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By Jake Donovan –

At age 36 and now a three-time former champion, Arthur Abraham insists there is plenty of air left in his tires.

The recently dethroned super middleweight titlist took some well-deserved time off following his 12-round points loss to unbeaten Gilberto Ramirez in April, but is now ready to return for at least one more title run. The first step in pursuing that goal will come July 16, when Abraham will appear in the chief support at the famed Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany.

His placement on the show comes on the heels of the recent announcement of another bout of interest to the super middleweight division. Italy’s Giovanni De Carolis makes the first defense of his version of the 168-pound crown as he faces Tyron Zeuge in the main event.

“I’m not ready to say goodbye to the sport I love so much,” Abraham (44-5, 29KOs) said in a statement released through the press office of Team Sauerland, his career-long promoter. “The fight with Ramirez did not go as planned, but I promise this will not happen again. I will show that I can do better and that I can become World Champion again – that is my greatest wish!”

An opponent has yet to be secured for his first fight home since dropping a lopsided decision to Ramirez in Las Vegas.

Ramirez made history in becoming the first boxer from Mexico to claim a piece of the super middleweight crown. The fact that Abraham landed on the wrong end of that piece of trivia was less concerning than the manner in which he conceded the crown.

“I was not happy with Arthur’s performance against Ramirez, but I have decided to give the boy another chance,” said Uli Wegner, Abraham’s famed longtime trainer. “He did not do enough in Las Vegas to retain his title and call himself a champion. Now, he must work harder and show that this was just a blip in his character.”

The sentiment is shared by those who’ve guided Abraham’s career since his pro debut in 2003.

Abraham raced to his first title reign, knocking out Kingsley Ikeke in the 5th round of their Dec. ’05 clash. It was just his 19th pro fight, coming less than 2 ½ years into his career, but he proved a worthy champ in defending 10 times before moving up to super middleweight.

He soared to new heights after scoring a literal last-second knockout of Jermain Taylor in Oct. ’09 at the start of the Showtime Super Six super middleweight tournament. It appeared to have been his peak, as Abraham suffered three lopsided losses in a span of four fights, his career hitting a tailspin as the next step was uncertain.

A resurrection came in Aug. ’12, as did the launch of an unlikely rivalry when Abraham dethroned Robert Stieglitz to claim a super middleweight belt. The bout was the first of a four-fight set, with Abraham winning, losing, regaining and successfully defending the title over that stretch. Five successful defenses came of his second super middleweight reign, including a knockout win over Stieglitz in their fourth fight last summer and a narrow points win over Martin Murray last November.

The loss to Ramirez was tough to watch for those who’ve long backed the Armenia-born, Germany-based boxer, but his team isn’t quite yet ready to throw in the towel.

“Arthur has overcome many obstacles in his career – fighting through a broken jaw to defend his middleweight title against Edison Miranda and suffering defeat in the Super Six on his way to becoming a two weight World Champion,” points out Kalle Sauerland. “He has come back from defeat before and we’re sure he can do it again.

“It’s now about his legacy and how he wants to be remembered as a boxer. He must show that the fire still burns and that he’s willing to put in the work to become World Champion again.”




World Boxing Organization (WBO) President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel announced today the referee and judges who will work this Saturday in the cruiserweight world title fight between the champion Marco Huck and the interim champion Ola Afolabi, to be held at the Max Schmeling Halle in Berlin, Germany. The referee is Eddie Cotton from United States. Judges will be John Madfis from United States, Deon Dwarte from South Africa and Lahcen Oumghar from The Netherlands. The WBO supervisor for this fight will be John Handelaar.

Huck and Afolabi have collided two times. In their first fight, Huck beat Afolabi by unanimous decision on December 5, 2009, while on May 5, 2012, the second bout between Huck and Afolabi ended in a majority draw.


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Photos by Photo Wende –

Champion and challenger are ready for war on June 8! Saturday night will see Marco Huck (35-2-1, 25 KOs) take on Ola Afolabi (19-2-4, 9 KOs) for the third time. After winning their first matchup and drawing the second, the current WBO Cruiserweight Champion is hoping to close the chapter Afolabi once and for all, when they square off at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany. During today´s public workout both fighters made it clear, that their confidence is sky high ahead of the big fight.

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The first one to show off his set of skills was Afolabi. After some rope skipping and hitting the pads with his coach Fritz Sdunek he addressed the media in attendance. “Fritz Sdunek got me into the best shape of my life. So far ahead of every fight, I was either physical or mentally fit. However, this time round, I have hit top form in both aspects. Now, I am the total package!” Sdunek agreed with his prodigy. “Under my guidance, Ola learned the meaning of discipline. That will make the difference come Saturday.”

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Next to step into the ring was the champion himself. And although this was just a workout session, Huck made it obvious that he was not messing around. The punches connecting with the pads held by his coach Ulli Wegner seemed to be meant as a message to the watching Afolabi. “I hope he understood what I was doing there. Afolabi will get to feel the best combinations inside the ring on Saturday,” said the 28-year-old. Ulli Wegner got straight to the point. “We will keep the belt in Berlin!”

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Also showing off some of their abilities where light heavyweights Robert Woge (11-0, 10 KOs) and Eduard Gutknecht (24-2, 9 KOs) who will also be competing for international honors in the main support on June 8.

Tickets for the big fight night at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany, are available at www.eventim.de and www.boxen.com.

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WBO World Champion Marco Huck (35-2-1, 25 KOs) and his challenger Ola Afolabi (19-2-4, 9 KOs) have already entered fight mode. During Wednesday´s press conference, three days before the top-notch cruiserweights square off inside the ring, they got involved into a verbal altercation.

28-year-old Huck accused his opponent of provoking him on purpose. “He is just trying to rattle my cage and is hoping that it will cause me to make mistakes,” said the prodigy of coach Ulli Wegner. “But he is fighting a losing battle. I am the champion and I will still be the champion after the fight. I will give him my answers inside the ring.” And the German was not done yet. “I proved before that I can beat him. But he cannot beat me. I know that I am better than he is. I also have a better fan base behind me, who will be celebrating another victory with me after I am done with that guy.”

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However, Afolabi who resides in Los Angeles seems to have taken on some of the Hollywood-attitude surrounding him. After being asked if he really is as confident as he makes himself out to be or if he is just an actor, he replied: “I am an actor! Marco wants to give his fans a great show and so do I. All these theatrics ahead of the fight only increase the attention. We definitely enjoyed ourselves. It got a bit heated, but that is the way it’s supposed to be.”

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However, Afolabi could not resist another attempt to unnerve the champion. “If you are a Huck fan you might say that he won our last fight. If you are an Afolabi fan, you might give it to me. However, after Marco Huck’s last fight against Firat Arslan, Stevie Wonder looked at me and said: Arslan definitely won no doubt about it.”

Huck immediately replied to the laughing Brit: “You are smiling now. But you won’t be after Saturday.”

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Tickets for the big fight night at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany are available at www.eventim.de and www.boxen.com.





Photo: googleimages/www.sports.ru// –

June 8 will see a fast paced and highly entertaining fight at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin: Current WBO Champion Marco Huck (35-2-1, 25 KOs) takes on Ola Afolabi (19-2-4, 9 KOs) for the third time. The two previous title bouts between them were extremely close and full of action. Currently the reigning champion is in his last preparations of his training camp. In an interview, the prodigy of coach Ulli Wegner gives insights into his fitness and what he thinks of his opponent Ola Afolabi.

Marco Huck, you are currently at a training camp close to the Baltic Sea. How are you feeling?

Marco Huck: I am feeling really good. The surrounding here is ideal for a good preparation. It is just a few steps from the hotel to the gym – and just a few more to the beach. We also have a great spa where I can relax after a hard day’s work. I am getting to my best, which I will be come June 8.

Would you say that preparations are more intense when you are at a training camp?

Marco Huck: Yes, I would definitely say so. You can completely focus on the sport and your goals. Nothing else matters during that time. Everything that could distract you is far away. That enables the coach to get the best out of you.

The fight against Ola Afolabi has been floating around for quite some time now. Different dates for the fight have been mentioned. How did you cope with this situation of uncertainty?

Marco Huck: It was very uncomfortable. The date has been changed on numerous occasions and I have been preparing for the fight since the beginning of the year. It is like if you are stuck in top gear but you are unable to release the handbrake. After everything was finally settled, I was fully focused on the fight and started to look forward to it.

This will be the third time that you square off with Afolabi. How does the knowledge you possess about him influence your training?

Marco Huck: My coach Mister Wegner as well as myself know exactly how to prepare for Afolabi. The main focus during the preparation is on the strategy. Whoever manages to surprise the other one will stand a better chance to win.

Which strengths did you detect during your first two fights with Afolabi? Where do you see his weaknesses?

Marco Huck: He is technically very gifted and has a powerful punch, which I felt first hand. I also know some of his weaknesses but I won’t unveil them before the big night. You will be able to see them come June 8.

How do you deal with the fact that Afolabi always seems to come back? Do you find that frustrating?

Marco Huck: No, not at all. Afolabi is a world-class operator at cruiserweight who fought hard for his position in the rankings. Our first two encounters were very tough and close battles. That is exactly what the fans want to see when they watch a fight. And I want to give them another exciting bout.

Would you say that it is easier to fight someone, who has shared the ring with you before or is it more challenging?

Marco Huck: I would say that it is easier. I doubt that he has developed as a boxer. Therefore, I know that I will cause him some serious problems, which he will not have dealt with during the previous two fights.

Which one of the two mentioned encounters did you like more? The first one from 2009 or the second one back in 2012?

Marco Huck: Definitely the 2009 fight. That was my first title defense of the world championship. I was very motivated and followed my tactics throughout the whole of the twelve rounds. Our rematch in 2012 was a whole different story. I just lost against Alexander Povetkin for the heavyweight crown, which I thought I won. After this disappointing loss I went through a low. That is why I was not able to show my full potential last May in Erfurt. However, that will change dramatically in Berlin. I will be back at my best.

June 8 will be your first fight in Berlin for more than two years. How excited are you to be returning to the German capital?

Marco Huck: I live here and in my opinion Berlin is one of the best cities in the world. It is a great place to live and I feel right at home. That is why I want to put on a good show at the Max-Schmeling-Halle.

Is there a danger of being too motivated going into the fight, as this is your home city?

Marco Huck: I will have to be careful not to get carried away by the reception of the crowd. That being said, normally a good atmosphere gives me some extra strength and energy, which pushes me a bit more and helps me to win. That will probably also be the case on June 8.