Photos: Marianne Müller
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European champion Jürgen Brähmer (32-2, 26 KOs), who claimed the European light heavyweight title in March against Rachid Kanfouah, plans to showcase his skills against mandatory challenger Antonio Brancalion on June 6 at the König Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen. Brähmer, who is again rated WBA #1 contender, will be using this fight to gear up for another world title shot in the near future. The 33-year-old Brancalion (32-6-2, 8 KOs) is a very experinced fighter who has been tested in various title bouts and is currently # 11 in the WBA rankings. Three ago he battled against the former world champion Stipe Drews already for the European title but he lost on points. “Capturing a title is much easier than defending it,” said Brähmer today. “I’m now seen as the favorite and every challenger is extremely motivated to take away the title from me. Brancalion is very difficult to, it’s hard to land punches so all in all a touch challenge. We have adjusted our tactics towards his style and I hope that it will work for me. I’m glad to be back in the ring so quickly after my fight in March. This rhythm works very well for me, it’s what I need to move ahead.“
His trainer Michael Timm added “Jürgen has a big dream as he wants to fight again for the world title. He is highly motivated so he needs this challenge so quickly. He now needs to deliberately set his sights of his fighting style and stick to the tactics. I remember Brancalion very well from his fight against my former boxer Stipe Drews in 2006 so I know what to expect and how difficult it’s going to be.“
Antonio Brancalion also made comments at the press conference: “Surely I’m the underdog! I have nothing to lose but Jürgen does. He ist he favourite and a very good boxer. I have prepared myself carefully with my trainer Gino Freo with special sparring partners such as Cristian Sanavia and I’m pretty sure that I dispossess the favourite. I have come here to take the title with me.“
The co-feature of this “Universum Champions Night“ will be a heavyweight battle for the WBA Intercontinental title and WBO Europa title with the highly rated heavyweight Denis Boytsov facing stablemate Taras Bidenko. Universum fighter Denis Boytsov (24-0, 19 KOs), currently WBA #5, will defend his WBA Intercontinental belt and puts his undefeated record on the line against WBA #2 ranked stablemate Taras Bidenko (26-2, 12 KOs) of Spotlight Boxing. It will be a battle between the hard hitting 23 year old Boytsov and the experienced 29 year old Bidenko, previously the holder of the WBA Interconti belt. For both heavyweights this fight will be very important in order to climb the rankings for a possible world title fight in the near future.
Denis Boytsov: “We know each other very well. but we must disconnect our professional and private lives for this fight. Taras is the number two in the WBA rankings, I’m number six. We both want to continue to the top. This is a very important fight for us both.“
The Russian Denis Boytsov has been training with trainer Fritz Sdunek for many years and hes been improving since. Especially his punching power is excellent what he showed in his last fight in February when he knocked down Israel Carlos “King Kong“ Garcia in round 2 and improved his record to 19 KOs in 24 fights. Fritz Sdunek: “This will be a high tempo duel that will not be easy for either fighter. Of course, it’s a bout which one does reluctantly, but this is simply our job.“
Taras Bidenko has positioned himself in the top rankings over the past years and is currently WBA #2 very close to a world title fight. The Ukranian born fighter, who is trained by Valentin Silaghi, has won his last fights against Michael Sprott and Richel Hersisia on points. Taras Bidenko: “Naturally this fight fight is a difficult situation for me. Normally we’re friends and I wasn’t so happy to accept this fight. But I have to do it and I’m a professional. I don’t mind if he is a hard hitting puncher it doesn’t mean he can knock out everyone. I will focus on my strengths and I want to win. I want and I have to continue to move up in the rankings for a possible world title fight.“ His trainer Valentin Silaghi stated about the stable duel: “We have been training in seperate gyms so we don’t show our cards. It is a funny feeling as I’ve known Fritz for 20 years. Now we are in the opposite corners, but as he said, we must do our jobs and we will. Taras is experienced to go over twelve rounds and I believe it is going to be an exciting and difficult fight. We are optimistic to win it!“
Super featherweight Vitali Tajbert and heavyweight Manuel Charr are also scheduled to fight in Oberhausen
Vitali Tajbert (17-1, 6 KOs) will return to action at the Oberhausener König Pilsener Arena after his first defeat in December 2008 when he lost in a fight for the European crown against Sergey Gulyakevich. Coming off a hand injury he is now back and ready to fight for another title. The spotlight fighter is highly motivated when he now faces the Spaniard Rudy Encarnacion (18-14-2, 8 KOs). Vitali Tajbert: “I will show everyone that I can do it and win titles although I lost the last fight. You can learn so much from a defeat and I have done so. My time is coming!“
In another heavyweight showdown local contender Manuel Charr (11-0, 5 KOs) will step into the ring in Oberhausen in his 12th pro bout. Charr recently ended the unbeaten run of Gbenga Olunkun in Krefeld. He will now challenge the experienced American Ramon “The Panther“ Hayes (15-27-1, 10 KOs).
Additional fights include the spotlight fighters Igor Michalkin (9-0, 7 KOs) in a light heavyweight bout against Karim Bennama (17-11-2, 4 KOs) as well as heavyweight Christian Hammer, who will have his third pro fight.
The tickets for this „Universum Champions Night“ in Oberhausen are available at: König-Pilsener-ARENA Ticket Hotline: +49-208-82 000, CTS-Eventim Hotline: +49-180-5570 000, all known ticket shops and at www.boxing.de