy-making world title challenge against Marco Huck

Huck, Afolabi

By Ian Aldous: Ola Afolabi (19-2-4) will challenge Marco Huck (35-2-1) for a third time on Saturday June 8th with the WBO world cruiserweight belt up for grabs. The first two fights saw bouts that were very difficult to score, the second so close that it was in fact a majority draw.

Not only was it close, it was a contender for fight of the year in 2012. Last week Ola and K2 Promotions managing director, Tom Loeffler, took some time to talk with me about the upcoming fight.

It’s not often that a fighter prepares for a bout having already spent 72 minutes in the ring with that particular opponent.

To know your opponent so well counteracts the fact that he knows your style so well. It’s interesting how a fighter approaches a trilogy-making fight, “It’s easier mentally because we’ve done it, like you say, two dozen times before and put on a good show. I feel like he’s always come to each fight at his peak, with everything he’s got. It’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what I have to bring, and I’m bringing everything this time.”

At the end of the second fight on May 5th of last year, we’d witnessed a magnificent twelve rounds that saw both fighters stunned but neither on the mat. It was clear to everyone that it was a close fight. Immediately after the final bell, what was Ola thinking? “My immediate thoughts were that if it was close, I’m gonna get robbed. And I knew it was close, I just thought they gonna rob me right away even without hearing anything from anybody. If a fight’s this close in Germany, you’re not gonna get the decision. I was surprised to get the draw, but I was also shocked they didn’t rob me. Everything happens for a reason, we’re here to get it done and we’re gonna end this beef that we have.”

So, with the third fight less than a week away, it begs the question: can Ola Afolabi get a decision over Marco Huck in Germany? “You know, this time I actually think the pressure of the knockout is not as important as the first two fights, because I feel Huck has had two gifts (hometown decisions) back-to-back and the whole world is watching. At one point it was just a fight going down in Germany and they can do whatever they wanna do, but now, I don’t wanna toot my own horn but it’s become like a worldwide fight, people are talking about it. Mainly because the first two fights were good and Huck has got so many gifts and everybody is complaining. I’m not naïve in saying ‘I can totally win on points’, I’m gonna go for the knockout but it’s not gonna be the defining point to make of this fight. I’m just gonna go to win and if a knockout comes, it comes. I really don’t think I need a knockout to win.”

One of the more surprising aspects in the run up to this fight came in the form of Don King winning the purse bids for the fight, despite the fact he doesn’t promote either fighter. According to K2’s Tom Loeffler, it was an inconvenience that didn’t really surprise him. “It went to purse bids and we thought it wasn’t a real, legitimate bid because Sauerland has a TV deal in Germany and we have a TV deal in Germany. I think Don got involved and then was trying to put the fight together and at the end of the day, it just became a delay with the fight. There’s no real setbacks because that just gave Ola some additional time to train and right now, when I watch him sparring and in training, he’s the best by far that I’ve ever seen him.” Ola continued where Tom left off, “It was a surprise that he came into the purse bids because I didn’t know he had anything to do with either fighter.” The postponement of the fight is something that Ola believes he has taken a benefit from. “This is an advantage for me because I had more time to work on my game and I’m still learning as I go. It’s a learning process every day. I’ll still be learning until the night of the fight, so anytime that I get to work on my game is a good thing.”

Despite the fact that Huck has suffered one defeat as a cruiserweight way back in 2007 to Steve Cunningham for the IBF belt, it’s arguably true that Afolabi has been the fighter to trouble Huck the most in his career as a 200lbs fighter. “I don’t need to sound all cocky and all but I actually do believe that. He’s had some tough fights with Lebedev and Firat Arslan beat him like everybody knows (Huck won by a controversial decision). With Firat, he really wasn’t scared of his power, Firat just had his number and the style to defeat him and unfortunately he didn’t get the result. When he fights me, even though he’s very explosive, he knows that in the first round I had him hurt so bad, I just couldn’t finish him.” He continued, “The only person that’s knocked him out was Cunningham and that was because of exhaustion in the last round. So, if you look at all his fights, I’m the only person that’s actually physically hurt him bad. I know he respects that, same way I respect that he’s a top fighter. If he doesn’t respect that he’d just be a fool and he’ll regret it come June 8th.”

Due to the severe test of their previous fight, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to many fans if Huck and his team would have looked to avoid settling the feud with Afolabi – thankfully the WBO mandated the fight. “If this fight wasn’t mandatory, trust me, Huck could say whatever he wants to say to the newspapers and magazines that he’ll finally destroy me in his hometown of Berlin and all that, but if it wasn’t for the mandatory fight, they’d rather fight somebody else. They’d rather give Firat a rematch than fight me because my style presents trouble for him. He pretty much had to take this fight. When he goes on radio and talks about how he’s putting money in my pocket, this guy’s a fool, he doesn’t know how the rating system works. I fought my way back up after I lost in 2009, took me three years to get back to a position to fight him and they robbed me and I’m still mandatory because I kept my (interim) belt. We’re gonna do it again, so he’s not putting money in my pocket, if anything he’s taking money away from my pocket because I won that last fight and I should be getting the bigger cut of the purse. But that’s over and done with and we’re gonna deal with that this time.”

Huck vs. Afolabi III will be shown live on Boxnation in the UK this Saturday night.

http://www.boxingnews24.com/2013/06/ola-afolabi-talks-about-trilogy-making-world-title-challenge-against-marco-huck/

Baysangurov-Andrade officials

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World Boxing Organization (WBO) president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel announced today the referee and judges who will work the July 6 world title fight between WBO light middleweight champion Zaurbek Baysangurov (28-1, 20 KOs) and undefeated official challenger Demetrius Andrade (19-0, 13 KOs) to be held at the Sport Palace in Kiev, Ukraine in a K2 Promotions presentation. The referee will be Luis Pabon from Puerto Rico, the judges for the Baysangurov-Andrade bout will be Ingo Barrabas (Germany), Thomas Miller (USA) and Hernando Steidel (Puerto Rico). Supervisor will be Igor Mazurov from Russia who is a member of the WBO Executive Committee and the president of the Federation of Professional Boxing of Russia.

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/baysangurov-andrade-officials-201347

Official: Zaur Baysangurov vs Demetrius Andrade

ZaurBaysangurov

On July 6 (Palace Of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine) all boxing fans will get an opportunity to enjoy a big show promoted by K2 Promotions (Klitschko Brothers Company) and supported by TM Khortytsya and Inter Channel. WBO Junior Middleweight Champion Zaur Baysangurov will face American challenger Demetrius Andrade. It will be the third title defense for Baysangurov.

At the moment Zaur continues his training camp with Abel Sanchez at The Summit (Big Bear Lake, CA).

“I arrived to Los-Angeles two months before the match. Andrade is high rated boxer and I do perceive that this fight is very serious. I started working from my first day in California, so now me and Abel are focused on strategy and physicals and in few days I start to spar.

I’m very satisfied with our cooperation. Sanchez is unique man, very good person and excellent teacher.

I know that there are a lot of people in my native land and Ukraine, who support me and expect my victory, so I’ll do my best not to disappoint them.

It will be not a cakewalk, but I`ll do it. ” – said Zaur Baysangurov.

“The contract is signed. Now July 6th is official. This time we will make a show never seen before in Ukraine. The main event itself worth much and the undercard is not lagging behind – Rudenko – Baktov(heavy), Salamov vs Djabbarov (light-heavy), Tereshkin (heavy), Spyrko (light-middle). We will show the fight in Ukraine, Russia, Chechnia, Europe and USA. Housands in attendants in Kyiv Palace of Sports will derive pleasure from the world class show! Everyone can allow visiting as the ticket price starts from 30 hrn (4 USD).”- said director general “K2 Promotions” Aleksandr Krasyuk.

http://www.eastsideboxing.com/2013/official-zaur-baysangurov-vs-demetrius-andrade/

Photo: Baysangurov Hits The U.S. For Andrade Camp

Zaur.CROP

Current WBO Junior Middleweight Champion Zaur Baysangurov has already arrived to the United states and is going to start his training camp at The Summit (Big Bear Lake, CA), preparing for the upcoming fight against undefeated challenger Demetrius Andrade.

Here should be mentioned that K2 Promotions (promoted by Klitschko Brothers) won the purse bid and got the right to promote the fight, which takes place on July 6 at the Palace of Sports (Kiev, Ukraine). This will be a mandatory defense by Baysangurov.

http://www.boxingscene.com/photo-baysangurov-hits-us-andrade-camp–65008

Klitschko-Pianeta officials

KLITSCHKOV.PIANETAPROMO

WBO Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel announced today the referee and judges who will work this Saturday’s world title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Francesco Pianeta to be held at the SAP-Arena in Mannheim, Germany in a K2 Promotions presentation. The referee will be Ernest Sharif from United States. Judges will be Patricia Morse Jarman and John Lawson, both from United States, and Roberto Ramirez Sr., from Puerto Rico. The WBO supervisor will be Paco Valcarcel himself.

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/klitschko-pianeta-officials-191765

Photos: Wladimir Klitschko, Tony Thompson Face To Face

WBO/IBF/WBA world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (R) faces opponent Tony Thompson of the United States in front of a Swiss flag during a press conference on in Bern ahead of their boxing fight on July 7 at the Stade de Suisse stadium. Klitschko (57-3, 50KOs) previously knocked out Thompson (36-2, 24KOs) out in the eleventh round in 2008. Thompson later became the IBF’s mandatory challenger, which allowed him to force the rematch. The two fighters decided to make the fight on neutral ground, with Germany and the United States being ruled out.

 

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=52657

Baysangurov Faces Soro On May 12 in Brovary, Ukraine

Contrary to previously heard rumors, WBO jr middleweight champion Zaurbek Baysangurov (26-1, 20 KOs), who is making his long awaited comeback to the ring on May 12 in Brovary, Ukraine, will not face Spaniard Ruben Varon in the first defense of his title.

Instead the 27-year old Kiev-based Russian takes on undefeated Frenchman Michel Soro (18-0, 11 KOs), who is rated #6 by the WBO. Soro, 22, is relatively unknown but this physical specimen has several wins over capable European journeymen, including Roman Dzhuman of Ukraine. K2 promotes the show.

 

By Alexey Sukachev and Dmitry Mikhachuk

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=51901

Baysangurov Defends WBO Championship on May 12th

WBO light middleweight champion Zaurbek Baysangurov (26-1, 20 KOs) will make the first defense of his title on May 12 at the Terminal in Brovary, Ukraine. No official opponent has been named so far but rumors are widespread that Spaniard Ruben Varon (38-6, 17 KOs), who is ranked #11 by the WBO, will step into the ring against the Chechen native.

Baysangurov, 27, is regarded by many as a paper champion, and he certainly has something to prove to the skeptics. He acquired the vacant WBO interim title by knocking out totally irrelevant Brazilian Mike Miranda with what seemed to be a light punch in the very first round. Zaurbek, a hard hitter with good boxing skills, who has wins over Richard Gutierrez and Marko Antonio Rubio on his resume, as well as an upset TKO loss to the reigning IBF champion Cornelius Bundrage, was elevated to a full champion status, after then-champion Sergey Dzinziruk was stripped of his regalia. Baysangurov was then thought to defend against possibly the toughest opponent in his career in Lukas Konecny in March but was forced to withdraw from the bout after a back injury during the training camp.

Meanwhile, Konecny put up a one-sided beating and then stopped Frenchman Salim Larbi the last week to acquire a vacant WBO Interim title in his turn. Now the winner of the WBO defense in Brovary will be forced to defend his title against the Czech in the shortest time possible.

Ruben Varon is 32. He is a well-known continental contender, who ironically dealt Konecny the first loss of his career in a questionable fashion in 2004. Varon challenged Felix Sturm for the WBO middleweight belt in 2003 and lost to the German via a lopsided unanimous decision. In his most recent big fight in 2010, Varon gave a stern test to then-EBU titleholder Matthew Macklin before losing a dubious decision.

The show is promoted by K2.

 

By Alexey Sukachev and Dmitry Mikhachuk

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=51843

Photos/Quotes: Marco Huck, Ola Afolabi Rematch Presser

The “Captain” returns to the cruiserweight division. It will be the ninth time that Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KOs) will put his WBO title on the line when he steps into the ring on May 5. Huck still has fond memories of the Messe Erfurt, having won his previous fight at the same venue against the American Matt Godfrey back in August 2010 by KO in the fifth round.

His opponent in the capital of Thuringia is an old acquaintance – current interim world champion Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 9 KOs) lost on points against Huck back in December 2009. He is desperate to take revenge. “Marco did not win the first fight, I lost it,” according to the Brit. “Back then the environment I surrounded myself with was not as professional but now I am with K2 and the Klitschkos. Fritz Sdunek is my coach. All this provides me with the mentality of a champion and I am ready to take out Huck.”

Of course Huck had something to say to this statement: “The Klitschkos should refrain from sending over their employees, and take me on themselves. The spectators will be right behind me and will carry me to victory.” The world champion did not stop there. “It is all or nothing for Afolabi. I am here to win. It is fine to take risks but all I want is to defend my title.”

Promoter Kalle Sauerland firmly agreed with the boxer´s evaluation of the fight. “After the narrow victory of the last bout it is guaranteed that this will be an exciting fight,” he stated. “The cruiserweight division is full of great fighters who are all more or less on the same level. This is the biggest difference in comparison to the heavyweights. Therefore, looking at it from a sporting point of view, the cruiserweight division is much more interesting.”

Huck´s coach Ulli Wegner gave away that they are planning on spending some time of their training camp in Zinnowitz at the Baltic Sea. After hearing that, Afolabi could not constrain himself and had a little dig at the coach. “I do not just prepare myself from Monday to Saturday, I even spar with the priest at church on a Sunday,” said the Londoner with a grin on his face.

If you take the word of the world champion as well as the interim-champ, May 5 is going to be one hell of a fight. Both coaches, Ulli Wegner and Fritz Sdunek will be preparing their fighters the best way possible and set their tactics straight, but as Afolabi mentioned later on: “Ulli, it is not you versus Fritz inside the ring, It is me versus Marco. Either I will end the fight inside the distance or he will knock me out.” The WBO Champ agreed with his opponent’s comment: “We will take the ring apart.”

 

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=51371

Ola Afolabi Hits Germany, Ready To Face Off With Huck

WBO Interim cruiserweight world champion, Ola Afolabi just arrived in Germany today to start the final preparation for his May 5 rematch with WBO Cruiserweight champion Marco Huck. Both fighters will be present at the official press conference scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, April 3 in Erfurt, Germany.

Afolabi, 19-2-3 with 9 KOs, started his preparation two weeks ago for this much anticipated rematch. He has been training with fitness expert Harold Parker at the world famous Gold’s Gym in Venice, California. He will continue with the second phase of his training in Germany with world renowned boxing trainer, Fritz Sdunek. Afolabi lost a close points decision in the first fight with Huck in December 5, 2009.

Afolabi: “I have waited for this fight for the last 2.5 years. Huck has done everything possible to avoid fighting me again, he even moved to heavyweight to delay this fight.  This time, I will not leave any doubt and I will become WBO cruiserweight champion.”

Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions: “I promised Ola another world title shot when he signed with us. Now that he has been training with Vitali Klitschko’s trainer, Fritz Sdunek, Ola has become a completely different fighter. Even though Huck lost to Povetkin, he showed a lot of heart and proved why he is considered the top Cruiserweight in the world. This time, Ola will be much better prepared and I am convinced that he will be world champion on May 5.”

Fritz Sdunek: “I believe Ola will win if he keeps his focus. He has much more natural talent than Huck. Since I have been with him, we have worked to improve many things, including his punching power. He just needs to perform like he is capable and he will beat Huck.”

Afolabi is the only fighter from the UK with a claim to a world title, beside Nathan Cleverly. He is proud of his English heritage and hopes the fans will turn up to support him in his fight in Germany. His fights have been televised in the UK and worldwide as the co-feature of the huge Klitschko promotions in the last years. Ola also received “KO of the year honors” for his 1st round KO of UK champion Terry Dunstan on the Klitschko vs Haye fight last July.

The fight will be promoted by Sauerland Event in association with K2 Promotions and will be broadcast live in Germany on ARD television network.

 

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=51335

Wladimir Klitschko sets 12th defense

WBO/IBF/WBA Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will make his 12th title defense in a rematch against mandatory challenger Tony Thompson on July 7 after the sides made a deal Monday, Klitschko adviser Shelly Finkel told ESPN.com.

An IBF purse bid was scheduled for Tuesday, but it was canceled when they came to an agreement. IBF championship committee chairman Lindsey Tucker said the organization received a letter from the fighters’ handlers letting him know a deal had been made.

“There is no purse bid because we made a deal,” Finkel said.

Had it gone to a purse bid, Klitschko would have been entitled to 85 percent of the winning bid with Thompson due 15 percent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The fight is slated to take place at a soccer stadium in Berne, Switzerland. Klitschko, who is from Ukraine, usually fights in Germany — where he has fought his last seven fights — although his older brother, fellow heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, made a 2009 title defense against Kevin Johnson at a hockey arena in Berne.

Klitschko (57-3, 50 KOs), who turned 36 on Sunday, will be meeting Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs), 40, of Washington, D.C., in a rematch. He first faced Thompson on July 12, 2008 in Hamburg, Germany and dominated. Klitschko led 99-91, 98-92 and 98-92 on the judges’ scorecards before scoring a crushing 11th-round knockout.

Since then, Thompson has won five consecutive bouts, each by knockout, to again become Klitschko’s mandatory challenger.

Dan Goossen, Thompson’s promoter, had hoped to make a deal to the bring the fight to Washington, but Klitschko was not interested because the money would be greater in Europe.

The likely American broadcaster for Klitschko-Thompson II is premium network Epix, which also televised Klitschko’s fourth-round destruction of Jean-Marc Mormeck on March 3, as well as Vitali Klitschko’s title defense on Feb. 18, a unanimous decision against Dereck Chisora.

If Wladimir Klitschko defeats Thompson, he does plan to return to the United States for a tentative Nov. 10 title defense against American Cristobal Arreola at Madison Square Garden in New York in a fight that HBO is interested in broadcasting.

Klitschko’s last fight in the U.S. was also at the Garden, where he won a lopsided decision against Sultan Ibragimov in a title unification fight on Feb. 23, 2008.

 

By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/7741883/wladimir-klitschko-make-12th-title-defense-rematch-vs-tony-thompson

Huck To Defend WBO Jr. Heavyweight Title Against Afolabi In Erfurt On May 5

WBO Jr. Heavyweight Champion Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KOs) will make his mandatory defence against interim champion Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 9 KOs) in Erfurt, Germany on May 5. It will be the second time the two fighters face each other in the ring, with Huck clinching a close points victory in their first meeting in December 2009. “I had just won the title against Victor Emilio Ramirez and then had to make my first defence against Afolabi,” Huck said. It was a tough fight and I won on points. Afolabi has been victorious in all of his fights ever since. He seems to have gotten stronger. I will be prepared for a hard night on May 5.”

After challenging WBA Heavyweight Champion Alexander Povetkin in February, Huck will have to lose weight again. “He weighed around 95 kilos prior to the Povetkin fight,” coach Ulli Wegner said. “Now he has to lose five kilos. That is something new for him. He has a lot of muscles, so it won´t be easy. But we will get it done during the hard preparation.”

Team Sauerland General Manager Chris Meyer is happy to bring the fight to Germany. “We look forward to fighting in Erfurt again,” he said. “Huck has great memories of the city. In August 2010, he stopped Matt Godfrey at the Messehalle. After long negotiations with K2´s Tom Loeffler, who represents Afolabi, all important matters have been agreed on. Now the contracts are ready to be signed.”

 

Author: SAUERLAND EVENT

http://boxeomundial.net/boxeo.php?category=english&id=28124

Wladimir Admits Tony Thompson Rematch is Next Move

WBO/WBA/IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (57-3, 50KOs) has confirmed that his next opponent is going to be mandatory challenger Tony Thompson (36-2, 24KOs). Klitschko previously knocked Thompson out in eleven rounds in 2008. Since then, Thompson has won five straight, all by knockout.

After a Thompson fight in the summer, he would like to face Chris Arreola or WBA “regular” champion Alexander Povetkin at the end of the year.

“In New York, the new Barclays Arena will be opening up, and they have a great desire to [stage] a fight with one of the Klitschko brothers. We have already been approached with an appropriate proposal. The question regarding my opponent [for Barclays] is completely open. I know that in the summer I will have a mandatory defense against Tony Thompson. At the end of the year my opponent may be Arreola or Povetkin, or someone else,” Klitschko said.

 

By Ruslan Chikov

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=50272

 

Photos: Klitschko Knocks Out Mormeck in Fourth Round

WBO/IBF/WBA Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko dominated Jean Marc Mormeck this past Saturday at the ESPRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany en route to a fourth round knockout. In round two, Klitschko landed a hard right hand, which dropped Mormeck to his knees. Finally, in the fourth round, Klitschko landed a hard right hand, followed by a left which sent Mormeck down to the floor again. Mormeck struggled to stand up, and referee Luis Pabon stopped the fight at 1:12 of round four.