World ranked contender Ola Afolabi is once again primed for battle this Saturday night, May 5th in the highly anticipated rematch against defending WBO Cruiserweight World Champion Marco Huck at the Messehalle in Erfurt, Germany. On December 5, 2009, Afolabi, born in London, training out of Los Angeles, California, challenged Huck in Ludwigsburg, Germany, losing a very close decision.
Sporting a record of 19-2-3 with nine knockouts, Afolabi has spent the last three weeks in Germany completing his training and fine-tuning his game plan under the guidance of legendary trainer Fritz Sdunek. Should Afolabi be successful on Saturday over Huck, 34-2-0 (25 KOs), it will mark the 15th world champion Sdunek has trained over his illustrious career.
Afolabi is coming off a sensational performance on March 13th, a brutal stoppage of perennial contender Valery Brudov, 39-4, in Düsseldorf, Germany, earning the Interim WBO Cruiserweight Title. Dropping Brudov in the third and the fifth rounds, referee Geno Rodriguez called a halt to the battering after the fifth stanza. (The interim title became available when Huck moved up to heavyweight to challenge Alexander Povetkin on February 25th.)
Heading into the rematch, Afolabi brimmed with confidence, “My experience is now so big, due to the professional surroundings of Fritz Sdunek and K2 Promotions, that it is not possible for me to walk out of the ring as the loser. I will give Marco a boxing lesson and if he tries anything crazy I will knock him out.
Afolabi is also adamant that he is a much-improved fighter than he was in their previous face-off. “I wasn´t completely prepared to take on Huck in our last fight,” he stated. “But now I have a new coach in Sdunek who has taught me so many things. He made me a more complete fighter.” But nevertheless he is well aware of his opponent’s strengths. ”He doesn´t have many weaknesses. He is a very solid fighter and keeps coming forward.”
“We are both better fighters than in the first fight, it is just that I have learned many more things than he has.”
Concurred Sdunek, “Marco´s break after the Povetkin encounter at the heavyweight division was quite short. That must have taken its toll and it might be too early for him to take on Ola.”
Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions was equally confident, “It was a very close fight the first time around and we feel that Ola has improved greatly over the last two and half years. He’s won five in a row since signing with K2 and is now a completely different fighter with Fritz in his corner. Ola will be primed and ready to win the title on Saturday night.”
Also featured on the card on Saturday WBO Super Middleweight Champion Robert Stieglitz will defend his title against Australian Nader Hamdan with the winner’s next bout to come against mandatory challenger Arthur Abraham. Alexander Dimentrenko and Kubret Pulev will fight for the European heavyweight championship.