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 worldboxingnews.net