“Universum Champions Night” returns to the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart on July 3 with local hero and former WBA cruiserweight world champion Firat Arslan (29-4-1, 18 KOs) and WBC/WBO/WIBF female featherweight world champion Ina Menzer (26-0, 10 KOs) in headlining roles. Both fighters appeared before the local press on Wednesday.
Arslan, who hails from just outside Stuttgart, returns after nearly a two-year layoff to face Steve Herelius (19-1-1, 11 KOs) for the WBA interim belt.
Coming back from a horrendous bicycle accident, Arslan stated “In June 2009 I crashed quite badly while training on a bike in the mountains. I really smacked the asphalt. I had to be taken to hospital by helicopter. I happened to have a helmet on, but I had torn neck muscles and multiple fractures. At first I thought I wouldn’t get back to normal again, let alone box…But now I’m well again and I’m back! I’ve fought all my life. I am the proof that you can fight for everything in life. So now I’m burning for this opportunity to get my WBA belt back. How successful I’ll be, we’ll see on July 3rd.”
Menzer will face an opponent to be named. “The ink on the contract isn’t dry yet, but it’ll happen in the next few days,” said Menzer. “No matter who it is, I’m looking forward to this city and the local boxing fans. It’ll be a new experience. In my first fight here in 2005 I was prelim fighter and no one was interested in my fight.”
Menzer will now enter a full arena with her three world championship belts, including the new pink WBO belt. “The WBO sent me for the first time a real women’s belt, which is much lighter and totally pink. It looks beautiful. I’m delighted with this special honor. Womens boxing is becoming more popular.”
Trainer Michael Timm, who has helped eleven Universum boxers become world champions, will prepare both fighters. “Firat is very pleasant and has an indomitable will. That makes working with him so enjoyable. I’m sure we’ll bring Herelius a tough fight, with hopefully a positive outcome!”
“Ina has greatly developed,” he added. “Lately she has faced the best female boxers in her weight class and won. She loves these challenges. We are now very focused in Hamburg and beginning our preparations.”