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


El ex campeón interino AMB de los cruceros Valery Brudov (39-3, 28 KOs) pronto tendrá otra oportunidad para alcanzar nuevamente un título de importancia. Brudov, de 35 anios, native de Pskov y promocionado por Don King Promotions, está listo para enfrentar al pegador y elusivo (al mismo tiempo) nigeriano Ola Afolabi (18-2-3, 8 KOs) por el título interino OMB en 200 libras.

La pelea está programada para darse en el ESPRIT Arena en Dusseldorf, Alemania, como parte de la función donde verá acción Wladimir Klitschko vs. Jean-Marc Mormeck. Los anteriormente mencionados contendores BJ Flores y Latif Kayode han rechazado una pelea con Afolabi por varias razones, según se reporta.

Brudov está clasificado #8 OMB y #14 AMB. Su primer intento a un título mundial fue anulado por Virgill Hill, quien fácilmente derrotó a Brudov en enero de 2006. El ruso regresó en diciembre del mismo año y noqueó al panameño Luis Andres   Pineda para obtener el título AMB interino. Luego lo perdió seis meses después por decisión dividida ante el turco radicado en Alemania, Firat Arslan. En su segunda oportunidad al título, Brudov fue noqueado en el undécimo por otro panameño, Guillermo Jones. La pelea se detuvo por una severa cortada.

El clasificado #1 OMB Ola Afolabi (#4 AMB, #7 CMB/FIB), de 31 años, es también un ex campeón mundial. Regresó al ring en el 2008 luego de un extenso periodo sin acción para derrotar al muy nombrado prospecto Eric Fields. Un años después, Afolabi estaba por debajo en las anotaciones de los jueces hasta el noveno asalto de su pelea con el ex campeón OMB, Enzo Maccarinelli, cuando noqueó al gales con un terrible gancho de izquierda para obtener el título   OMB, el mismo que perdiera unos cuantos meses después por decisión ante Marco Huck en una unificación OMB. Esta vez, el nigeriano promocionado por K-2 tendrá oportunidad al título interino.


Por Alexey Sukachev,


La Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB) desea expresarse en relación al campeón mundial crucero de la OMB, el alemán Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KOs). El presidente de la OMB, Francisco “Paco” Valcárcel, apuntó que “los representantes de Marco Huck me informaron que él está presto a decidir si se queda en el peso crucero o sube al peso completo y que esa decisión podría darse la próxima semana. Como yo estaré en Alemania para los combates de Klitschko-Mormeck y Afolabi-Brudov, me reuniré con el representante de Huck, Chris Meyer de Sauerland Events con respecto a este caso”.

“Ola Afolabi (primer clasificado en el peso crucero) estará peleando por el título interino crucero el 3 de marzo. Si Marco Huck decide mantenerse en el peso crucero, él se enfrentará al ganador de Afolabi y Valery Brudov en 120 días después de esta pelea. Si decide subir al peso completo, el ganador entre Afolabi y Brudov quedará como el campeón crucero en propiedad”, sostuvo Valcárcel, quien estará presente en la cartelera que presentará al ucaraniano Wladimir Klitschko ante el francés Jean Marc Mormeck, y el inglés Ola Afolabi contra el ruso Valery Brudov.


Valcárcel será el supervisor de la OMB en el choque entre Klitschko y Brudov.


“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



La Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB) anuncia los oficiales que estarán trabajando en los combates de título mundial entre el campeón peso completo Wladimir Klitschko ante Jean Marc Mormeck y de Ola Afolabi frente a Valery Brudov, que se efectuarán este sábado, 3 de marzo, en el ESPRIT Arena, Dusseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Alemania en una presentación de K2 Promotions.

El presidente de la OMB, Francisco “Paco” Valcárcel, que estará en Alemania en este cartel, informó que para la pelea donde el ucraniano Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) defenderá por séptima ocasión su título pesado de la OMB ante el clasificado número 10, el francés Mormeck (36-4, 22 KOs), el árbitro será el puertorriqueño Luis Pabón.

Los jueces que trabajarán el pleito Klitschko-Mormeck serán el estadounidense Clark Sammartino, el españo Manuel Maritxalar y el belga Phillipe Verbeke. El supervisor de la OMB para el encuentro será el propio presidente de la entidad, Valcárcel.

Mientras, para el encuentro entre el británico Afolabi (18-2-3, 8 KOs) y el ruso Valery Brudov (39-3, 28 KOs), por el título interino del peso crucero de la OMB, el árbitro será Genaro “Gino” Rodríguez.

Los jueces para esta reyerta son Clark Sammartino, Manuel Maritxalar y Luis Pabón. El supervisor de la OMB para esta pelea entre Afolabi y Brudov será el surafricano Andrew Smale.

Afolabi es actualmente el primer clasificado de la OMB en los cruceros, mientras que Brudov se encuentra en la octava posición.

World Boxing Organization (WBO), by president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, announced today the referees and judges who will work in the world title bouts between WBO Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko vs Jean Marc Mormeck, and the interim WBO Cruiserweight belt between Ola Afolabi and Valery Brudov this Saturday, March 3, at the ESPRIT Arena, Dusseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany in a K2 Promotions presentation.

Valcarcel, who will be in attendance in this show, reported that for the seventh title defense of Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) against Mormeck (36-4, 22 KOs), the referee will be Luis Pabon, from Puerto Rico.

The judges for Klitschko-Mormeck are Clark Sammartino, from United States, Manuel Maritxalar, From Spain, and Philippe Verbeke, from Belgium. WBO supervisor for this fight will be its own president, Valcarcel.

Meanwhile, for the fight bewteen Afolabi (18-2-3, 8 KOs) and Brudov (39-3, 28 KOs) for the interim WBO Cruiserweight championship, the referee will be Genaro “Gino” Rodriguez. The judges are Clark Sammartino, Luis Pabon and Manuel Maritxalar. WBO supervisor for this fight is Andrew Smale, from South Africa.


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!” has been advised by Wilfried Sauerland, of Sauerland Event, that discussions are ongoing for Marco Huck (34-1, 25KOs) to defend his WBO cruiserweight title against mandatory challenger Ola Afolabi (18-2-3, 8KOs). The fight is being targeted for February or March. Afolabi dropped a twelve round decision to Huck in 2009, but fought his way back to a mandatory position with four straight victories.

Sauerland, who handles the managerial duties for Huck, denied that there were ongoing negotiations for a unification with WBA champion Guillermo Jones. In a recent BoxingScene article, Jones revealed that he was traveling to Miami, Florida to meet with his promoter, Don King, to get an update on King’s progress to secure a unification with Huck.


By Rick Reeno

Ola Afolabi, WBO Intercontinental Cruiserweight Champion, is scheduled to make his second title defense as the co-feature of the huge Vitali Klitschko vs Tomasz Adamek show September 10 in Wroclaw Poland.

Afolabi is 17-2 and rated #2 in the WBO, #3 WBA, #7 WBC and #7 in the IBF. He was scheduled to fight undefeated Polish cruiserweight star Pawel Kolodziej, 28-0. This was a great matchup of two top cruiserweights that are rated in the top ten of every sanctioning body.

“Everybody was excited about this fight,” stated Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, promotional company of Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko. “We signed Ola one year ago and he is now a completely different fighter since he has started working with Vitali’s trainer, Fritz Sdunek. “K2 has featured Ola on their last 3 shows and he has responded with great results. Afolabi was born in London and his fan base in the UK is very strong from impressive KO wins over two fellow Brits, Enzo Maccarinelli and Terry Dunstan. Afolabi’s last fight was on July 2 with a first round KO over Terry Dunstan, the UK Cruiserweight Champion. This was on the same show where Wladimir Klitschko added the WBA championship to his collection of titles when he dominated David Haye over every round.

Andrew Wasilewski of 12 Round Knockout Promotions, Promoter of Kolodziej, was very dejected when he found out the news. “We regret very much that Pawel will not be able to fight Ola Afolabi September 10 in Wroclaw. This will be the biggest boxing event in Polish history and Pawel wanted to be a part of it. He was involved in a car accident, he is ok, but the doctor said that he could not train properly for the fight because of the injuries that he suffered.” Wasilewski’s company also promotes WBC Cruiserweight champion, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.

K2 is currently looking for a replacement opponent and offered the fight to Mateusz Masternak, 23-0, who is also an undefeated Polish cruiserweight and is scheduled to fight on the same show. “I thought this was the perfect solution,” said Loeffler, “but Masternak’s people turned down the fight because of short notice, even though he has been training to fight on the same show. Ola is like Vitali and at a point in his career where he will fight anyone, even accepting two undefeated Polish fighters in their home country.”

The historic event will be held in the brand new 42,000 seat soccer stadium in Wroclaw, Poland. The show will be broadcast in over 110 countries and on pay per view in Poland starting at 9pm. The Klitschko vs Adamek main event will be shown live on HBO in the US at 5pm EST and also live in Germany on RTL at 11pm.