Universum Box-Promotion had three new world champions crowned on Saturday night in Kiel Germany. Former light heavyweight champion Zsolt Erdei successfully moved up in weight to seize the WBC cruiserweight title from Giacobbe Fragomeni, Olympian medalist Vitali Tajbert dethroned WBC interim super featherweight king Humberto Gutierrez, and super middleweight claimed the vacant WBA belt with a fifth round TKO over Stjepan Bozic. Here’s what they had to say at the post-fight press conference, plus a giant photo gallery of the night’s action.
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WBC cruiserweight champion Zsolt Erdei: “It’s difficult to find the right words. I can say that. Everything I experienced before the fight was really the limit. I knew that I cound do it, but I didn’t know it would be sooo hard. After the fourth round, I was out of breath. I tortured myself. Thanks to Fritz, and also to my doctors that they helped me endure this difficult situation with my short-term mild flu. Also hats off to Mr. Fragomeni. He showed his fighting heart. I realize, as the judges did, that I narrowly won the fight, except for the one that saw it as a draw. This was a really fair fight. After the fight he told me that I am the true champion even before the ring announcer lifted my arm. For me this was a correct recognition. Thanks for the fight, thank you for the opportunity.
“I’m thinking about the future, but for now I’ll pause and celebrate Christmas. But I think I have enough strength left and in the future we’ll see what we can do.
“As a child I collected pictures and Muhammad Ali was in some. Now, his image is emblazoned on my WBC belt. That makes me very happy. Ali is my role model, but somehow I can’t feel it yet. It’s all too unrealistic. I can’t understand it! ”
Former champion Giacobbe Fragomeni: “I have great respect for Zsolt. It was a great fight. It was my fault for starting so slowly in the early rounds. I was better at the end, it was then a very close battle. Now I want a rematch!”
Trainer Fritz Sdunek: “I’ve aged a few years and now have more white hair. When I heard Zsolt coughing today, I thought ‘what good is it?” How he coped with the flu was insane. Thanks to the whole team who supported him so he could endure this. Even the thought of his family drove him forward. We knew we were taking a risk. I looked at Fragomeni, I knew he’s wasn’t bigger and we could do it.”
Klaus-Peter Kohl: “Maybe now we’ll go to heavyweight, won’t we Zsolt?
Zsolt Erdei: Bring on Nikolai Valuev!“
Klaus-Peter Kohl: “The mood in the hall was great. Vitali Tajbert, at the end of the event late at night had it the hardest, but he still took all the spectators to the end. Dimitri Sartison I would have liked to see even longer. He’s a very great boxer. The bill with Kessler is still open, and Sartison has learned a lot. For us it was important to win the title. What the WBA will order now we don’t know. At some point this fight can come. Dimitri will continue to grow.” (Note: Mikkel Kessler was dethroned by Andre Ward later that night.)
Interim WBC super featherweight champion Vitali Tajbert: It’s very hard to believe that I’m world champion. Thanks to all who were involved. This is not just my credit, but a credit to my whole team, my coaches, and my promoters Klaus-Peter Kohl and Dietmar Poszwa.
Former champion Humberto Gutierrez: Thank you for this fight. I’m only 20 years old, very young. I think that my promoter has a plan for me. I lost. Vitali won by doing more boxing and deserves it. I would still like to come back to Germany.
Klaus-Peter Kohl: In the last four or five rounds, he boxed so relaxed I thought he might still have a few rounds of boxing left.
Trainer Magomed Schaburow: We knew that Humberto is always strong in the first half. Our game plan worked very well.
WBA super middleweight world champion Dimitri Sartison: “Thank you for the many congratulations. My dream has finally came true and I’ve become world champion. I still can’t believe it. I’m speechless. Of course, I feel like a true champion, although I have a score to settle with Kessler – but yes, I feel this way.”
Coach Magomed Schaburow: “The fighter is speechless, I’m KO’d. I still need some time to process everything, but we are very excited about this evening.”