Press Releases – Sauerland
There is exciting news for Robert Helenius (18-0-0, 11ko) and Kubrat Pulev (17-0-0, 9ko) as both top heavyweight contenders currently hold the number one spot in their respective rankings. After beating former world champions Lamon Brewster, Samuel Peter and Siarhei Liakhovich, the WBO already instated Helenius as their number one fighter in September, last year. However, after the fight for the European Championship against Dereck Chisora in December 2011, the Finn had to take a longer break due to a serious shoulder injury.
On November 10, Helenius gave his successful comeback in Helsinki. After ten rounds, the “Nordic Nightmare” won a unanimous points decision against Sherman “The Tank” Williams – the WBO’s previous number ten. In their latest Rankings, 28-year-old Helenius is back as the number one ranked boxer.
Kubrat Pulev has also been enjoying some very successful months. The prodigy of coach Otto Ramin first laced his gloves as a professional in September, 2009. In his debut fight as a pro, he beat Romanian Florian Benche on points. Since then, the 31-year-old has won every single one of his 17 fights and boasts a perfect record.
The big break came this year after beating Alexander Dimitrenko to claim the European Championship on May 5 in Erfurt, Germany. Another victory followed on September 29, when the Bulgarian took on the 140-Kilo colossus Alexander Ustinov in Hamburg. Hence, the move up to first place of the official IBF (International Boxing Federation) rankings was just a matter of time.
The current WBO and IBF Champion is Wladimir Klitschko. The Ukrainian also holds the WBA Super Champion status. The regular WBA Champion is Alexander Povetkin (25-0-0, 17ko and pictured below), who is signed to Team Sauerland just like Helenius and Pulev.
“The hunt for Wladimir Klitschko is on. First, he will have to face mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin. Once that fight has happened, we will see if Klitschko is still the champion,” said a confident Kalle Sauerland.
“We already have one heavyweight world champion in Povetkin. With Robert Helenius and Kubrat Pulev we have two more fighters who [are] capable of taking the belts [from] Klitschko. Added to that, we also have 24-year-old heavyweight hopeful Edmund Gerber in our ranks. But before we can start thinking of anything else, Klitschko has to face Povetkin.”
In boxing terms the year for Team Sauerland ends with Arthur Abraham’s title defense against Mehdi Bouadla on December 15. However, the planning for 2013 has already begun and it will start off with a bang. The legendary Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany will host the all-German affair between current European Champion Eduard Gutknecht (24-1-0, 9ko) and his compatriot and stablemate Juergen Braehmer (38-2-0, 30ko) on February 2.
Gutknecht clinched the EBU title in May, 2011 by a TKO victory in round eight over Britain’s Danny McIntosh. Since then, he successfully defended the championship against Lorenzo DiGiacomo, Vyacheslav Uzelkov and Tony Averlant. The big four governing bodies of boxing all rank the prodigy of coach Ulli Wegner in their top ten.
“It is going to be a great fight,” said 30-year-old Gutknecht. “I am highly motivated for this bout. First of all, it is an all-German affair. Added to that, the winner will get a crack at a world championship. Juergen Braehmer is one of the big names in the world of boxing. I am really looking forward to be facing him inside the ring.”
Former WBO titlist Juergen Braehmer is also full of confidence when he is thinking ahead to the fight. ”I am just excited about getting back into the ring and fighting for my new team for the first time. I know what it feels like to be a European and world champion. My goal is to get back to that level. I have the chance to prove to everybody what I am capable of on
February 2. I want to get back to the top,“ said the 34-year-old, coached by Karsten Roewer.
Chris Meyer, managing director of Sauerland Event: “We are happy to kick off the new year in Berlin. This will be a very exciting fight. Eduard Gutknecht is the current WBC number two, Juergen Braehmer is listed as the number two
by the WBO. February 2 is not just about the highly regarded EBU Light Heavyweight Championship but also the position as the mandatory challenger for the WBO Crown.”
Tickets for the show at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany will be available next week at www.eventim.de.
Alan Dawson – London
On Saturday, November 10 at the 02 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany, Wladimir Klitschko gave Mariusz Wach a beating so sadistically consistent that the latter struggled to even register one point during their duel for the IBF, IBO, WBO, WBA and The Ring Magazine world titles. Klitschko repeatedly landed one-two combinations and had the far greater skillset but, if there is one thing Wach can take credit for, it’s possessing a
stone granite chin.
Official verdict: Wladimir Klitschko wins via unanimous decision.
The noticeable absence of legendary trainer, the late Emanuel Steward, would require something big to offset. Indeed, it was at the forefront of Wladimir Klitschko’s mind… the Ukrainian powerhouse said pre-fight that he feels the spirit of Steward and was relieved he had a fight lined up so he could compete on a stage that he and Emanuel relished for a decade together – world championship boxing. Introduced by Michael Buffer, the motivational nous of Sylvester Stallone and Red Hot Chilli Peppers’s ‘Can’t Stop’ anthem, Wlad’s focus was as intimidating as ever.
Relinquishing the advantages of height, weight and reach to Wach, Klitschko, for the first time in his career, was punching upward. In the first round, however, Wlad showed no signs of discomfort as he rapid-fired his trademark jab into Wach’s mouth and, whenever the Pole dropped his guard, Klitschko was able to power a straight right hand through on target.
With a build-up marred with bad blood, Klitschko had alluded to a desire to punish his adversary… to show no mercy and, as early as round one, it was the defending unified champion who was forcing the action, taking the forward steps, landing accurate and powerful shots.
In round two, Wach rolled the dice and took a gamble. The challenger increased his work-rate at the beginning of round two and during one of his first barrages, he turned Klitschko, landed punches but threw one to the back of the head. By the middle of the stanza, Wlad had started to beat the momentum out of Wach, who continued to struggle to defend himself against the long-reigning heavyweight king’s right hand.
Maintaining his composure, Wladimir beat the sweat off Mariusz’s brow in the third chapter. In the middle rounds, Klitschko’s punch perfect domination over a lesser-skilled fighter continued. Wlad’s footwork was elite, his desire to throw never wavered and while his head movement was subtle, it was damn effective. In comparison, Wach walked with a heavy plod to his step, he did not have fast hands and he did not keep them chin high which allowed Klitschko to pop one, one-two and one-two-three combinations before backing away and keeping his chin out of trouble.
That was, until, the fifth round when Wach caught Wlad and had the Kyiv collosus covering up as he sought to provide a block to the incoming shellacking. During the sixth, though, the Pole couldn’t capitalise on his limited success in the previous stanza and returned the advantage to Klitscko, much like he had done earlier. After half the fight had been contested, Wach’s eyes were considerably reddened and the 6’7.5 contender was breathing heavily.
In the seventh, Klitschko’s range was on point and he beat Wach up with successions of eight punches. One after the other… pushing his chin into his skull, pounding his lips around his mouth as if they were putty, ricocheting rocket-launched right hands off his cheek bones and worsening his eyes with every jab.
The longer the bout wore on, the worse Wach boxed. His defence was weak and leaky at the start of battle but by the eighth it was sieve-like and when Wladimir turned up the heat, Wach was forced to weather a brutal beatdown. The referee, Eddie Cotton could have called the bout off – such was the one-sided nature of Wladimir’s dominance and the timidness of Wach’s attack.
Amazingly, Wach’s corner allowed their ward to get back into the ring for the ninth, yet Mariusz had shown all he could do versus Wladimir and he was yet to win a round (on this author’s card, at least), so there was a clear argument that to spare the challenger further punishment, pulling him out of the bout would have been wise.
Despite his inferior skills, Wach did possess things that Klitschko detractors claim Wladimir lacks – a sturdy chin and durability. Wach survived the tenth, the 11th and in the 12th, ate numerous straight right leads. The Viking took a massive beating… but he did manage to hear the final bell.
The result – one never in doubt – was a unanimous decision in favour of Klitschko, who made a successful 14th straight defence of his current belt collection (WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO).
Photo credit: Michaelsterlingeaton.com
Unified (WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO) heavyweight world championship challenger Mariusz Wach has height, reach and weight advantages over defending champion Wladimir Klitschko at the 02 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday, November 10 as the unheralded Pole scaled in at 251lbs to Klitschko’s 247lbs during the official weigh-in earlier today. Wach is almost two clear inches taller than his adversary and has a one inch greater wingspan, also.
Alan Dawson – London
Marco Huck may have made a tenth successful defence of his WBO cruiserweight world title by obtaining an official win over challenger and fellow German, Firat Arslan, on Saturday, November 3 in Halle, but the champion failed to win over the crowd who booed the decision. On the same night, Lucian Bute got back to winning ways by outpointing Denis Grachev in Montreal, Quebec.
At the Gerry Weber Stadium stadium in the Nordrhein-Westfalen state in Germany, Huck (35-2-1, 25ko) seemingly had no answer for Arslan’s left uppercut, which he continually landed with aplomb for the majority of the early and middle rounds. In retaliation, Huck’s cannonry mostly cushioned off of Firat’s guard.
It was only until the latter stages in the argument where defending champ Huck – 15 years younger than his adversary – had his say and may have edged rounds ten to 12 on sheer activity alone.
But, when the scorecards were revealed – 115-113, 115-113 and, astonishingly, 117-111 – Arslan’s trainer Dieter Witmann failed to hide his anger, branding it “the biggest scam I have ever seen” and a “disgrace”.
Arslan (32-6-2, 21ko) agreed: “I’ve never experienced anything like this decision. I’ve seldom landed so many clean punches and he only scuffed me,” the veteran southpaw and former 200lb titlist was quoted to have said by Eurosport. “How can such a thing happen? This kind of thing is ruining boxing.
“I landed so many punches. I think the whole crowd believes I’m the winner. I’ve been robbed of my win. I would have been the new world champion today, I would have written history.”
Huck, showing defiance in defeat, said: “I think I landed more punches.”
In Canada four hours later, former IBF super middleweight ruler Bute (31-1-0, 24ko) boxed his way to a unanimous decision victory over previously undefeated Grachev (12-1-1, 8ko) and, in so doing, kept his case for a contractual rematch with his only conqueror – Carl Froch – in tact for the new year.
While Grachev was an unbeaten fast-rising contender with a good-looking win over Ismayl Sillakh on his resume, he remained a 9-1 underdog heading into fisticuffs with hometown favourite Bute. However, when leather was traded on fight night, a more competitive bout than anticipated ensued. Bute controlled the fight when the southpaw fought from distance and scored well with his jab and uppercut, however, he showed a vulnerability when Grachev backed him up onto the ropes during the contest’s midway point.
The 118-110 score granted to Bute appeared generous, with the two scores of 116-112 and 115-113 more on point but, regardless of winning margin, Lucian was buoyant in victory. “I’m very happy with my performance against a very tough opponent,” he said, as reported by The Montreal Gazette. “I took some shots, but he was very aggressive. It was a good experience for me.”
The defeated party was aggrieved post-fight and claimed the judging to be “unfair”. Grachev said: “Maybe I lost three or four rounds.”
With the win, Bute added the NABF light heavyweight belt to his honours roll. He will now wait on the result of Froch’s fight with Yusaf Mack on November 17 to find out whether his shot at redemption will go ahead as planned.
Words: Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Photo: Team Klitschko
Dominant IBF/IBO/WBO/WBA heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko (58-3-0, 51ko), 36, extended his undefeated run to 16 wins on the spin, incorporating 13 by way of knockout and 12 title defences during that spell as, on Saturday, July 7 at the Stade de Suisse in Berne, Switzerland, he halted mandatory challenger and tall southpaw Tony Thompson (36-3-0, 24ko) in the sixth round.
Words: Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Picture: Andreas Sauer – Sauerland
Reigning ‘Regular’ WBA heavyweight world titlist Alexander Povetkin will not be trading leather with mandatory challenger Hasim Rahman at the Boleyn Ground in London on Saturday, July 14 because of a clash between licensing in Britain and broadcasting in Germany. While the David Haye and Dereck Chisora main event will remain in England, Povetkin and Rahman will be rehoused in Hamburg on the same night.
Licensing at the football ground of West Ham United dictates that Haye and Chisora’s grudge fight could not begin later than 22:00 and, due to German TV network ARD’s demands that Povetkin v Rahman fill that time slot and occur prior to the former fight, scheduling proved impossible. Chris Meyer, managing director of Sauerland Event, explained: “It is due to organisational aspects; the English time schedule was too tight.”
He continued: “We wouldn’t have been able to guarantee that the fight could have been broadcasted live in Germany. Therefore the heavyweight world championship will be staged in Hamburg. There are not a lot of cities in Germany which can host such an event on such short notice. Hamburg is a real boxing city with a great audience and a lot of boxing tradition. Furthermore the city possesses the required infrastructure to host such a big event.”
Povetkin added: “My fourth fight as a pro was in Hamburg, back in 2005. Obviously I remember that fight very well. I have also been there a few times to visit my promoter Kalle Sauerland.”
Words: Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Photo: Photo Wende
Technically-skilled 30-year-old super middleweight Robert Stieglitz, who has reigned over the WBO as 168lb champion since he stopped Karoly Balzsay in 2009, will make a seventh defence of the world title belt on Saturday, August 25 at the 02 World Arena in Berlin, Germany, against former middleweight ruler King Arthur Abraham. Stieglitz has vowed to slay Abraham in order to prove he is a legitimate champion at the weight.
“That’s my belt and we are going to battle for it – in the end it will still be mine,” said Stieglitz (42-2-0, 23ko) during a photo opportunity inside the stadium.
Despite Stieglitz’s lengthy incumbency, he has faced censure for the lower level quality of opponent he has been matched with, especially when compared to other champions in the division such as Andre Ward and Carl Froch, both of whom met in the final of the groundbreaking Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament last year.
“I will prove that my championship is legitimate, no matter of the opposition, time or place.”
Abraham (34-3-0, 27ko), meanwhile, is not in as good form as Stieglitz, but is hoping to turn the clock back by replicating his performance from 2009, when he halted American Jermain Taylor. He said: “I’m happy that this fight will take place at o2 World.
“I was hoping for another chance to show my skills in this incredible arena in front of as many fans as possible. I am looking forward to entertain them again, like I did back in 2009 with my last round knockout against Jermain Taylor.”
Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Cruiserweight champion of the WBO; Marco Huck, 27, has issued a riposte to Vitali Klitschko‘s trainer Fritz Sdunek‘s statement that the dominant heavyweight would eat Huck alive. The Käpt’n, who is 0-1-1, 0ko in 2012, believes either Klitschko would experience problems if Marco was served up as an opponent and scoffed at the level of fighter Vitali is currently considering for his next match-up.
“I respect Mr Sdunek a lot but I am surely no snack for either Klitschko brother,” Huck stated, before claiming that Vitali would only be challenged by himself, and not the shortlist put to the Ukrainian likely headed by contender Manuel Charr. “I guess there was a mistake in the translation. You only have to look at all the names currently discussed as possible opponents for Vitali for September to know that I would be a far better option than any of the guys they are talking about. At least I always come to fight.”
Huck has already fought twice in 2012 and is yet to record a win. In his most recent outing, he was inseparable from 200lb rival Ola Afolabi, a regular sparring partner for both Klitschko siblings; Wladimir and Vitali. And, earlier in the year, Huck lost a disputed decision to Aleksandr Povetkin in what was his first trip in the heavyweight division.
“I know that I didn’t have my best day against Ola Afolabi – but I hung in there and defended my title. A fight against either Klitschko brother would be a completely different story. Afolabi was a mandatory fight, so I did what I had to do. If Fritz Sdunek wants to know what a fight between me and Vitali would look like he should watch the tape of me beating up Alexander Povetkin. That is the kind of Marco Huck Vitali would need to be ready for. And he would look as clumsy as Povetkin who was a huge favourite against me as well.”
Huck continued: “Instead, Vitali prefers to pick some kind of vegetable from the patch which is known as WBC world ratings. Fritz Sdunek was quoted saying I shouldn’t even talk about a Klitschko fight. With all due respect, Mr Sdunek, you mentioned my name and brought it up right now. And I think it’s because you know that none of the tomato cans Vitali is negotiating at the moment brings as much to the table as I do.”
On The Beak – Admin
Gary Shaw Productions, Sturm Box Promotion, Grange Old School Boxing and UFA Sports are happy to announce a world title unification bout featuring IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale (27-1-0, 15ko) and ‘Super’ WBA world champ, Felix Sturm (37-2-2, 16ko). The 12-round 160-pound main event will take place in Germany on September 1 at a location to be announced, with television network SAT1 broadcasting the event to millions around the world.
“This event is what boxing is all about,” said Promoter Gary Shaw. “When you get two world champions agreeing to fight each other with no hesitation, you know the fans are going to be witnessing an unbelievable bout.
“Both guys are hungry to keep their titles and they’re going to leave everything in the ring. Words can’t describe how excited I am about this event. Geale and Sturm are true warriors who are going to ‘bring it’ come fight night. It’s going to be an incredible night of boxing. The true winners will be the fans.
“In Daniel’s last fight a new Australian superstar emerged,” Shaw continued. “Daniel’s superiority is confirmation that he is on the verge of pound-for-pound status. With the expert guidance of Garrie Fransisco and Bill Treacy managing Daniel’s career, along with Graham Shaw steering his corner, Geale has the right team to take him to middleweight supremacy. It’s an honour to be promoting such a great fighter with a great team.”
After a dominating performance against mandatory challenger, Osumanu Adama (20-3-0, 15ko), Geale will look to extend on a six-fight winning streak. He has fought all but one of his bouts in his native Australia. In his lone start outside his homeland, Geale traveled to Germany and captured the IBF middleweight title against Sebastian Sylvester (34-5-1, 16ko). Geale wants to make a statement in this bout as he fights in Germany for a second time.
“I’m truly thankful to be fighting in this unification bout with Felix Sturm,” Geale said. “My promoter Gary Shaw has promised me the biggest fights and he’s kept his word. Fighting in Germany is a very difficult task, but I was successful there once before when I captured my first world title against Sebastian Sylvester. My goal will be to beat Sturm in his homeland, and bring his title back to Australia once again. I’m fighting for my country and all the kids I train at the Grange Old School Boxing gym.
“I also want to thank my managers Garrie Fransisco and Billy Treacy who, in conjunction with my trainer Graham Shaw, have all worked hard to get me to the top. Right now I’m in the best shape of my life and Graham has seen the improvements in my ability to make adjustments in the ring. I’m fully prepared to give the fans an exciting fight when I step in the ring with Sturm.”
Sturm, who is coming off an impressive ninth-round knockout victory against then-once-beaten challenger Sebastian Zbik (30-2, 10ko), is undefeated in his last 14 bouts. He’s best known in America for his fight with Oscar De La Hoya, in which many fans believe he won clearly, but instead lost on a close unanimous decision. With 14 title defenses, Sturm is considered one of the best pure boxers in the sport, and will seek to add another world title belt to his collection.
“Fighting in my native land of Germany is incredible and I can’t wait to show the German fans, once again, what I’m made of,” stated Sturm. “Daniel Geale is a worthy opponent, but he’s never been in the ring with a fighter like me. I fight for the people of Germany and I’m not going to let them down! I will be victorious on September 1.”
Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
The least heralded of the world champions at super middleweight, WBO incumbent Robert Stieglitz failed to boost his international stock value as, even though he amassed a one-sided points victory over Nader Hamdan on Saturday, May 5 at the Massehalle in Erfurt, Germany, the lack of quality opponent combined with the dour nature of the fight ensured no fear will have been instilled into any potential future challenger (George Groves, Arthur Abraham or Mikkel Kessler).
Official verdict: Stieglitz on points (120-108, 117-111, 117-111).
Originally slated to fight unbeaten Briton George Groves, Robert Stieglitz showed signs of de-motivation when clashing with 38-year-old Australian replacement Nader Hamdan (who had won just once in his last five prior to Stieglitz). The busier boxer, Stieglitz was also faster than Hamdan and his hand speed in particular ensured he was able to send multiple hooking punches to both of Hamdan’s cheeks when he was mid-flurry.
Tactically, Stieglitz fought a good fight early on and, being eight years Hamdan’s junior, attempted to old man his opponent by taking as much gas out of his lungs when pounding the body early on. Stieglitz, though, never really got going and merely cruised to a shut-out decision.
Hamdan established his jab in round three yet his movement was too one-dimensional, he moved in forward and backward lines and neglected side-to-side motions. These forward lines meant he walked into shots, notably chin-bound right hands as Stieglitz – even when in second gear – limited Hamdan’s precision by attacking so efficiently himself. Hamdan, though, sought to outwork Stieglitz in the match-up’s second quarter. In the first half of the fifth round, for instance, Hamdan took control via sheer work-rate alone, yet, in the second half of the round, Stieglitz regained the upper-hand with his attention to the body, the accuracy of the right hand over the top.
While Stieglitz was undeniably the superior super middleweight, there were flaws in his approach to boxing Hamdan. The Sydney-based fighter, who had only once been stopped by knockout in two hands full of defeats (to Arthur Abraham), was a durable man but was largely immobile. Stieglitz’s activity was eye-catching but he was not trapping Hamdan. The Australian always wanted to operate in the middle of the ring, something Stieglitz allowed him to do, yet if he forced him into a corner – or even the ropes – he would have a stationary target to unleash combination after combination on.
Undeterred at being so far behind on the scorecards, Hamdan did have reason for cheer as his jabbing produced mild swelling on the champion’s face in round eight but, just when he may have nicked a ten score, Stieglitz reverted to form and considerably out-threw and out-boxed Hamdan.
Leaving it late to change gears in order to finally increase his speed and power, Stieglitz forced Hamdan into punishing territory in round ten but that burst of excitement was short-lived as the German – fatigued – went back to doing just enough to claim the round and the eventual victory, moving to 42-2-0, 23ko in what was a forgettable performance. Hamdan dropped down to 43-10-1, 18ko.