Universum Box-Promotion celebrated its 25-year anniversary with a roaring, gala event at the famous Universum Gym in Hamburg. In the boxing highlight, longtime world champion Artur “King” Grigorian (38-1, 22 KOs), the WBO lightweight champion from 1996 to 2004, was victorious in his comeback fight, winning a six round decision over Kirkor Kirkorov (28-22, 6 KOs). Ringcard girls for the fight were current world champions Ina Menzer and Alesia Graf, plus female legend “Boxing Queen” Regina Halmich.
Among the ex-champs and current champs on hand to honor promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl were Dariusz Michalczewski, Regina Halmich, Markus Bott, Michael Löwe, Juan Carlos Gomez, Felix Sturm, Ruslan Chagaev, Zsolt Erdei and Sergej Dzinziruk.
It was February 24th, 1984 when Kohl promoted his first fight card at Hamburg’s Alsterdorfer Sporthalle in front of 2000 spectators. The card featured Manfred Jassmann, Erwin Heiber, Andreas Prox and future world champions Ralf and Graciano Rocchigiani.
To date, Universum Box-Promotion has presented more then 274 events worldwide. Together with spinoff promotional firm Spotlight Boxing, the 25 years have produced 23 world champions and nine female world champions, many great moments, and also a number of bitter defeats. All told, it’s a unique success story that has given plenty of reasons for a huge gala anniversary for the Universum family.
“What a great evening, what a glittering celebration,” said the man of the hour, Klaus-Peter Kohl. “I met so many old boxers and companions. Thank you for these beautiful moments. Now on to the next successful years with Universum!”
The previous day, the 64-year-old Kohl received another big honor. The founder of Europe’s biggest boxing promotional firm received a special award for his life’s work from the Hamburg State Sports Council. “It’s an honor for me,” he said. “I love this city. I feel at home and happy to live and work here. This award is a special honor for me.”
Halmich also spoke at the ceremony, praising and thanking her ex-boss. “What he demands from his boxers, he has always demanded of himself: Give everything! That’s what he did, and hopefully he will still do a very long time!”
Some 1,000 invited guests attended the event, which was broadcast live on local TV station Hamburg1.
Photos: Eroll Popova
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