By Miika Forsström
European Union super lightweight champion Giuseppe Lauri (47-6, 28 KOs) defends his title against the hometown hero Juho “TNT” Tolppola (22-5-1, 9 KOs) May 30 in Helsinki, Finland on the undercard of WBA world heavyweight titlefight between Nikolai Valuev and Ruslan Chagaev. Things heated up, when Lauri send Tolppola a public message from his training camp. The challenger did not like the words of Lauri. The Italian champion is confident of victory. “Tolppola is 0-3 against Italian boxers. We are too good for him. After May 30 he will be 0-4 against Italians. My countryman Michele Di Rocco beat Tolppola in 2007 in Finland and later that year I took the title from Di Ricco. I see no reason why I would not be successful in Finland” Lauri comments.
Two time European title challenger Juho Tolppola fought very well in December 2008 against European champion Gianluca Branco in Italy, but was controversially stopped on a swelling in the side of Tolppola´s head in round nine. “I was robbed in Italy. I beat Branco and I should right now be European champion”. Tolppola is very determined to get a win over Lauri May 30. “I don´t like what Lauri is saying. I don´t want only to take his title, I really want to beat him up bad and shut him up” Tolppola states.
Tolppola is currently training for the titlefight in Helsinki. Tolppola´s main-sparring partner is unbeaten Russian prospect Denis Shafikov (19-0, 10 KOs), who will also be fighting on May 30 card. “Shafikov is much better boxer than Lauri. We are having really tough sparring sessions. I am in the best shape of my life and ready to kick some Italian ass” Tolppola informs.
Both boxers have stated that after the May 30 fight they want to go after the European super lightweight title. Lauri is currently ranked #3 by European Boxing Union (EBU), while Tolppola is ranked #6.