“I’m back,” says former WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev, who became the mandatory challenger for current WBA titleholder David Haye with a twelve round unanimous decision over #1 rated Kali Meehan on Saturday night in Rostock, Germany.
You can watch the complete fights from yesterday’s Universum Champions Night at StadtHalle Rostock on Universum’s new YouTube-Channel: www.youtube.com/UBPboxing Among the fights available are Chagaev vs. Meehan, Siarhei Liakhovich vs. Evans Quinn, Vitali Tajbert vs. Hector Velazquez (WBC world championship), Aleksy Kuziemski vs. Igor Michalkin, Jack Culcay vs. Isak Tavares, Pal Bedak vs. Pedro Cardenas, and Sebastian Köber vs. Markus Tomala.
For post-fight comments from Chagaev, Meehan, Chagaev trainer Magomed Schaburow, Universum promoter Dietmar Poszwa, Meehan promoter Don King and WBC super featherweight champion Vitali Tajbert,
Ruslan Chagaev: “This fight was very difficult and important to me. I haven’t boxed for over a year. It was a very good test for me. Although I’m satisfied, I can box much better. This was the debut with my new trainer. It’s like getting to know someone completely new and today was the test. With Magomed Schaburow we developed a correct tactic plan. The tactics were perfect. We had a plan to attack in round four. Kali was a very tough opponent. I respect him. Today was just not his day. Today was mine. Perhaps there will again be another Kali-day? The time after the fight against Klitschko was very hard for me. But now I’m back. I feel like a new person. I’m very satisfied with my team, my training and my preparation. I am very grateful to Universum. I work very well with Magomed Schaburow. For a fight against Haye I’ll need more training and to be more mobile. But if we continue to work together so well, anything is possible.”
Kali Meehan: “Thank you for the great time here in Germany. I felt a little rusty after the long break. I may have also run out of gas. And Ruslan is right: It was his day, not mine. My inactivity was my biggest problem. Ruslan simply has a very good defense and I couldn’t land my body punches like usual. A big thank you goes to my trainer. I tried to implement everything in the ring, but it wasn’t enough.”
Magomed Schaburow: “It was the right opponent at the right time. It was a good building fight. Ruslan sometimes fell back into his old style, so I’m not 100% satisfied. He implemented some things very well. That makes me happy, but I also see that there is plenty of work ahead of us. We are on the way to a championship fight. There were moments when Ruslan could have knocked out his opponent but I held him back as Meehan was always dangerous.”
Dietmar Poszwa: “I am incredibly happy for Ruslan. It has been a very difficult time for him and he came back gloriously. After the long break it’s certainly not easy. I take off my hat to him. This was a strong and courageous performance and bravöse . Ruslan has now qualified for a world championship fight. Haye has already boxed the mandatory challenger Ruiz, and therefore has a certain period of time to make a voluntary defense of his title. If Haye doesn’t want to fight Ruslan, then we’ll have to look at other fights for Ruslan.”
Don King: “I have never seen such a good Ruslan Chagaev. Meehan hadn’t boxed for a long time and it was also the first time with his trainer, but Meehan will come back, of that I’m sure.
Take a vacation and then get back in the gym, Kali”
Vitali Tajbert: “There was a lot of pressure before the fight. The cut made me slightly messed up. My sight out of my left eye was significantly worse. Luckily I have two eyes. I could tell that my opponent is very experienced, but I gave everything. Sure it’s a limitation if you get cut so early, but I didn’t let it me bring out of my gameplan. I felt a little heavier, but by rounds five and six I was back to normal again. I have fears that there would be another headbutt, so I wanted to be mobile and box from a distance. Only one who moves can be world champion. All the world champions are very mobile. When I land a blow and he doesn’t, then I win. I try to fight to not only survive, to beat-up my opponent. The art of the boxing is to be hit less and to hit your opponent more. And I simply control this art. I’m no puncher. I box with my mind. I was already at the hospital. The eyelid needed 7 stitches. I was actually prepared to go the full distance. I still had plenty left, and I’m not just a puncher. If the trainer of Velazquez trains his boxer that way it’s OK. But I’m a world champion. I did everything right.”
Photos: Eroll Popova