Up until last week Robert Woge (10-0, 9 KOs) did not even know if he was going to participate on the bill of the European Light Heavyweight Championship between Eduard Gutknecht and Juergen Braehmer at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin on February 2. But not only will the prodigy of coach Ulli Wegner be part of the night, he will also get his first shot at a professional title, when he takes on Hakim Zoulikha (18-3, 9 KOs) for the vacant IBF Intercontinental Title.
Woge, who is known for his spectacular and hugely entertaining style of fighting, is rewarded for his professional attitude when it comes to training. "I'm constantly keeping myself in shape. This sport isn't just my job it's also my greatest passion. That is why I kept myself active right after my last fight against Serhiy Demchenko on November 3. And that showed during the latest fitness test - I have improved in almost every aspect," says the light heavyweight.
The only downside to this opportunity: "It is very unfortunate that I got this chance because of the injury Yoan Pablo Hernandez sustained. We train together and he is a friend of mine. But obviously, he couldn't compete in a championship fight with a fractured hand. However, I believe that he is happy that I have now earned myself a shot at a professional title. He will keep his fingers crossed for me", said Woge.
The 28-year-old is currently preparing himself for Zoulikha at training camp in Kienbaum. "I am in great shape. The training got more intense at the beginning of January. However, I know that I do not have an easy task ahead of me when I square off with Hakim Zoulikha. His record is good and he has some victories over tough opposition to his name." Hence, Woge is counting on the support of the fans. "I will probably be a bit more nervous than I am normally as this championship opportunity came out of nowhere. That's why the fans are very important. I am hoping that the people in Berlin will stand firmly behind me."
Highly touted undefeated super-featherweight prospect, Joel Diaz Jr. (11-0, 10 KOs) will make his well anticipated return to the ring on February 8, 2013, against Canada's Tyler Asselstine (12-0, 7 KOs). The 10-round co-feature bout takes place at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights" will televise the show which is promoted by is Yvon Michel's GYM Promotions in association with Boxing 360.
Having knocked out his last nine opponents, Diaz looks to continue his reign as one of the biggest power punchers in the division. Asselstine will present a stern step up in competition for Diaz, but one he is looking forward to.
"I've been training very hard for the last six months waiting for my named to be called and now that time has come," said Diaz. "I know this will be a fight where I will have to go to my opponents' backyard and fight him on his homeland. These are the type of fights that can only make me better. I have complete confidence that I will come out victorious against Asselstine."
Diaz who fights under the promotional banner of Boxing 360, has been training at "The Summit" in Big Bear, California, with his well know trainer Able Sanchez. Together the two have been working diligently on improving all aspects of Joel's God given attributes.
"Able is a great trainer and he knows what my strengths are," Diaz stated. "I know if I listen to his instructions I'm going to become a better fighter. He's trained many well known fighters and I just want to follow the footsteps of those who've made it to the top. Right now I'm feeling very comfortable in the ring fighting both on the inside and out. In addition, my stamina is at an all time high as I'm in the best shape of my life. I want to thank my promoter Mario Yagobi and Boxing 360 for giving me this opportunity."
Boxing 360 expects Joel Diaz Jr. to have a tremendous 2013. Fans can expect Joel to be fighting frequently in the months ahead. For more information on Joel Diaz Jr. please visit www.boxing360.com .
WBO World Lightweight Champion Ricky Burns has linked up with his former challenger Andreas Evensen to prepare for his big unification showdown.
The Scotsman was in training camp with Evensen at his gym in Trondheim, Norway, last week as he gets ready to face IBF Word Champion Miguel Vazquez at Wembley Arena on Saturday 16th March - live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Burns beats Evensen over 12 rounds back in April 2010 to make the first defence of his WBO World Super-Featherweight title, but Evensen asked Burns to come and help with his fight against Alexander Miskirtchian for the European Featherweight title next month in Denmark.
Stablemates John Simpson, the Celtic Super-Featherweight Champion, and unbeaten middleweight prospect David Brophy, also joined Burns on the trip.
"Going out to spar with Evensen again was like carrying on from our fight in 2010, round 13!" Said Burns.
"Even though he's dropped down to featherweight and I've moved up to lightweight, his power has improved and he's got faster and cleverer which comes with experience. Some of the locals were shocked at the intensity of the sparring, it was like a real fight but the only difference is the headguards and big gloves, Evensen held his own with me, John and David,"
"Vazquez is a totally different style and size to Evensen and we’ll be bringing in sparring partners more similar to Vazquez over the next few weeks so that I can prepare for him, but I’ll also be working with John and David, which will be hard work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,”
Burns' trainer Billy Nelson added, "Evensen's manager and promoter Helge Waeroy and his team showed us fantastic hospitality during our stay in Norway and the facilities were second to none. Ricky had some excellent spars with Andreas and they did 26 good rounds together and despite the treacherous snowy conditions, which coming from Scotland is saying something, Ricky managed to get in a few tough mountain runs. This was a great start to training and we’ll be stepping it up now to get ready for Vazquez.”
The 29-year-old from Coatbridge is excited to be facing a rival world champion and the chance to become a unified champion which he has dreamt about since he was a boy.
Burns said, “It’s still sinking in that I’m a double world champion, now I’ve got the chance to unify titles it’s a dream come true. It’s always been spoke about, but as my career has progressed it seemed more and more likely to happen and now it’s finally here. This is the biggest thing in my life, it’s another challenge and I aim to come through it.”
Burns v Vazquez joint headlines a massive fight card along with Nathan Cleverly’s WBO World Light-Heavyweight title defence against Robin Krasniqi; George Groves takes on Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye for the Vacant European Super-Middleweight title; Dereck Chisora features in a ten-round International heavyweight contest subject to receiving his BBBofC license; Liam Walsh defends his Commonwealth Super-Featherweight title against Logan McGuiness and Tony Conquest aims to regain his WBO International Cruiserweight title from Neil Dawson.
Tickets for Rule Britannia, priced at £40, £50, £75, £100, £150 and £200 are available from Eventim Box Office on 0844 249 100 or eventim.co.uk
The show will be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.com