On paper, it looks like a terrible mismatch: This Friday, unbeaten but untested cruiserweight contender Mario Daser (12-0) takes on former IBO world champion and multiple time world title challenger Ola Afolabi for the IBO International International and WBO European Championship.
The 37-year-old Brit who lives in Hollywood, California, has a record of 22 wins with only five defeats and four draws. Afolabi has been in the ring with some of the best fighters of his generation including Marco Huck (four times), Rakhim Chakhkiev, Victor Emilio Ramirez, Valery Brudov and Enzo Maccarinelli while Daser’s best opponent so far was Bosnian journeyman Drazan Janjanin.
"I was already retired but this offer was just too good to be rejected“, says Afolabi. „When I saw the figures on the contract I knew I had to come back. They are paying me a lot of money to beat up a guy who just isn’t my league. I couldn’t study any of his fights because they are not on YouTube. But I saw training videos on his Instagram account. No offense, but man, his shadowboxing looks like sh*t!“
Daser knows that he is the underdog due to his lack of experience but he feels comfortable with this role. "All my life people told me that I couldn’t do this and couldn’t do that. However, I always did it - and in the end I succeeded.“
Who is this guy who thinks that he can handle Afolabi?
28-year-old Daser was born in Munich, Germany, and is a self-made millionaire. Four years ago he bought a gravel quarry and worked 24/7 to turn his business into a success. He invested the money he made in real estate and made millions.
"Everybody warned me to get into the gravel business and said that I would never make money with that. I proved them wrong. Now I want to do the same in boxing. I love it when people say that I don’t have a chance. That’s what brings out the best in me.“
The winner of the fight labeled as "The Big Deal“ may be in line for a world title fight soon. Afolabi is considering to enroll for the World Boxing Super Series after beating Daser. „I heard that they have a 50 million Dollar budget. That could be worth a try“, says Afolabi. „I am sure that there will be lots of young and hungry guys like this dude here who want to participate. If I can take care of him, I can take care of some others, too.“
Daser vs. Afolabi is the main event of a seven-bout card promoter by EC Boxing which also features top rated heavyweight contender Christian Hammer and the IBO World Light heavyweight Championship between former European Champion Igor Mikhalkin and unbeaten Thomas Oosthuizen from South Africa.