Feature Story

Brähmer ready to defend

WBO light heavyweight world champion Jürgen Brähmer (35-2, 28 KOs) defends his WBO title for the second time against #8 rated Mariano Nicolas Plotinsky (16-3, 8 KOs) and undefeated “Killer Queen” Susi Kentikian (26-0, 16 KOs) will defend her WBA/WBO/WIBF belts against undefeated WIBA titleholder Nadia “The Beauty Beast” Raoui (11-0-1, 3 KOs) on Saturday night’s “Universum Champions Night” at the Sporthalle Hamburg. The fighters, minus Plotinsky who is still in Argentina, appeared at a press conference Monday. Plotincky, well known in Germany for his shock March 2009 knockout of popular Thomas Ulrich in Berlin, is still sitting at home with packed suitcases due to the massive flight cancellations in Europe caused by the Icelandic volcano.

“The world title fight with Jürgen will take place in any case,”
promised Event Director Kay Foitschik. “We have a plan B. The alternate fighter is also in training and in the starting blocks. We usually have a replacement for safety reasons in the background, this is quite normal. The replacement opponent will come from Europe, but we can’t say more at this stage because we expect Mariano.”

Photos: Universum Box-Promotion

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Brähmer is looking forward to returning to the ring. “If I’d had my way, I would have been back in the ring again in February. I had a long training camp – that was good. I even did a little bit more, and only took off 2-3 days. The sparring went well – I’ll be confident in the ring on Saturday. I could concentrate fully on my preparation this time and was not, as in the last fight due to my trial, distracted or burdened.”

Trainer Michael Timm added, “Jürgen sometimes exaggerates and does additional training independently. Sometimes he’s running 1.5 hours or playing football, but we got the curb that to focus on the important things. We are well prepared for this fight! ”

* * *

The popular Kentikian will be making her first appearance as a main eventer fighting live on ZDF. “I’m very happy,” said The Killer Queen. “It’s something special for me to be back as a main fighter – especially now with the ZDF. My opponent is strong. In my last four fights I’ve only fought against strong opponents. I look forward to the opponents who will fight until they drop. It’s like fire against fire. I must have more fire. I’m looking forward to Saturday, it’ll be a great fight – boxing here in Hamburg for me in particular is always a nice feeling!”

Trainer Magomed Schaburow was confident as always. “Susi is fit as ever. I’m not sure that Nadia can hold out the whole distance. In Sölden I really pushed Susi. We’ve especially improved her power and speed.”

Raoui was extremely calm and confident. “It’s the biggest challenge in my career,” she stated. “I’m definitely prepared very well and look forward to the fight on Saturday! Susi has boxed very accomplished and powerful opponents – and I won’t be easy! I completed my preparation at home. As always, I’ve prepared myself for ten rounds and a high tempo. I’m nervous before every fight – so this is normal. The body adjusts during the fight. Without nervousness, something would be wrong.”

Raoui’s trainer Dietmar Berg sees good chances for his fighter. “We prepare for each fight very, very thoroughly. In this case, we didn’t make a big difference. We do 20 round sparring sessions which allows Nadia to really oush in a ten round fight. I’m curious to see how Susi will deal with Nadia’s pressure. Susi’s known for punching power, both are probably the fastest female boxers in this weight class. Let’s see who will come out better in the fight – which will ultimately make the difference.”

* * *

Universum-Promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl stated, “I hope we can manage everything on Saturday as we originally planned. We still have problems with the flights. Jürgen’s opponent is still sitting in Argentina. But I’m sure we’ll still get it together. Plotinsky is a dangerous opponent and shouldn’t be underestimated. I’m pleased that Jürgen has found his form again. He’ll need it for this fight. The interest in Jürgen is increasing. I think Jürgen is destined to become a top fighter in Germany. And the clash between Kentikian and Raoui will be a real top level fight!”

* * *

Germany’s newest star Jack Culcay (2-0, 1 KO), the first German Amateur champion in 14 years, will take on significantly more experienced Brazilian Isak Tavarez (15-8, 5 KOs). “I’m excited about my next fight,” said ‘Golden Jack.’ “My whole family is traveling by bus. For me it’s a big change from amateur to professional. The interest in me and also the intensity of training have risen sharply, but it’s great fun – especially with my new trainer Michael Timm.”

In other fights, unbeaten middleweight Arthur Matern (4-0, 3 KOs) will take on Jurijs Boreiko (16-21-1, 12 KOs).

Heavyweights Markus Tomala (6-1, 3 KOs) and Christian Hammer (5-1, 3 KOs) finally collide after their January bout fell through due to a Tomala injury.

Unbeaten welterweight Antonio Moscatiello (7-0, 6 KOs) from Italy and cruiserweight Wojciech Bartnik (24-4-1, 9 KOs) from Poland will face opponents to be named.

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