Photos: Team Sauerland
The Protagonists are on edge ahead of Saturday’s showdown. The all-German affair between Eduard Gutknecht (24-1, 9 KOs) and Juergen Braehmer (38-2, 30 KOs) for the European light heavyweight championship is just days away and it seemed like the nerves were finally kicking in at today’s press conference. Promoter Kalle Sauerland got straight to the point: “We are excited about this duel. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner. Whoever is on top after the bout will be in possession of the EBU Title and will get a crack at the WBO championship. Consequently there is a lot on the line for everyone involved.”
Both participants, Gutknecht as well as Braehmer, made it clear that they see themselves ahead of the respective opponent, without giving too much away. “I am looking forward to the fight,” said 30-year-old Gutknecht. “We will see in which manner I will win on Saturday. I will keep my belt.” The current champion is also counting on the knowledge of his coach Ulli Wegner. “Mister Wegner has a lot of experience. I am planning to follow the game plan he came up with. I am only thinking positive – a loss is not even a possibility in my mind.”
The same goes for Braehmer. “I will win because I am better,” said the former WBO champion. Asked about the duel between the two coaches, Ulli Wegner and Karsten Roewer, the 34-year-old only replied: “I don’t know why everybody keeps talking about that. This fight is between Eduard Gutknecht and myself – the coaches aren’t fighting each other, we are!”
The theme of the evening is obvious: “There can only be one!” But what happens to the one who is not on the winning side afterwards? Kalle Sauerland: “We are not going to leave any of our boxers outside in the cold but it will be a long way back for the loser.”
Another one who is only at the beginning of the road to glory is Robert Woge (10-0, 9 KOs). In only his eleventh pro fight, the 28-year-old will get his first crack at a title. The only person standing in the way between him and the vacant IBF Intercontinental Title is Hakim Zoulikha (18-3, 9 KOs). However, Woge, who is known for his direct and no-nonsense approach once again made it clear that he is only focused on himself and his personal style: “At the end of the day this isn’t athletics. If two grown man face each other in a fight they will start hitting one another. That is what I am going to do and so far I have been successful with this method.”
It is pretty much a given that Saturday night will be huge spectacle and action-packed. The only question left to be answered is who will walk away with a new sense of achievement and who will have to start from square one.