Date: Friday, June 9, 2017
WBO/WBA/IBF/WBC Female Welterweight Championship Title Bout
Location: Berhenhus Festning, Bergen, Norway
Promoter: First Lady Promotions / Tom Loeffler
Supervisor: Marion Palatin
Date: Friday, June 9, 2017
WBO/WBA/IBF/WBC Female Welterweight Championship Title Bout
Location: Berhenhus Festning, Bergen, Norway
Promoter: First Lady Promotions / Tom Loeffler
Supervisor: Marion Palatin
By Przemek Garczarczyk –
Tom Loeffler, K2 managing director spoke with Fightnews.com about the second US WBO title defense by Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk. Usyk (11-0, 10 KO) who will defend his title against undefeated Michael Hunter (12-0, 8 KO) and Gvozdyk-Gonzalez will be part of an April 8th HBO live telecast undercard on Vasyl Lomachenko – Jason Sosa WBO super featherweight title bout from MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
“Usyk has this X factor to excite fans. Similar to Chocolatito Gonzalez. Flyweights, super flyweights – these divisions weren’t getting a lot of attention. Especially in America. Because of his exciting style in the ring, his charisma outside it and exposure on HBO, Chocolatito became one of the fan’s favorites. Exactly the same thing can happen with Usyk – even without a lot of attention around cruiserweight division right now. Hopefully, with HBO’s help, we can bring the best cruiserweight fights to the US from Europe and Russia where most of the best fights are happening right now,” said Loeffler.
Q: Oleksandr Usyk, we all got the message that he’s the best cruiserweight in the world, his reign over belts is coming…but he likes to talk about fighting as a heavyweight. Kind of mixed message.
A: The other part is rather answering the question if he considers fighting as a heavyweight. Usyk clearly wants to unify all the titles in the cruiserweight division and whet timing is right he will consider becoming heavyweight. Because of his frame, talent, his technical skills and speed he can make a successful transition into heavyweight division. But first things first…
Q: GGG all the belts plan, cruiserweight edition?
A: Absolutely. He just won a world title, beating the best cruiserweight in the world and breaking Evander Holyfield record. Even with these accomplishments, Usyk has still a lot more do. But, as we see with Golovkin, it’s not as easy to get all the title fights – even when you are ready to chase belts in guy’s back yard.
Q: I was a little underwhelmed with his US debut – especially the first part – of Thabiso Mchunu bout. Was Oleksandr a victim of his own – also ours – expectations? Were we wrong, expecting heavier version of Gennady Golovkin?
A: I don’t think so. It was simply a testament to Mchunu experience, his never easy to fight, slick and tricky southpaw style. He deserves credit – Mchunu stepped up to fight Usyk, when others said no. Even though it was a slow start for Usyk, he was still able to figure Mchunu out – and stop him. Michael Hunter is much more conventional style than Mchunu. He’s young, undefeated, has experience from being in the Olympics – definitely it will be a tough test for Usyk. Styles matchup in this fight will be definitely pleasing for the fans. Just like Oleksandr bout with Głowacki – and clearly at that time Głowacki was the best cruiserweight in the world. With only ten pro fights, he went to best champion home, Poland, and won unanimously. You can’t say enough how good he was there, on the champion home ring.
Q: In my 25+ years covering boxing in US, this is – at least – third attempt to resurrect cruiserweight division. Cunningham, Adamek, then Głowacki tried that, having great, sometimes spectacular fights on TV. It did not work. Now is Usyk time, with probably unprecedented list of great cruiserweights?
A: Usyk has this X factor to do it. No matter which division he’s in. Similar to Chocolatito Gonzalez. Flyweights, super flyweights – that divisions weren’t getting a lot of attention. Especially in America. Because of his exciting style in the ring, his charisma outside it and exposure on HBO, Chocolatito became one of the fans favorite. Exactly the same thing can happen with Usyk – even without a lot of attention around cruiserweight division right now. Hopefully, with HBO help, we can bring the best cruiserweights fights to US from Europe, Russia where most of the best fights are happening right now. This is such a deep division, in Europe, one of the most popular. Mairis Briedis from Latvia just became a new champion, there’s Murat Gassiev, Tony Bellew, Głowacki… there’s so many great fighters. Cruiserweights are always great athletes – big, with speed and big punch. Heavyweights, because they don’t make weight, you see a lot of them out of shape, not in the most exciting fights. There’s an extra pressure on cruiserweights, especially in America, because you have to stand out as a boxer. Just like it was on Chocolatito, who knew he can not bring boring fights to make people interested. He delivered.
Q: Times are changing. Vasyl Lomachenko challenged for world title in his just second professional fight, now, with less than ten fights, Loma is considered one of the best P4P fighters in the world. Usyk became universally recognized world champion in his 10 pro fight. Not long time ago, it was simply unthinkable.
A: Just like it was unthinkable to have three fighters from country other than US fighting as A-side on HBO tripleheader – it will happen this Saturday with Ukrainians Lomachenko, Usyk and Gvozdyk. Because they are talented, they have an exciting style. Fans recognize that. Back to your question: there’s a lot more attention – and acknowledgement – to fighters amateur careers. Both Lomachenko and Usyk were Olympic champions, had great amateur career. Transition from amateur to pro fighter becomes easy when you have amateur pedigree combined with punching power. GGG, Usyk – perfect examples. Usyk was build up by K2 Ukraine, was very popular, selling out big arenas even before he went to Poland and become world champion. Now, he’s successfully defending his title in America, on HBO… but he did not forgot his roots – as I understand, he’s ready for a big homecoming. Being from Crimea – is just part of his national pride. Usyk wants to come back and show his connection, prove to Ukrainian fans that he remembers their early support.
Q: Your personal cruiserweight TOP 5:
A: I think we can agree that Oleksandr Usyk is number 1. Number 2 – Murat Gassiev. Just 23 years old, he went to Moscow and beat very good Denis Lebedev. His age distinguishes Murat from anyone else. No big amateur career but training with Abel Sanchez, power he brings with him, sets Murat apart. Number 3-4, tie: you have look at Mairis Briedis and Tony Bellew. Tony always seems to be underrated and he always finds the way to win! I like him, we met through Eddie Hearn at WBC convention, he’s really likable guy. When I saw him standing next to David Haye, on the scales, at the weigh in, I was thinking: ‘Wow Eddie, it will be a tough fight…”. Number 5: Krzysztof Głowacki, because his win over Huck. He was very impressive with the way he knocked Marco out and he might have softened up Huck for Briedis. Lebedev is very close, but I think Głowacki is better under pressure. Very close. There’s also Yunier Dorticos, hearing good things about him, but he did not have any stand out wins – yet.
By Ryan Burton, Steve Kim
Two days ago, BoxingScene.com’s Steve Kim broke the news that a potential Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin mega-fight will not take place until September 2017. A lot can obviously happen in that amount of time so a date that far out is far from set in stone.
The hard hitting Triple G (35-0, 32KOs) has long clamored for big fights but has had difficulty securing a top level opponent.
One such fighter who has expressed interest in facing Golovkin is newly crowned WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (34-0, 24KOs).
The 24-year-old fighter from Mazatlán, Sinaloa made history by becoming the first Mexican to win a title in the 168 pound division in April when he routed former two-division champion Arthur Abraham on the Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley 3 undercard.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum revealed that he has had discussions with Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, and they have a tentative agreement in place to fight in the fall if both fighters keep winning and GGG fails to secure a fight against Canelo.
“Well the plan with Ramirez is he defends his title against the German (Dominik Birsch) on July 23rd on the Crawford-Postol card and then we will have him fight in the fall in another title defense and if all goes well – I’ve been talking to Tom Loeffler about Golovkin challenging Ramirez for the super middleweight title – and we have a deal in principle,” Arum told BoxingScene.com.
“Obviously Golovkin would rather fight Canelo but he’s coming to the realization that Canelo, despite the act that he put on after his last fight inviting Golovkin into the ring, has absolutely no intention to fight Golovkin and the true Mexican warrior – the guy who would not hesitate to go in the ring with Golovkin – with a good chance to beat Golovkin, is Zurdo Ramirez.”
And says the agreement is no joke.
“I’m not like these other guys, I don’t mess around. I’m too old, I don’t have enough time left,” said the 84-year old promoter, who recently celebrated his 50th year in the business.
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
By: Patrick Byrne (HBO) –
New York City (February 4, 2015) Undisputed Heavyweight World Champion WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO will defend his 10-year title reign against top rated challenger BRYANT JENNINGS on Sat., April 25 emanating from the “The World’s Most Famous Arena”,Madison Square Garden and televised Live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Said Klitschko about the highly anticipated battle, “I do have great respect for Bryant Jennings and his achievements. He has good movement in the ring and good technique. I know this will be a tough challenge.”
“I am extremely happy to fight in New York City again. I had my first unification fight there and a lot of great heavyweight matches have taken place at Madison Square Garden. It will definitely be a great fight night and I will do everything for it from my side.”
Stated undefeated contender Jennings, “This is the moment I have been waiting for,” now it’s time to bring the belts home.”
“For the fourth time Wladimir will be boxing in the world’s most famous arena.” said BERND BOENTE, CEO of the Klitschko Management Group. “It’s always something special to promote at Madison Square Garden, where legends such as Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield stood inside the ring. We are looking forward to another exciting fight and a great event.”
Continued TOM LOEFFLER, Managing Director of K2 Promotions: “Wladimir has proven to be the most dominant heavyweight champion in recent history and we are looking forward to another great performance on April 25.”
“We’re proud to present Jennings with the opportunity to win the Unified Heavyweight Title of the World,” said GARY SHAW, head of Gary Shaw Productions
“On April 25th at Madison Square Garden, Wladimir Klitschko defends his heavyweight championship for the first time in the United States since 2008,” said Peter Nelson, vice president, programming, HBO Sports. “Heavyweight is boxing’s supreme glamour division, and its champion could not be a better ambassador to the sport in a career heading toward historic landmark achievements. Bryant Jennings has an opportunity to halt those ambitions and become America’s first unified heavyweight champion in more than 13 years, challenging for the crown in the media capital of the world. HBO is thrilled to present the event live on our flagship World Championship Boxing series.”
“It is an honor to host the World Heavyweight Championship at Madison Square Garden and welcome back Wladimir Klitschko, who last fought at The Garden in 2008,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Sports. “Throughout our 135 year existence, The Garden has hosted the very best in sports and entertainment, and to bring the World Heavyweight Championship back so our passionate boxing fans can see Bryant Jennings challenge for the heavyweight title is a moment not to be missed.”
Holder of the IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO and “The Ring Magazine” world titles and undefeated over the last ten years, Klitschko returns to Madison Square Garden for the fourth time sporting a record of 63-3-0 (54KO’s).
On November 15, Klitschko scored a fifth round knockout over #1 ranked contender Kubrat Pulev in Hamburg, Germany. Looking as dominant as ever during his illustrious career, Klitschko dropped the heavy handed Bulgarian four times in front of a sold out crowd at the 02 World Arena.
Returning to HBO® for his third straight fight, Philadelphia native Jennings has compiled a record of 19-0-0 (10KO’s) over his five-year professional career.
Making his HBO and Madison Square Garden debut on January 25, 2014, the 30-year-old Jennings devastatingly stopped undefeated Polish contender Artur Szpilka in the tenth and final round.
Following up on his knockout victory over Szpilka, Jennings won a 12-round unanimous decision over top contender Mike Perez on July 26, 2014 setting up the showdown with Klitschko.
Date: Saturday, September 6, 2014
WBO/IBF/WBA/ HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BOUT
Location: 02 World Arena, Altona, Hamburg, Germany
Promoter: K2 Promotions (Tom Loeffler)
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.
WBO Interim cruiserweight world champion Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 9 KOs) held a media training today in Hamburg, Germany. With his trainer Fritz Sdunek he showed his perfect shape and talked about his preparation and his opponent, WBO Cruiserweight champion Marco Huck. Afolabi will face off with Huck on May 5 in a rematch at the Messehalle Erfurt, Germany. Afolabi lost a close points decision in the first fight with Huck in December 5, 2009.
Ola Afolabi: “I am not thinking of losing at all. Marco Huck is a tough fighter but tacticwise he is not very smart. With K2 and the Klitschkos as well as trainer Fritz Sdunek I have a great team and I am much more professional than in 2009. I am the youngest of 8 brothers and thus I always had to fight, it is in my genes. I am mentally and physically ready for Huck. He needs a gun to beat me.”
Tom Loeffler, Managing Director of K2 Promotions: “We are very excited about the fight. When Ola signed with K2 this was the goal that we had planned and now he has got the chance to become world champion.”
32-year-old Afolabi was born in London (UK) lives in Hollywood, CA, is unbeaten and is promoted by K2 Promotions, the promotion company owned by World Heavyweight Champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko. The fight will be promoted by Sauerland Event in association with K2 Promotions and will be broadcast live in Germany on ARD television network.
Photos: Public Address
Ola Afolabi, WBO Intercontinental Cruiserweight Champion, is scheduled to make his second title defense as the co-feature of the huge Vitali Klitschko vs Tomasz Adamek show September 10 in Wroclaw Poland.
Afolabi is 17-2 and rated #2 in the WBO, #3 WBA, #7 WBC and #7 in the IBF. He was scheduled to fight undefeated Polish cruiserweight star Pawel Kolodziej, 28-0. This was a great matchup of two top cruiserweights that are rated in the top ten of every sanctioning body.
“Everybody was excited about this fight,” stated Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, promotional company of Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko. “We signed Ola one year ago and he is now a completely different fighter since he has started working with Vitali’s trainer, Fritz Sdunek. “K2 has featured Ola on their last 3 shows and he has responded with great results. Afolabi was born in London and his fan base in the UK is very strong from impressive KO wins over two fellow Brits, Enzo Maccarinelli and Terry Dunstan. Afolabi’s last fight was on July 2 with a first round KO over Terry Dunstan, the UK Cruiserweight Champion. This was on the same show where Wladimir Klitschko added the WBA championship to his collection of titles when he dominated David Haye over every round.
Andrew Wasilewski of 12 Round Knockout Promotions, Promoter of Kolodziej, was very dejected when he found out the news. “We regret very much that Pawel will not be able to fight Ola Afolabi September 10 in Wroclaw. This will be the biggest boxing event in Polish history and Pawel wanted to be a part of it. He was involved in a car accident, he is ok, but the doctor said that he could not train properly for the fight because of the injuries that he suffered.” Wasilewski’s company also promotes WBC Cruiserweight champion, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.
K2 is currently looking for a replacement opponent and offered the fight to Mateusz Masternak, 23-0, who is also an undefeated Polish cruiserweight and is scheduled to fight on the same show. “I thought this was the perfect solution,” said Loeffler, “but Masternak’s people turned down the fight because of short notice, even though he has been training to fight on the same show. Ola is like Vitali and at a point in his career where he will fight anyone, even accepting two undefeated Polish fighters in their home country.”
The historic event will be held in the brand new 42,000 seat soccer stadium in Wroclaw, Poland. The show will be broadcast in over 110 countries and on pay per view in Poland starting at 9pm. The Klitschko vs Adamek main event will be shown live on HBO in the US at 5pm EST and also live in Germany on RTL at 11pm.