Huck actually practiced Taekwando and kickboxing before becoming a boxer. As an amateur kickboxer he had some success, winning a gold medal at first the W.A.K.O European championships in 2002 and 2003 at the age of 18. Despite his success in kickboxing, Huck decided to switch completely to boxing. In 2004, he proved himself in sparring for promoter Sauerland and turned pro with recognized trainer Ulli Wegner at his corner. As a boxer, he showed an aggressive style, good stamina, power, a decent chin and a strong will to win, making him a very pleasing fighter to watch. In three years, he held a perfect record of 19-0, until he got his first World title shot against IBF Cruiserweight Champion Steve Cunningham. Huck went on to loss by TKO in the 12th round.

Right afterwards he outpointed another world class fighter in undefeated (23-0) contender Vadim Tokarev this time without controversy. After the loss to Cunningham, Huck won six

straight fights by knockout and on March 13,2010 Huck won the WBO Cruiserweight title from Victor Emilio Ramírez. He has since defended this title seven times against Ola Afolabi, Adam Richards, Brian Minto, and Matt Godfrey, Denis Lebedev, Ran Nakash, and Hugo Hernan Garay. His latest fight was a rematch against Ola Afolabi, which once again was a very close fight. Both men fought to a draw.


1. EBU-EU Jr. Heavyweight Champion

2. IBF Inter-Continental Jr. Heavyweight Champion

3. EBU Jr. Heavyweight Champion


1. WBO Jr. Heavyweight Champion

“I bring more to the table than all the tomato cans Vitali is negotiating with at the moment.”


Vitali Klitschko’s long time trainer Fritz Sdunek has been quoted on a Russian boxing website stating that “Vitali Klitschko would eat Marco Huck alive.” WBO Cruiserweight champion Huck says he is surprised by the statement. “I respect Mr. Sdunek a lot but I am surely no snack for either Klitschko brother,” says Huck. “I guess there was a mistake in the translation. You only have to look at all the names currently discussed as possible opponents for Vitali for September to know that I would be a far better option than any of the guys they are talking about. At least I always come to fight.


“I know that I didn’t have my best day against Ola Afolabi – but I hung in there and defended my title. A fight against either Klitschko brother would be a completely different story. Afolabi was a mandatory fight, so I did what I had to do.
If Fritz Sdunek wants to know what a fight between me and Vitali would look like he should watch the tape of me beating up Alexander Povetkin. That is the kind of Marco Huck Vitali would need to be ready for. And he would look as clumsy as Povetkin who was a huge favourite against me as well.


“But instead Vitali prefers to pick some kind of vegetable from the patch which is known as WBC world ratings. Fritz Sdunek was quoted saying I shouldn’t even talk about a Klitschko fight. With all due respect Mr. Sdunek, you mentioned my name and brought it up right now. And I think it’s because you know that none of the tomato cans Vitali is negotiating with at the moment brings as much to the table as I do.”

WBO Interim cruiserweight world champion Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 9 KOs) held a media training today in Hamburg, Germany. With his trainer Fritz Sdunek he showed his perfect shape and talked about his preparation and his opponent, WBO Cruiserweight champion Marco Huck. Afolabi will face off with Huck on May 5 in a rematch at the Messehalle Erfurt, Germany. Afolabi lost a close points decision in the first fight with Huck in December 5, 2009.



Ola Afolabi: “I am not thinking of losing at all. Marco Huck is a tough fighter but tacticwise he is not very smart. With K2 and the Klitschkos as well as trainer Fritz Sdunek I have a great team and I am much more professional than in 2009. I am the youngest of 8 brothers and thus I always had to fight, it is in my genes. I am mentally and physically ready for Huck. He needs a gun to beat me.”



Tom Loeffler, Managing Director of K2 Promotions: “We are very excited about the fight. When Ola signed with K2 this was the goal that we had planned and now he has got the chance to become world champion.”


32-year-old Afolabi was born in London (UK) lives in Hollywood, CA, is unbeaten and is promoted by K2 Promotions, the promotion company owned by World Heavyweight Champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko. The fight will be promoted by Sauerland Event in association with K2 Promotions and will be broadcast live in Germany on ARD television network.



Photos: Public Address

The “Captain” returns to the cruiserweight division. It will be the ninth time that Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KOs) will put his WBO title on the line when he steps into the ring on May 5. Huck still has fond memories of the Messe Erfurt, having won his previous fight at the same venue against the American Matt Godfrey back in August 2010 by KO in the fifth round.

His opponent in the capital of Thuringia is an old acquaintance – current interim world champion Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 9 KOs) lost on points against Huck back in December 2009. He is desperate to take revenge. “Marco did not win the first fight, I lost it,” according to the Brit. “Back then the environment I surrounded myself with was not as professional but now I am with K2 and the Klitschkos. Fritz Sdunek is my coach. All this provides me with the mentality of a champion and I am ready to take out Huck.”

Of course Huck had something to say to this statement: “The Klitschkos should refrain from sending over their employees, and take me on themselves. The spectators will be right behind me and will carry me to victory.” The world champion did not stop there. “It is all or nothing for Afolabi. I am here to win. It is fine to take risks but all I want is to defend my title.”

Promoter Kalle Sauerland firmly agreed with the boxer´s evaluation of the fight. “After the narrow victory of the last bout it is guaranteed that this will be an exciting fight,” he stated. “The cruiserweight division is full of great fighters who are all more or less on the same level. This is the biggest difference in comparison to the heavyweights. Therefore, looking at it from a sporting point of view, the cruiserweight division is much more interesting.”

Huck´s coach Ulli Wegner gave away that they are planning on spending some time of their training camp in Zinnowitz at the Baltic Sea. After hearing that, Afolabi could not constrain himself and had a little dig at the coach. “I do not just prepare myself from Monday to Saturday, I even spar with the priest at church on a Sunday,” said the Londoner with a grin on his face.

If you take the word of the world champion as well as the interim-champ, May 5 is going to be one hell of a fight. Both coaches, Ulli Wegner and Fritz Sdunek will be preparing their fighters the best way possible and set their tactics straight, but as Afolabi mentioned later on: “Ulli, it is not you versus Fritz inside the ring, It is me versus Marco. Either I will end the fight inside the distance or he will knock me out.” The WBO Champ agreed with his opponent’s comment: “We will take the ring apart.”

WBO Interim cruiserweight world champion, Ola Afolabi just arrived in Germany today to start the final preparation for his May 5 rematch with WBO Cruiserweight champion Marco Huck. Both fighters will be present at the official press conference scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, April 3 in Erfurt, Germany.

Afolabi, 19-2-3 with 9 KOs, started his preparation two weeks ago for this much anticipated rematch. He has been training with fitness expert Harold Parker at the world famous Gold’s Gym in Venice, California. He will continue with the second phase of his training in Germany with world renowned boxing trainer, Fritz Sdunek. Afolabi lost a close points decision in the first fight with Huck in December 5, 2009.

Afolabi: “I have waited for this fight for the last 2.5 years. Huck has done everything possible to avoid fighting me again, he even moved to heavyweight to delay this fight.  This time, I will not leave any doubt and I will become WBO cruiserweight champion.”

Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions: “I promised Ola another world title shot when he signed with us. Now that he has been training with Vitali Klitschko’s trainer, Fritz Sdunek, Ola has become a completely different fighter. Even though Huck lost to Povetkin, he showed a lot of heart and proved why he is considered the top Cruiserweight in the world. This time, Ola will be much better prepared and I am convinced that he will be world champion on May 5.”

Fritz Sdunek: “I believe Ola will win if he keeps his focus. He has much more natural talent than Huck. Since I have been with him, we have worked to improve many things, including his punching power. He just needs to perform like he is capable and he will beat Huck.”

Afolabi is the only fighter from the UK with a claim to a world title, beside Nathan Cleverly. He is proud of his English heritage and hopes the fans will turn up to support him in his fight in Germany. His fights have been televised in the UK and worldwide as the co-feature of the huge Klitschko promotions in the last years. Ola also received “KO of the year honors” for his 1st round KO of UK champion Terry Dunstan on the Klitschko vs Haye fight last July.

The fight will be promoted by Sauerland Event in association with K2 Promotions and will be broadcast live in Germany on ARD television network.

Nuri Seferi (31-6, 19KOs) will defend the WBO European cruiserweight title on May 11th at the EWS Arena in Goeppingen, Germany. The card will be headlined by the European cruiserweight title clash between champion Alexander Alekseev and veteran Firat Arslan.

Seferi returns from a serious leg injury to his shin. The opponent for May has not been finalized.

“For three months after my surgery, I was unable to do anything, but I am very glad that the healing process has not lasted any longer. During the past few weeks, I found myself back in training and got the green light from my doctor and I am looking forward to making the third defense of my title,” Seferi said.


By Ruslan Chikov

Interim World Boxing Organization (WBO) cruiserweight champ Ola Afolabi, 19-2-3(9) has a second chance to win the full title on May 5th, when he will face Marco Huck in a rematch. Back in December of 2009, “Kryptonite,” as the London-born Afolabi is known, lost a reasonably close 12-round decision to “Kapt’n” Huck and now he is getting ready for another chance in Germany.

Ola says he is a different, vastly improved fighter today, and the 32-year-old who has won five in a row since the loss to Huck says he will leave “no doubt” this time around. Afolabi, who has scored a couple of eye-catching KO’s in his time (think his taking out of Enzo Maccarinelli and his KO Of The Year candidate of a win over Terry Dunstan), feels Huck will be overpowered this time.

Already getting in shape for the fight that will go down in Erfurt, Ola had the following things to say about the “must-win” fight:

James Slater: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, Ola. Have you started proper camp yet for the Marco Huck rematch on May 5th?

Ola Afolabi: No, I’ve not started full camp yet, that will be in Germany. But I’ve been training for the last two weeks: I’ve been running, hitting the bags and doing conditioning work. The last four weeks, I’ll pick it up in Germany.

J.S: Do you know who you’ll be sparring with?

O.A: Not yet. We’ve been calling around a few guys. But there aren’t too many guys with Huck’s style. We need fighters who can imitate the pressure Huck applies.

J.S: You know all about Huck from the first fight, of Dec. 2009 – you feel you are a better fighter now?

O.A: Yes, absolutely. Last time I didn’t train like I should have, and Huck is a guy who, if you don’t fight against, you lose. I’ve said that this time it will not go to the judges – either way. I’m 32 and I have no time to waste. I’m going to go for broke in this fight, but at the same time I won’t be stupid. I’m definitely a better fighter now. My whole training regimen has changed and improved. Now I believe fully in my strength and my power. Last time, I jumped in [to the Huck fight] after just one fight that year (the big win over Enzo Maccarinelli), but this time there will be no excuses. My style has definitely improved: I have got the rounds in now.

J.S: You hurt Huck in the first fight, in the 5th-round. Did he ever hurt you?

O.A: No, he never hurt me. They all say he has power, which I don’t doubt, but I was out of shape and I had no real trouble getting him hurt. But I never had the stamina and I couldn’t finish him. This time, if I hurt him I go for it! I’ll really be swinging for the fences.

J.S: Do you feel, aside from yourself of course, that Huck is the best cruiser in the world today?

O.A: Now that Steve Cunningham has been beaten twice by [Yoan Pablo] Hernandez, yes, I do. Denis Lebedev has been fighting old legends. I definitely feel Huck would beat Hernandez and Lebedev, in a rematch. I did think Lebedev beat Huck the last time, but it was very close (in Dec. 2010 – a 12-round SD for Huck) but I don’t think Lebedev has been the same since. Lebedev hasn’t been doing himself any favours by facing old men; he’s not upped his game. The only way you do that is by facing the best – Lebedev’s not done that. I think Huck would beat Hernandez with his pressure. Another guy that has to be given respect is the WBC champ [Krzystof Wlodarczyk], he’s underrated but he’s very solid.

J.S: Talking about Lebedev, I agree with you – James Toney, for example, is shot!

O.A: Oh, James Toney has been shot for years. But saying that, I still thought he’d pull it off [Vs. Lebedev last November], because he’s so slick; but he didn’t show up.

J.S: You say you want the KO win against Huck; that KO you scored over Terry Dunstan (last July) was awesome! That shot lands on Huck and he’s gone.

O.A: Listen, that kind of punch would take out a heavyweight. But anyone can land that type of shot. If I hit Huck with a homerun like that, he’s gone. But if he hits me like that, I’ll be gone. But I’ve shown the skill and talent to land a shot like that; Huck hasn’t. I’ve shown it before – against Enzo, Dunstan and the last guy I fought, Valery Brudov: I landed an overhand right to set up that (5th-round retirement) win. That’s my punch; Huck hasn’t got that. Huck is not a technically sound fighter, he fights crazy – off balance and he throws wild shots – but he makes it work for him. I have to find holes in his style and exploit them. Every fighter has holes in his style – but it’s okay finding the holes; you have to make the guy pay for them.

J.S: You feel you’ll be coming home from Germany with that WBO belt?

O.A: Right now there’s no doubt at all, I can picture myself with that title around my waist. I don’t think Huck will be able to go the distance with me. My self belief is huge right now!


By James Slater:

WBO Jr. Heavyweight Champion Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KOs) will make his mandatory defence against interim champion Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 9 KOs) in Erfurt, Germany on May 5. It will be the second time the two fighters face each other in the ring, with Huck clinching a close points victory in their first meeting in December 2009. “I had just won the title against Victor Emilio Ramirez and then had to make my first defence against Afolabi,” Huck said. It was a tough fight and I won on points. Afolabi has been victorious in all of his fights ever since. He seems to have gotten stronger. I will be prepared for a hard night on May 5.”

After challenging WBA Heavyweight Champion Alexander Povetkin in February, Huck will have to lose weight again. “He weighed around 95 kilos prior to the Povetkin fight,” coach Ulli Wegner said. “Now he has to lose five kilos. That is something new for him. He has a lot of muscles, so it won´t be easy. But we will get it done during the hard preparation.”

Team Sauerland General Manager Chris Meyer is happy to bring the fight to Germany. “We look forward to fighting in Erfurt again,” he said. “Huck has great memories of the city. In August 2010, he stopped Matt Godfrey at the Messehalle. After long negotiations with K2´s Tom Loeffler, who represents Afolabi, all important matters have been agreed on. Now the contracts are ready to be signed.”



WBO Jr. Heavyweight champion Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KOs) believes that he is ready to challenge the kings of the heavyweight division, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko. After nearly defeating WBA “regular” champion Alexander Povetkin last month in Germany, Huck made a decision to return to cruiserweight for a mandatory defense against Ola Afolabi.

“I am ready to fight the Klitschko brothers, but right now I’m the holder of the WBO cruiserweight title and I need to make a mandatory defense. Certainly in future I will return to the heavyweight division, and there I’ll capture a world title,” Huck said.

Huck’s trainer, Uli Wegner, feels a move a cruiserweight is the best move, at the moment, for his fighter.

“It seems to me that the fight with Ola Afolabi is the best direction for Marco at the moment,” Wegner said.


By Luke Furman



Huck to stay at Jr. Heavyweight

The decision has been made: After careful consideration and joint discussions with Hall of Fame promoter Wilfried Sauerland, trainer Ulli Wegner, Sauerland Event general manager Chris Meyer and sports director Hagen Doering, Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KOs) has decided to stay for now at jr. heavyweight and defend his WBO championship belt against mandatory challenger and interim champion Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 9 KOs). “I would like to immediately invade the heavyweight division, however I’ve been persuaded to first continue in the jr. heavyweight division,” said Huck. “That’s okay with me. I’ll cut everyone there to bits starting with Afolabi. He’s a strong man, but to me he has no chance.” Sauerland Event has started talks with Tom Loeffler, Afolabi’s representative, and will shortly announce the date and venue.

ESPRIT arena, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany – Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 9 KOs), originally from Nigeria but now representing the United Kingdom, is once again the “interim” WBO world cruiserweight champion. It became clear after Afolabi, 31, had taken the Russian contender and former interim titlist himself Valery Brudov (39-4, 28 KOs) to school in devastative fashion. Referee Gino Rodriguez saved Brudov from his own bravery after the fifth round and rightfully so.

Brudov, who accepted the fight two weeks ago, was rusty but willing to bring some heat to WBO #1 Afolabi, who was also ranked #4 by the WBA and #7 by both the WBC and the IBF (Brudov was rated #8 by the WBO in advance and he was also WBA #14). He marched forward and threw looping shots but the British Nigerian easily slipped them with his supreme defense. He kept Brudov at the end of his jab, while adding stinging right swings on ocassion and left hooks to the body to make Brudov’s diet a bit more diverse.

In round three, Afolabi went after Brudov and landed two right hammering shots to put him down on his knees. Brudov, 35, refused to surrender and continued to fight on. The fourth stanza was also in Ola’s favor. He wasn’t very active but when he opened up he tagged the Russian once again. Punishment continued to accumulate in the fifth. Midst into the round, Afolabi landed several left and right hand bombs, and Brudov went down for the second time. He got up and went on, trying to harm Afolabi at all costs. Costs were cheap, however, as the Nigerian landed several huge right hand bombs at the bell. Brudov didn’t go down but he was too wobbly, and referee Rodriguez did a right thing by bringing a halt to the contest.

Next up for Afolabi could be a showdown with WBO full champion Marco Huck, if the champion decides to stay at the cruiserweight limit.


By Alexey Sukachev


British-born cruiserweight Ola Afolabi will attempt to pick up the interim WBO cruiserweight title for the second time in his career and hopes a victory over Valery Brudov at the ESPIRIT Arena in Dusseldorf on Saturday will lead to a rematch with WBO full title holder Marco Huck.

The 31 year-old, who has 18 wins in his 23 contests with two losses, knocked out Enzo Macarinelli as a huge underdog in 2009 to claim the belt for the first time and eventually lost to Huck on a tight points decision nine months later in what was a controversial decision.

The California-based boxer now faces three-time world title challenger Brudov, 35, and is fully focusing on becoming the interim champion to place himself first in line to face the recently defeated Huck, who lost out to Alexnader Povetkin in a heavyweight title challenge last week.

“The Brudov fight is a tough fight, he is a good fighter,” Afolabi told World Boxing News.

“I just have to stop looking ahead to Huck and focus on this guy. I’ve seen him fight and he’s legit so I have to show him the respect he deserves.”

6ft 2ins Brudov has lost out twice in full world title challenges against Virgil Hill in 2006 and more recently, Guillermo Jones in 2010 and goes into the fight at the weekend on the back of second round stoppage win over journeyman Jim Franklin.


By Phil D. Jay

Phil D. Jay covers boxing for


“Marco Huck’s representatives have informed me that he has yet to decide if he will stay a Jr. Heavyweight or choose the Heavyweight division, but that his decision is imminent during the upcoming week. As I will be in Germany for the Klitschko and Afolabi bouts, I will be meeting with Marco Huck’s representative, Chris Meyer from Sauerland Events regarding this matter.

 Ola Afolabi is fighting for the Jr. Heavyweight Interim Title on March 3rd.  If Marco Huck decides to stay in the Jr. Heavyweight division, he will face the winner of the Afolabi –Brudov bout within 120 days of said bout.  If he decides to stay in the Heavyweight Division, the winner of the Afolabi-Brudov bout will automatically become the WBO Jr. Heavyweight Champion.”


Former WBA interim-cruiserweight champion Valery Brudov (39-3, 28 KOs) will soon get another opportunity to capture a meaningful belt. Don King-promoted Brudov, 35, a native of Pskov, is set to fight hard-hitting and elusive (at the same time) Nigerian Ola Afolabi (18-2-3, 8 KOs) for the interim WBO title at 200-pounds. The fight is booked take place at ESPRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany, as a part of the Wladimir Klitschko vs. Jean-Marc Mormeck undercard. Previously mentioned contenders BJ Flores and Latif Kayode have reportedly rejected a bout with Afolabi for various reasons.

Brudov is ranked #8 by the WBO and #14 by the WBA. His first attempt at a world title was nullified by the great Virgill Hill, who one-sidedly outpointed Brudov in January 2006. The Russian came back in December of the same year and stopped Panamanian Luis Andres Pineda to get the WBA interim belt. He lost it half a year later by dropping a close split decision to Germany-based Turk Firat Arslan. In his second world title opportunity, Brudov was stopped late by another Panamanian, Guillermo Jones; Brudov lost the fight via TKO 11 due to a bad cut.

WBO #1 Ola Afolabi (also WBA #4 and WBC/IBF #7), 31, is also a former world champion. He came back to the ring in 2008 after a lengthy hiatus to stop highly touted prospect Eric Fields. A year later, Afolabi was trailing on judges’ scorecards up until the ninth-round of his fight with former WBO champion Enzo Maccarinelli, before he put the Welshman down for the count with a terrifying left hook, getting the WBO interim belt. He lost it several months later with a close decision to Marco Huck in a WBO unification. This time, K2-promoted Nigerian will get a crack at interim title.

By Alexey Sukachev



WBO #4 cruiserweight B.J. Flores (27-1-1, 17 KO’s) says he has turned down an offer by K2 Promotions to face #1 ranked Ola Afolabi (18-2-3, 8 KOs) on March 3rd for the WBO interim world title in Germany on the Wladimir Klitschko-Jean Marc Mormeck heavyweight title card.

“I want this fight,” Flores said, “I have been very active lately and ready for this type of challenge. But on twenty-six days notice? And having to go to Germany? This is a very serious fight for a very serious title and I demand my full 45 days of preparation, especially considering I just fought last Saturday. It’s only fair. I have worked very hard for this opportunity and combine that with a very very low $25,000 offer, it doesn’t seem like they really want this fight.”

He continued, “This is a great chance for the cruiserweight division to put on a great fight and they want to stick it on an undercard where no one will see it, for very low money with only 26 days’ notice and I would have to travel to Germany. I have just had three successful shows in Springfield, Missouri and with the cash streams we can generate, we could do the fight there and bring in a network TV station and both of us can not only make more money but it could re-energize the cruiserweight division in the States. This fight deserves to be on TV and I deserve the regulated 45 day preparation time as I am the highest rated contender. Ola, I will pay you more money than you have offered me and we can definitely get American TV to cover this event. I demand the proper amount of time and I want everyone in America to see this fight as it is good for the division. Fighting on the undercard in Germany is with 25 days notice is not the right way to win a world title Have your promoter get in touch with Don King and we can set this up easy. I want this fight!”

WBO NABO Jr. Heavyweight champion BJ Flores (27-1-1, 16 KOs) scored a sixth round TKO over comebacking 40-year-old former welterweight title challenger Hugo Pineda (39-6-1, 28 KOs) on Saturday night with an enthusiastic hometown crowd at the Shrine Mosque in Springfield, Missouri. Flores dominated the entire bout with Pineda not able to connect on anything significant in the six plus rounds. Flores looked exceptionally sharp and did not give Pineda an easy target to hit and at times it looked as if Flores knew what Pineda was going to throw. Both fighters were tentative in the first, each carefully measuring the other and keeping at a safe distance, however, early in the 3rd Flores connected with a thunderous left hand to drop Pineda but he was able to continue. The Missouri native then began to work Pineda’s body and from this point forward, it seemed to take the starch out of him.

Flores turned up the heat in the fourth as Pineda began telegraphing his shots allowing Flores to pick his spots, as he pounded his opponent to the body with both hands. The fifth round was much of the same as Flores seemed to not be interested in stopping Pineda just yet, continuing to feed the man across from his a steady diet of lefts and rights to his belly.

To his credit, Pineda came out in the fifth more aggressive, trying to keep Flores off of him, letting both hands go. However, the bodywork delivered by Flores up to this point had sufficiently weakened Pineda so that Flores was able to walk right through the barrage. The round ended with Flores unleashing his own arsenal, throwing combinations at a blistering pace.

Standing from his stool to start the sixth, Flores seemed determined to end the contest. Flores began to fire the right hand, sending his opponent around the ring with every punch. After trapping Pineda against the ropes, Flores began dropping both hands on his opponent. Toward the end of the round, Referee Mike England had seen enough, determining that Pineda could not defend himself, ending the bout at 2:34.

Flores was asked after the fight how he thought he did. “I felt sharp tonight” He continued to add “this was my 3rd fight in 6 month and it was against a guy I was supposed to beat but beating someone impressively is always a tough thing. I executed my game plan and got him out faster than anybody else has ever knocked him out”.

Promoter Don King, who recently added Flores to his stable, was in attendance and was asked what was next for Flores and he said that a title fight is definitely in Flores future.


By Clint Rosser at ringside
Photos: David Martin Warr/DKP 2012

A Jan. 28 fight against Hugo Pineda is just a keep-busy bout for NABO Cruiserweight champion BJ Flores, but while the 32-year-old cruiserweight contender (26-1-1, 16 knockouts) is okay with keeping busy, he wants that activity to lead him to a world title shot.

Flores spoke with about his upcoming bout, about what he’s doing to remain active (including promoting shows in his hometown), about which cruiserweight titleholder he’d like to challenge and what he wants to do before entertaining any thoughts of moving up to heavyweight. What are you looking to get out of this fight?

Flores: “To be honest with you, it’s just another fight. This will be my third fight in six months. I faced Nick Iannuzzi, Paul Jennette — a guy I’d never even heard of — and now we’re trying to target another top 10 North American guy. And it just didn’t happen. They just don’t want to fight.

“A lot of them are kind of holding out for what they think might be a title opportunity or something, or they just don’t want to fight in my hometown. They think it’s too risky of a fight. This is a time to take what I can get. It’s going to get me back in the ring and it’s going to keep me sharp. Like I said, it’s my third 10-round fight in a six-month period. We’re kind of putting to bed those rumors of not being able to fight, not wanting to fight. I love to fight.

“Now that I’m with Don King, I’ve got an extra little bounce in my step. They’re helping me promote the show. We’ve also got Cory spinks and Sechew Powell in an IBF eliminator in the co-main event. Wayne Braithwaite vs. Chris Stallworth is another special attraction. So we’ve got a fantastic card shaking up.” You said you’re putting to bed the rumors of not being able to fight. It does seems that there are Don King fighters who just don’t get in the ring that often anymore. You’re saying that, in your case, that’s not the case?

Flores: “Not at all. This is the thing. Don maybe doesn’t have as many dates as he used to have. That’s just boxing these days. So his fighters nowadays, we’ve got to be creative and go out and develop a home base, somewhere where you can fight and the promoter doesn’t have to do all the work every single time and just put you on a card and lose money.

“When I fight at home in Springfield, it doesn’t cost Don any money. I make money with the tickets I sell, and he can put his fighters on the undercard. It’s great for me. He does still have those big dates. He can still get me the big ones, but it’s not as frequent as it used to be. So I’m a team player. I’m all about helping out.

“Me and my team, our guys, we put in a lot of work to make sure that we can build up my home state of Missouri. Springfield, Mo., is turning into a fight town. This’ll be our third show in six months. It’s an exciting time. Don is very willing to help out. We’re helping each other out. It’s a great thing.” How much distraction is there for you, running this show for Jan. 28 and also getting ready to do commentary Jan. 21 for the NBC Sports Network boxing broadcast?

Flores: “I enjoy staying busy. The prepping for the show, we teamed up with local promoters here, so he does a lot of the legwork and groundwork, I just kind of oversee everything. I really don’t have to do much — make some appearances here and there, set a couple of things up in the beginning. Since then, we’ve just pretty much been training. The broadcast doesn’t affect me at all. I’ve got all day to train. … And if you plan out your day effectively, you’ve got plenty of time.” What do you hope to accomplish in 2012?

Flores: “I just hope to continue to stay active, if I don’t get a title fight. I’m ranked [No. 4] by the WBO, No. 7 by the WBA and No. 8 by the WBC. I just want to continue to move up the ratings and whatever opportunity I have as soon as possible to fight for a world championship, that’s obviously what I want. This will be my third fight in six months. I feel like my timing is back, my reflexes are back.

“A long layoff is any fighter’s downfall. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t shooting myself in the foot before I went into a big fight. Everybody’s so good, that if you’re not active, you’re really doing a huge, huge disservice to yourself. That’s how it was when I fought Danny Green. I was coming off a 16-month layoff. I had to weigh 195 pounds for the fight. He wanted to handicap for me. I want to make sure the next opportunity I get that I’m 100 percent. We’re doing the right thing by staying active.” Of the major world titleholders, is there somebody specific that you want?

Flores: “To be honest with you, Marco Huck is the guy that I really want, but now he has the fight with [heavyweight beltholder Alexander] Povektin. I hope he wins that fight with Povetkin, so the WBO title can become vacant. That’s where I’m ranked the highest, so hopefully I’ll be in position to fight for that vacant belt.

“I also want Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. I think, style-wise, I match up with him really well. He’s coming off a big win over Danny Green, a fight that he was losing by four points until he scored the knockout. I think that’d be a great stylistic match-up. That’s the guy I would absolutely love to fight.” You’re mentioning other cruiserweights. Every other cruiserweight under the sun seems to have heavyweight aspirations. Are we going to count you someday among those ranks, too?

Flores: “I think there’s way too much unfinished business at cruiserweight. I don’t want to talk about moving ahead until I handle the business here. There’s just not enough name guys in the states to really be able to stay active and fight name guys, so I’ve got to stay busy fighting whoever I can find pretty much in America to keep me busy and keep me sharp until I get the big fight.

“But once I get that title, once I defend it a time or two, then we can talk about that, but I’m not even thinking about that until I accomplish my goals at cruiserweight, which is to win one of four major world titles. I will not go to heavyweight until that happens. That’s a guarantee.”


by David P. Greisman

Cruiserweight contender BJ Flores has informed that his opponent for his Jan. 28 fight in Springfield, Mo., will be Hugo Pineda.

“We’ve offered this fight to seven different guys in the top 10 of the NABO and NABF ratings. And to be honest with you, nobody out there wants to fight,” Flores said. “It’s very difficult to find a guy to fight without him wanting some ridiculous amount of money. I mean, this is an off-TV card. We have offered this fight to so many guys, it’s unbelievable.”

Pineda, a 40-year-old from Colombia who last appeared in the ring in 2008, losing that January by stoppage against Glen Johnson and then dropping a decision that July against Jimmy Kapanov. This will be his first fight in three-and-a-half years. He has a record of 39-5-1 with 28 knockouts.

His last two bouts were at light heavyweight and cruiserweight. Pineda, who is listed on BoxRec at 6-foot-1, challenged two times for world titles at lower weight classes, losing in 1996 to Kostya Tszyu and suffering a knockout against Felix Trinidad in 1999.

Flores, meanwhile, says he’s keeping busy while seeking a title shot.

The 32-year-old is 26-1-1 with 16 knockouts. His first career loss came in 2010 when he lost a decision to Danny Green. He’s fought twice since then, stopping Nicholas Iannuzzi in July and out-pointing Paul Jennette in October.

This will be Flores’ third fight in about six months.


by David P. Greisman

On February 25 in Stuttgart, WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck wants to become the first German world heavyweight champion since the great Max Schmeling when he takes on WBA regular champion Alexander Povetkin of Russia. “I’m very happy about the chance to fight the heavyweight world championship,” says Huck. “That to me is like winning the lottery. I really want to be the heir to Schmeling. But actually I see Povetkin only as a stopover on the way to the Klitschko brothers….I don’t understand why Povetkin has never taken the chance to climb into the ring against Wladimir. I think he’s afraid of the Klitschko brothers. I’m not.”

“I want to beat Povetkin, then compete against the two brothers. I know that Vitali and Wladimir are strong, and I respect their achievements. But I’m sure I can beat both of them. And anyway, what is it bigger than competing with the best? Why would someone enter the boxing ring if he doesn’t want to make the best possible fight? I can’t understand that.”

Huck is preparing in Berlin for his first fight as a heavyweight. “I’ve already gained the necessary pounds, I feel very comfortable with the higher weight. My energy levels have improved. I have more power than most heavyweights. At the same time I’m fast and physically in top condition. I’ll be training in the coming weeks as hard as ever. This is my big chance and I’m going to use it!”

EC Box Promotion returns to the BoxHall in Hamburg on February 11 with a ten fight show headlined by cruiserweight Kai Kurzawa (27-4, 19KOs), who will fight Georgian Levan Jomardashvili (25-5, 18KOs) for the WBO’s Asia-Pacific title.

Karama Nyilawila defends the WBFed middleweight title against Cagri Ermis in the co-feature. Heavyweight Michael Wallish, 7-0 and Int´l German champ, takes on Ladislav Kovarik and Swedish female jr. welterweight Klara Svensson faces Angel McKenzie. Middleweight Domenic von Chrzanowski squares off against Pole Mariusz Biskupski in his debut for EC.

There´s a strong possibility that Alexander Alexeev will be the guest of honor at ringside. Alexeev fights Enad Licina the week before in Frankfurt / Main for the vacant EBU cruiser crown and he is favored to win.


By Per Ake Persson

WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (34-1, 25KOs) is expecting a score to be settled on February 25th in Stuttgart, Germany, when he moves up to heavyweight to challenge WBA “regular” champion Alexander Povektin (23-0, 16KOs). Some of Huck’s critics are wondering if the boxer should have cleared up the cruiserweight ranks, like David Haye and Evander Holyfield, before a move to heavyweight was finalized. Huck disagrees. He feels there is some bad blood from a past sparring session and the opportunity was too good to pass up.

“Holyfield and David Haye had to take a few fights at heavyweight before going for the championship. With me, I have an immediate opportunity to fight for the heavyweight belt. And I’d be a fool, to give up this opportunity. I want to fight Povetkin right now. After all, he said that we still have old score to settle. Apparently he’s thinking about our sparring session from a long time ago,” Huck said. “When I sparred with Povetkin, I weighed 196-pounds. And that was enough. Now I weigh 213-pounds.”


By Ruslan Chikov & Alexander Pavlov

WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (34-1, 25KOs) is taking a huge jump on February 25th when he moves up in weight to challenge WBA “regular” heavyweight champ Alexander Povetkin (23-0, 16KOs). Some fans are questioning Huck’s rise in weight without finishing some necessary business at 200-pounds, like a rematch with Denis Lebedev of Russia. Lebdev lost a controversial split decision to Huck in 2010. The German star is interested in dropping down in weight, after he face Povetkin, for a potential rematch with Lebedev.

“First, I want to fight with Povetkin, and then return to cruiserweight specifically for a rematch with Lebedev. But such decisions are not my own, there are made by my promoter Wilfried Sauerland. That fight with Lebedev was a big battle. In the ring there were two real warriors. And when the fight ended, the referee raised my hand,” Huck said.


By Rulsan Chikov & Alexander Pavlov

Former Golden Gloves champion and Willard native B.J. Flores’ dream bout against WBA cruiserweight champion Guillermo Jones apparently is no longer on the radar of iconic promoter Don King.

In promoting a non-King fight scheduled for Jan. 28 at the Shrine Mosque, Flores revealed Monday that King would rather him face the champions of the World Boxing Organization or World Boxing Council, Germany’s Marco Huck or Poland’s Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.

King has Jones and Flores under contract, making it more possible for Flores to get his title shot.

But Flores’ reasoning for King’s retreat on that matchup was odd Monday.

He cited the success of his Oct. 15 fight, a unanimous decision against 43-year-old Paul Jennette that drew about 3,500 to the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Flores never put Jennette on the canvas in a fight that went the full 10 rounds.

“I don’t think he knew the type of result we’d get for the fight in Springfield,” Flores said at a news conference at the north Doubletree Hotel, and then indicated King sees potential (read: big payday) should he have rights to Flores and Jones if one is a WBA or WBC champ while Jones retains his WBA title.

“He said, ‘You know, you’ve got a great thing in Springfield. I don’t want to knock one of my top guys off (Jones) and have them start back over,'” Flores said.

The public relations manager for Don King Productions, Alan Hopper, on Monday said he did not have time to respond in full.

“I want the title shot,” Flores said. “But if I can fight here again, increase my fan base here again and fight in a place that I love and then have a title shot, I don’t care what champion I fight. I just want a shot for a title.”

Meanwhile, details of Flores’ Jan. 28 fight, and the card itself, are still being finalized, including a start time and ticket prices.

But, in essence, it will be marketed at the same time as a Feb. 11 card featuring Kimbo Slice at the O’Reilly Center.

Flores will be defending his NABA and NABO belts, plus go for a vacant NABF belt. Potential opponents are Carl Davis, 38, Andres Taylor, 32, and Shane Stoneman.

“It’s going to take a little more money to get quality opponents in, and we are prepared to do that,” Flores’ trainer, Jacob Chavez, said.|head