By Alexey Potapov
Photos: Pavel Terekhov
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WBO/IBF/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and WBA champion in recess Ruslan Chagaev held a press conference today in advance of their fight on June 20th at the Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Wladimir Klitschko: “It’s sad that David cannot compete. However, I’m looking into the future and forward to fighting against Ruslan. He is WBA Champion, very experienced and a tough challenger. For my preparation, I had to change my sparring partners from orthodox to southpaw.“
Ruslan Chagaev: “Last week my fight against Valuev was cancelled. Now I am fighting against Wladimir Klitschko in front of 60.000 spectators. I am looking forward to the arena in Schalke, the crowd as well as Klitschko’s three belts which I will take home with me. I have no fear of Wladimir. I’m also a world champion, not only him. I’ve always said I would box against anyone. The size difference doesn’t bother me. That’s Wladimir’s problem because I have already defeated a big boxer in Valuev.
Bernd Boente, manager Klitschko: “We always wanted to stick to June 20 as we do not want to disappoint the Schalke fans. Ruslan Chagaev is reigning WBA Champion and a high-class boxer. The fight night in Schalke will take place as planned and I am sure we all will have an unforgettable evening“
Klaus-Peter Kohl, Universum Box-Promotion: “This is a huge chance for Ruslan. Negotiations with the Klitschko Management have been very professional and quick. The planned event is simply gigantic and will find its place in the history of boxing.”
Ruslan Chagaev’s trainer Michael Timm: The chances are fifty-fifty. Ruslan is WBA champion and Wladimir and has a few more belts. There is a lot on the line, but both have their chances. Above all I’m happy for Ruslan. After the theater in Helsinki, he now gets the fair chance that he deserves. We’re still in training. Next week we’ll go once again into sparring, and then we’ll refine and work on our tactics. Wladimir is good at moving in reverse, has a good jab. But Ruslan is a strong guy who can take a punch and then fire back. I’m glad that we can offer great event to the boxing fans.“