Photos: Marianne Müller
A fascinating female clash will take place on January 17th at the Burg-Wächter Castello in Düsseldorf when local favorite and WIBF/WBC featherweight champion Ina Menzer (22-0, 9 KOs) defends against former champion Esther Schouten (22-4-1, 11 KOs). Ina Menzer and Esther Schouten met on Monday for the first time at the press conference at the Uerige Brewery in Düsseldorf in front of many journalists. For Schouten, it will be her fifth fight back since having her career derailed for cancer treatment.
Universum fighter Ina Menzer: “It’s always special to box in my hometown. The year 2008 couldn’t have gone better for me, nice victories in live ZDF fights, another championship belt, and it should continue in 2009 also. With Esther Schouten I expect an opponent who can box at a very technically high level. I will not overestimate or underestimate her. Everyone who understands boxing will be able to enjoy a great fight. I have prepared myself very carefully and I’m trying to avoid any coughs and sneezes by making use of a special recipe. I’m eating two garlic cloves a day and also eating a few onions. During the week ahead of the fight I’m wearing gloves to prevent myself to get ill.”
Esther Schouten on that statement: “So I have to keep the distance form you but my recipe is sex!”
The 31-year-old Esther Schouten, who has been work with new trainer Dirk Dzemski in Magdeburg, has won four straight since returning to the ring in March after a long break.
Esther Schouten: “With Ina Menzer, I have a technically good and especially tough boxer to challenge. This will be a huge fight with a great atmosphere. In my comeback I have four victories since March of this year and am once again at my old performance level following my treatment for lymph gland cancer which included chemo- and radiological therapy. During my illness my big dream was to get back into the ring and now I can even return to box for a world championship. I am very happy, highly motivated and have nothing to lose – I have already fought for my life and won. The main thing is I have fun. With my sports successes, I want to give others who have similar diseases courage and motivate them. I am a positive person and believe that I’ll win this fight. Sure I’m nervous but that is a part of it. My chances in this fight are 50:50!”
Another high calibre fight is featured on the January 17th “Universum Champions Night” in Düsseldorf. The highly talented cruiserweight rated WBO #2 Alexander Alekseev will have his first world title bout for the WBO interim cruiserweight title. He will fight for the interim crown as the original scheduled world title fight of Johnathon Banks against Enzo Maccarinelli has been postponed twice due to injuries. The WBO title was relinquished by David Haye.
He will take on the Argentinean Victor Emilio Ramirez (13-1, 11 KOs) who has the fight name „El Tyson del Abasto” because of his punching power. Ramirez is currently rated WBO #9 and will certainly be one of the toughest test for Alekseev so far. Unbeaten Alekseev (16-0, 15 KOs) made an impression in 2008 when he dominated his fights against experienced fighters such as Talmadge Griffis, Louis Azille and Rob Calloway: he has won all of these fights by knockout.
Alexander Alekseev at the press conference: „South American fighters are always difficult and sometimes they have quite a wild and awkward style. Ramirez has a hard punch which is good as I like attacking boxers! We can expect a good and interesting fight. Just like the motto “take less give more” I will have my fun in the ring with him. I have prepared myself for 12 rounds. My advice against the cold in Germany is always the same as the much colder Russia: always wear a hat and strengthen your immune system!”
His coach Fritz Sdunek: “These Argentinean fighters are really tough. We have analysed videos of Ramirez’ fights and he is always attacking like a bull but we will be stronger and punish him!”
Middleweight Gennady Golovkin and local favorite heavyweight Markus Tomala featured in the programme
Additional fights at the “Universum Champions Night” are headlined by the highly regarded middleweight Gennady Golovkin (14-0-0 (11)), who will be challenged by the experienced Argentinean Javier Alberto Mamani (35-7-1 (19)). Golovkin, who is trained by Magomed Schaburow will demonstrate his great boxing skills and will prove his ability for an upcoming title fight. With the Düsseldorfer Markus Toma the crowd will have their local hero. Tomala will certainly make use of his home advantage to remain unbeaten in his 6th pro fights.
With lightweight Magomed Jangubaev (2-0-0 (0)) and super welterweight Arthur Matern, two young and talented fighters will also be in action in Düsseldorf.
The ZDF will broadcast the fight Menzer against Schouten on January 17th at 10PM live. The highlights can be seen on Sunday on www.boxing.de