By Per Ake Persson
IBF middleweight champ Arthur Abraham has his next defense set for March 14 in either Bamberg, Kiel or Berlin, writes Bild Zeitung. Bild also reveals that "King" Arthur´s manager Wilfried Sauerland is in negotiations with the team behind Kelly Pavlik about a Abraham-Pavlik showdown in the summer of 2009 in USA.
WBA cruiserweight king Guillermo Jones will most likely make the first defence of the title he won in Germany against Firat Arslan in France - against Jean Marc Mormeck come March.
French light heavyweight Rachid Kanfouah now have German Juergen Braehmer as co-challenger for the vacant EBU title.
Just minutes after the fight had ended the people behind German female fly Nadia Raoui sent out a press release claiming that Raoui had been robbed in her fight against Eileen Olzewski on the undercard to Valuev-Holyfield. The scoring was 96-95 for Raoui, 96-96 and 98-92 for Olzewski, who thus retained the WIBA title.
In Milan Friday night, Juho Tolppola from Finland lost in controversial fashion to EBU jr. welterweight champ Gianluca Branco. Tolppola rocked the champ in the sixth and did well when a swelling developed close to his right eye. It didn´t seem to affect his vision but after a few inspections the ringside doctor called it off in round nine. Branco was at the time well ahead on points - a scoring that seemed very generous to the champ.
IBF super middleweight champ Lucian Bute will return to action in March and there are talks of a fight against Dane Mads Larsen, now promoted by Sauerland Event, who have an option on Bute - a deal that was made in the mess that followed then IBF champ Alejandro Berrio´s contractual problems. If a deal for Bute-Larsen can be made appears also to be depending on financing and TV backing from Denmark. Mads put together his best performance since coming back in stopping Italian Roberto Cocco in seven last night in Zurich but still don´t look as sharp as he once was and have yet to be a rated opponent but have still climbed the ratings.
The WBC have called for new purse bids in regards of light heavyweight titleholder Adrian Diaconu´s defense against Italian Silvio Branco. Deadline is January 9.
Valuev vs. Holyfield had an amazing 8.14 million watching in Germany on ARD. I doubt many of them want see a rematch.