Just three days to go until fight fans will witness an excellent triple-header from Schwerin, Germany! First and foremost, the event staged at the Sport- und Kongresshalle on August 24 will feature Juergen Braehmer’s (40-2, 31 KOs) EBU Title Defense against Stefano Abatangelo (17-2-1, 6 KOs). Thereby, the European Champion will have some pressure to handle – not only from his Italian opponent, but also from the crowd.
“The fans as well as my own expectations are enormous – a homecoming is not always an advantage,” stated Braehmer who might very well challenge for a world title at light heavyweight, as he is the current WBO mandatory. However, this fact is not on the 34-year-old’s mind.
“Currently, I just look ahead to my bout on Saturday. Afterwards I can look forward to bigger and better things.” Meanwhile, Abatangelo’s adviser Alessandro Ferrarini sees his fighter surprising the hometown favorite: “It’s like Rocky vs. Apollo Creed – Stefano is the big underdog, who has nothing to lose and that will be his chance to win!”
In contrast, Arthur Abraham (36-4, 28 KOs) has a lot to lose. Only a win against Willbeforce Shihepo (20-6, 15 KOs) will hold his chances alive to get another shot at a world title. “I must win – nothing else matters. On Saturday, I want to beat Shihepo and then look out for another chance to get my hands back at the WBO Belt. Abraham vs. Stieglitz III – that’s the fight people want to see,” said Abraham. Ulli Wegner, the coach of Abraham, still believes in his prodigy: “If not, our cooperation would not make sense anymore.”
A bunch of top-rated heavyweights did not saw any sense of facing Kubrat Pulev (17-0, 9 KOs). Therefore, it was difficult to find a proper opponent for the number one rated contender by the IBF.
Finally, somebody stepped up the plate, after the charge of coach Otto Ramin beat Alexander Ustinov via KO in round eleven back in September of 2012. With Tony Thompson (38-3, 26 KOs), Pulev faces his toughest challenge to date. Still, the 32-year-old is very confident to continue his unbeaten streak in the professional ranks: “I am very concentrated and won’t let go my chance to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship.” Thompson, who has already fought twice for world title honors, might beg to differ: “It’s good to be back again in Germany. On Saturday, you will see excitement in the ring. A KO is what you ask for and a KO will be delivered!”
Tickets for the big fight night on August 24 at the Sport- und Kongresshalle Schwerin, Germany are available at www.eventim.de.