By Inna Lagun (Allboxing.ru) and Alexey Sukachev
According to some experts, German prizefighting is in a survival mode right now. With Sauerland Event still going relatively strong, other promotional groups aren’t doing particularly well. Universum Box-Promotion is on the brink of virtual annihilation with a number of sound names leaving their ranks in the last few months. K2 Promotions is limited mostly to the Klitschko brothers, and the latter are looking for new, fresh markets. Arena Box-Promotion has significantly reduced its activities over the last couple of years; while Felix Sturm and Errol Ceylan have companies that aren’t big and financially powerful enough to fill Universum’s previous footsteps.
However, it looks like a new force is ready to make a try and to terraform an agonizing landscape. A presser was held in Hamburg, Germany, a cradle of some of the aforementioned groups, to announce creation of a new promotional company, named ITS. A unique feature, which will distinguish this particular brand from the others, is that the company is based upon a tense Russian-German relationship and will concentrate on promoting fighters both in the Russian and German markets.
Addressing the media were: Hamburg-based Russian businessman Vyacheslav Chibisov, well-known Russian promoter Kirill Pchelnikov (who handles Dmitry Pirog, Maxim Vlasov, Vyacheslav Glazkov and some other notables), Irene Kostenko, a special representative of the Professional Boxing Federation of Southern Russia and North Caucasus, and Russian consul in Hamburg Sergey Ganzha.
“Our company isn’t the usual box-club. We aren’t planning any long-term contracts and agreements with fighters but we are looking forward for an entirely new approach and concept”, said Chibisov. We shall form a specific international transit, an exchange of the fighters, which will allow them to fight in various countries, including Russia and Germany. We are planning no less than four shows this year”.
The first of them is penciled for March 9 in Hamburg. It will see comebacks of IBF #10 former European champion Alexander Dimitrenko (33-2, 21 KOs) and former WBA super middleweight champion Dmitry Sartison (30-2, 18 KOs). Opponents for both will be announced later. Tickets, starting from 15 euro, will soon be released.
“Our goal is to create opportunities for certain fighters to come out of the shadows and to get a much needed spotlight in Europe. For years they were hidden deep and out of the fan’s sight. That will change now”, continued Chibisov. “Right now we are sparing our money, but we hope to get some profit pretty soon, because we have a strict business plan and our goals are firmely set”.
The new company isn’t linked to any of existing Hamburg box-clubs.