Two undefeated champions battled it out in the Max-Schmeling-Gym on Wednesday afternoon when King Arthur Abraham welcomed a special sparring partner. In order to prepare for the Super Six World Boxing Classic Group Stage 2 meeting with Andre Dirrell on March 6 (live on SHOWTIME® at 9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast), coach Ulli Wegner had invited longtime former WBA/IBF super middleweight champion Sven Ottke to challenge Abraham. The “Phantom”, who retired undefeated in 2004, is known for his fast legs and special movements. “Sven can help Arthur in the preparation for Dirrell,” Wegner said. “Arthur will have to track Dirrell down. Thats why sparring with a fast, smart and clever fighter like Sven certainly helps.”
King Arthur has a special relationship with the famous German boxing idol. “I started my career at Team Sauerland with a sparring session against him,” he recalls. “Ulli Wegner liked what he saw and brought me back. The rest, as they say, is history.”
Ottke, now 42, sparred four rounds with Abraham on Wednesday afternoon. “I am happy to do my former coach and my former colleague a favour and help to prepare for the Dirrell fight,” he said. “It will be difficult for Arthur but I am sure he will win.”
Abraham enjoyed the special sparring in front of more than 20 German reporters. “It was a good session,” he said. “Things are going well in practice. I want to become a star in America and in order to accomplish my goal, I need to put on a convincing performance against Dirrell. I have a lot of respect for him. He is a strong fighter, but I want to defend my tournament lead.”
Abraham and Wegner will move training camp to Palm Springs on Monday. He will be joined by WBO Cruiserweight Champion Marco Huck, who will return to the ring on March 13. He will fight in Berlin. “We look forward to going to America,” Huck said. “It will be a lot of hard work but it will be a great experience.”
The Dirrell-Abraham fight at the Agua Caliente Casino, Resort, Spa in Rancho Mirage, California is being promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and Sauerland Event. Tickets are available at The Show box office, online at www.HotWaterCasino.com/TheShow or by calling 1.800.585.3737. Prices are as follows: Floor $180; Loge $140; Mezzanine $85.