Unbeaten WBA heavyweight champion (in recess) Ruslan Chagaev (24-0-1, 17 KOs) and unbeaten challenger Carl Davis Drumond (26-0, 20 KOs) met for the first time today at a press conference held at a VW dealer in Rostock Germany. They will collide in a PPV showdown on Saturday at the StadtHalle in this beautiful Baltic city. This is Chagaev’s first fight since recovering from an achilles tenden operation. With this fight against the WBA #9 rated Drumond, Chagaev plans to test his form and ‘ring feel’ in advance of his rematch with current titleholder, seven-foot ‘Russian Giant’ Nikolai Valuev.
“After my injury break, the long rehab, strength training and many, many training sessions without a break, I’m glad that I can return so quickly to the ring,” stated Chagaev. “For 2009 and 2010, I have big plans. I am now fully fit and fully focused on this fight, which I clearly want to win!”
Trainer Michael Timm added, “Drumond is a strong opponent with a very good record, which is what we need. After his injury we couldn’t train carefully and think we were being safe – we trained the ‘full program.’ Now Ruslan again has the old stability and above all the condition for this world championship fight. We need this hard test and wanted to face this strong opponent Drumond to lure out his fighting instincts. Ruslan needs real fights now – sparring is sparring, competition is competition!”
The challenger Drumond stated, “Of course I’m glad that I have the world title shot. I have focused very intensely on Chagaev and have something special for him. If I can only win here by KO, then that’s what I’ll do!”
In addition to the heavyweight championship, there is another world title on the line in Rostock as WBA super lightweight champion Andreas Kotelnik (30-2-1, 13 KOs) faces fearsome mandatory challenger Marcos René Maidana (25-0, 24 KOs) in what should be an explosive matchup. Both know each other well from the Universun Gym in Hamburg.
“This second title defense is special for me, said Kotelnik. “Not every fighter has a chance to box for a world championship. I will show that I’m the world champion and will remain [world champion]!”
“Andreas Kotelnik is the world champion, a very technically gifted boxer and very fast,” said the ‘KO Machine’ Maidana. “But I absolutely want to take the belt to Argentina!”
In an interesting heavyweight matchup, Universum’s unbeaten Denis Boytsov (23-0, 18 KOs) continues his rise against Israel ‘King Kong’ Garcia (19-2, 11 KOs) for the WBA Intercontinental belt. The 22-year-old Boytsov is rated #11 by by the WBA.
“My opponent has a funny nickname,” commented Boystov. “He needs to show in the ring whether he is a ‘King Kong.’ My trainer Fritz Sdunek has me in great shape fit and I’ll speak about my other goals after the fight!”
“I’ve had this name since I was an amateur. I was always a giant,” explained Garcia. “Boytsov is a very hard puncher, whom I respect but do not fear.”
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“The Champion Returns” card, presented by Universum Boxing-Promotion, will broadcast three 12-round bouts. Integrated Sports is distributing it in the United States for live viewing at 2 PM/ET – 11 AM/PT on cable pay-per-view via iN Demand and TVN for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. A same day replay will be shown at 9 PM/ET – 6 PM/ET. The event will also be available in Canada on TSN. Hall of Fame announcer Col. Bob Sheridan will handle blow-by-blow duties and Benny Ricardo, former NFL placekicker, will serve as color commentator.