Arthur Abraham Returns July 16: “I’m Not Ready To Say Goodbye”

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By Jake Donovan –

At age 36 and now a three-time former champion, Arthur Abraham insists there is plenty of air left in his tires.

The recently dethroned super middleweight titlist took some well-deserved time off following his 12-round points loss to unbeaten Gilberto Ramirez in April, but is now ready to return for at least one more title run. The first step in pursuing that goal will come July 16, when Abraham will appear in the chief support at the famed Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany.

His placement on the show comes on the heels of the recent announcement of another bout of interest to the super middleweight division. Italy’s Giovanni De Carolis makes the first defense of his version of the 168-pound crown as he faces Tyron Zeuge in the main event.

“I’m not ready to say goodbye to the sport I love so much,” Abraham (44-5, 29KOs) said in a statement released through the press office of Team Sauerland, his career-long promoter. “The fight with Ramirez did not go as planned, but I promise this will not happen again. I will show that I can do better and that I can become World Champion again – that is my greatest wish!”

An opponent has yet to be secured for his first fight home since dropping a lopsided decision to Ramirez in Las Vegas.

Ramirez made history in becoming the first boxer from Mexico to claim a piece of the super middleweight crown. The fact that Abraham landed on the wrong end of that piece of trivia was less concerning than the manner in which he conceded the crown.

“I was not happy with Arthur’s performance against Ramirez, but I have decided to give the boy another chance,” said Uli Wegner, Abraham’s famed longtime trainer. “He did not do enough in Las Vegas to retain his title and call himself a champion. Now, he must work harder and show that this was just a blip in his character.”

The sentiment is shared by those who’ve guided Abraham’s career since his pro debut in 2003.

Abraham raced to his first title reign, knocking out Kingsley Ikeke in the 5th round of their Dec. ’05 clash. It was just his 19th pro fight, coming less than 2 ½ years into his career, but he proved a worthy champ in defending 10 times before moving up to super middleweight.

He soared to new heights after scoring a literal last-second knockout of Jermain Taylor in Oct. ’09 at the start of the Showtime Super Six super middleweight tournament. It appeared to have been his peak, as Abraham suffered three lopsided losses in a span of four fights, his career hitting a tailspin as the next step was uncertain.

A resurrection came in Aug. ’12, as did the launch of an unlikely rivalry when Abraham dethroned Robert Stieglitz to claim a super middleweight belt. The bout was the first of a four-fight set, with Abraham winning, losing, regaining and successfully defending the title over that stretch. Five successful defenses came of his second super middleweight reign, including a knockout win over Stieglitz in their fourth fight last summer and a narrow points win over Martin Murray last November.

The loss to Ramirez was tough to watch for those who’ve long backed the Armenia-born, Germany-based boxer, but his team isn’t quite yet ready to throw in the towel.

“Arthur has overcome many obstacles in his career – fighting through a broken jaw to defend his middleweight title against Edison Miranda and suffering defeat in the Super Six on his way to becoming a two weight World Champion,” points out Kalle Sauerland. “He has come back from defeat before and we’re sure he can do it again.

“It’s now about his legacy and how he wants to be remembered as a boxer. He must show that the fire still burns and that he’s willing to put in the work to become World Champion again.”

www.boxingscene.com/arthur-abraham-returns-july-16-im-not-ready-say-goodbye–104496?print_friendly=1

 

Photos: Huck, Afolabi Face To Face at Heated Presser

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There is definitely no love lost. Britain´s Ola Afolabi (19-2-4, 9 KOs) did say he would hug and shake hands with his opponent Marco Huck (35-2-1, 25 KOs) after their WBO Title Fight on June 8 at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany – but the attending members of the press were not really convinced after the pair´s previous war of words during Monday’s press conference. Photos by Photo Wende.

Before Afolabi started his attempt to calm things down, current WBO Cruiserweight Champion Marco “Captain” Huck and the Interims Titlist were involved in a heated exchange of words. The first one to trade verbal blows was the 28-year-old German.

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“Afolabi is starting to get on my nerves. I beat him in December 2009. After I fought Alexander Povetkin for the WBA Heavyweight Crown, it was difficult for me to find the right motivation for my rematch with Afolabi in May last year. However, I believe that I actually won that bout, even though it was scored as a majority draw. That won’t happen again. I will win in my own backyard. We won’t be playing cat and mouse anymore. This will be a war – I won’t be holding back.”

That was the cue for Afolabi to start his own rant.

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“Huck shouldn’t be able to call himself world champion anymore. In my opinion, he lost on three previous occasions. He lost against Lebedev, he lost against me and also against Arslan. He should only be able to call himself German Champion or Champion of Berlin,” said the 33-year-old. The Brit stated that he is planning to humiliate Huck in front of his own fans. “I would be ready to take him on this weekend.” Then Afolabi directed his next words directly towards Huck. “Everybody knows that I have always been a good technician, but now my fitness level is also excellent. I will seriously hurt you come June 8. You will need a wheelchair after the fight,” said the Los Angeles based cruiserweight.

It is obvious that there is a lot of tension in the air, also partially due to the duel between the two most popular and respected coaches of German boxing. Once again Ulli Wegner (Huck´s coach) and Fritz Sdunek (works with Afolabi) will stand in opposite corners.

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Tickets for the big fight night at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin Germany on June 8 are available at www.eventim.de.

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