The cruiserweights clash as part of an action-packed night of boxing promoted by Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves, and there will be a lot on the line as both men attempt to move a step closer to realising their world title ambitions.
Masternak is back on the world title trail following a run of three successive wins, including an impressive points victory over former cruiserweight king Jean Marc Mormeck. ‘’This was a big win for me,’’ said the Polish-puncher. ‘’Mormeck is an amazing boxer, who has achieved a lot in his professional career, so to beat him in his own backyard meant a lot to me.’’
Now, ‘The Master’ is eager to build on this success and continue on his upward trajectory. ‘’I want to fight best, beat the best and become world champion. Only then will I be satisfied,’’ reveals the 28 year-old. To do so, he must first travel to Gauteng and overcome Muller in the South African’s home province. ‘’It’s not going to be an easy fight,’’ admits Masternak. ‘’Johnny is a good boxer and I have a lot of respect for him. I will need to be well prepared and in good form to beat him. But, I’m confident. If I didn’t believe in myself, I would have stopped boxing a long time ago. I just want to go to South Africa, take what's mine and come back home!’’
Masternak's opponent Muller has recently made the move up to cruiserweight, where in his first two fights he has recorded wins over domestic rival Kevin Lerena and the Zambian ‘Hardman’ Donald Kampamba. Despite his early success at the 200lbs limit, the world-ranked Masternak represents a significant step up for the South African talent. ‘’Mateusz is a big, strong fighter, and a good boxer too. It’s definitely my toughest fight to date,’’ said Muller, who is aware that victory over the Pole will catapult him into world title contention. ‘’I must out speed, outsmart and out power him. I know he is a tough customer and easily the best I’ve fought, but if I beat him it will prove I’m ready to mix it with the big guys in the division.’’
Masternak’s promoter Nisse Sauerland is predicting an entertaining fight, which he claims ‘’neither fighter can afford to lose’’. ‘’This fight guarantees excitement,’’ said Sauerland. ‘’Both men want a shot at the world title and this is fight neither can afford to lose. Mateusz is in the best form of his life. He is coming off the back of three good wins and I’ve never seen him hungrier or more focused. We know what Johnny is capable of. He is a real warrior, who always comes to fight! They say ‘styles make fights’, and this looks set to be an explosive encounter.’’
Muller’s promoter Rodney Berman echoes Sauerland’s sentiments, describing the fight as ‘’sink-or-swim’’ for both boxers. “I underestimated Masternak the first time I saw him,’’ said Berman. ‘’He’s better than I gave him credit for. He’s a big guy with a lot of power. He comes to fight and he’ll get a fight against Johnny. I think it’s sink-or-swim for them both in terms of championship aspirations. The winner will go on, the loser will have it all to do. I hope Masternak is ready for a war because that’s what Muller will bring.”