“This is the chance I have been waiting for”, states Mahir Oral who will take on IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham on June 27th at Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany (live on Showtime).
“When I heard that Arthur had chosen me as voluntary challenger I didn’t have to think twice. I agreed immediately. I have the chance to face the strongest middleweight fighter in the world today. They say to be the man you have to beat the man. This is what I will go to Berlin for. I want to pull the biggest upset of the year and show the world what I got.”
Mahir Oral turned pro nine years ago after a short but successful amateur career winning Northern German championships and being part of the German national team. He won 25 of his 28 pro-fights so far, had two draws and only one loss in 2003 which he explains as follows: “At that point of my career I had no real management and no strong promoter supporting me. My handlers were just interested in their own profit and send me into the ring with Malik Dziarra – who was 19-1 at that time – after just recovering from a bad flu with high fever. I should have never taken that fight. But I learnt from it. I am happy that I found a great promoter in Ahmet Öner who brought me all the way to the top. I also have a great team with my coach Hans-Jürgen Witte (former German national amateur coach) and my physio and good friend Petros Katsares in my corner. They prepared me very well; I know that I am ready for the biggest challenge of my life.”
The “Lion” who was born and raised in Hamburg-Finkenwerder as child of Turkish immigrants knows that he is the underdog against (K.o.-)”King Arthur”. Still he is very confident: “I got nothing to lose. Everybody expects me to get knocked out; this is one of the most comfortable situations I have been in since turning pro. I have no problem with that; I actually enjoy it. I know Arthur from the time when we did sparring four or five years ago. He knows me as well so that is no advantage for neither of us. Everybody knows that he is the hardest puncher in the world. But I am the better boxer; I am taller and move better inside the ring. If I can keep him in the right distance and manage not to get caught by his power shots I don’t see him winning by decision. If the fight goes the distance Mahir Oral will be the new champion of the world.”
On Monday Mahir and his team will move from Hamburg to Berlin for fight week with public workout, press conference and official weigh-in. “I can’t wait for fight day to come. But I will enjoy every single minute on my road to glory”, says the “Lion”.