Photo: Udo Dreier
WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (35-3, 27 KOs) is in Nuremberg after fighting his way from Berlin across snow-ridden Germany. His opponent, Mehdi Bouadla (26-4, 11 KOs) flew out to Germany this morning. In the afternoon, the two fighters met for the first pre-fight appointment, the open workout session.
However, it was Ulli Wegner who was the cause for the biggest surprise of the day. Abraham’s coach, who is normally known for being quite tough on his fighter, was full of praise for his prodigy. “I have to admit, that Arthur has been giving it a 100 percent during every single training session. I just hope that he will show up with the same attitude once he stands inside the ring with Mehdi Bouadla,” said the 70-year-old. “As a coach you have to make sure that your prodigy keeps his feet firmly on the ground, but he definitely deserved it to be praised.”
Abraham himself was seemingly surprised about the positive acknowledgment by his trainer. He was almost lost for words. “Praised by Mr. Wegner? I am not really used to that. I don’t know what to say.”
Before that, the 32-year-old has been working the pads with his coach. But Wegner was also keen to remind Abraham not to underestimate Bouadla. “We are expecting one hell of a fight. Bouadla pushes his opponents and will do everything he can to grab his chance,” said Wegner.
The media and fans in attendance were able to catch a glimpse of the danger Wegner had been talking about. While working with the pads, Bouadla and his coach Abdel Nasser Lalaoui were displaying the Frenchman’s in-fight skills.
Nevertheless, the WBO Super-Middleweight World Championship between Abraham and Bouadla will not be the only highlight in Nuremberg. Jack Culcay (13-0, 9KOs) will defend his WBA Light Middleweight Intercontinental Title against Jean Michel Hamilcaro (17-4-3, 6 KOs). Also aiming for a belt is unbeaten cruiserweight Mateusz Masternak (28-0, 21 KOs). The Pole will fight it out for the vacant European Championship against Juho Haapoja (18-2-1, 11 KOs). Hoping to make an impression is local boy Wanik Awdijan (1-0, 1 KO). The 17-year-old is aiming for his second victory in front of the home crowd.