With a truly energetic performance, Sebastian Sylvester secured himself the vacant IBF middleweight title on Saturday night. In front of a sell-out crowd of 5,000 packed inside the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, the 29-year-old defeated the IBF #1 rated Giovanni Lorenzo from the Dominican Republic on a points’ verdict. “I kind of slept a little in the first two or three rounds,” admitted the ‘Hurricane,’ who picked up a cut to the head in the first round. “The injury came when we clashed heads and that happened a few times in the fight. But I did not let it knock me off course and I started to get into gear more from the end of the third round.”
Karsten Röwer’s pupil could not have been more right with his assessment as it was from the fourth round at the latest that he really turned things around with the support from the crowd reaching a crescendo. His jabs became harder and more precise and his right hand was causing problems with many body shots. His punches may not have always hit the desired target, but the higher frequency of the local fighter from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was causing Lorenzo enough problems.
The 28-year-old Lorenzo, who lives in New York, was unable to endanger his opposite number. In fact, quite the opposite can be said: Sylvester became more and more assured and the best actions were all his.
At the start of the eighth round, Lorenzo tried to surprise Röwer’s pupil with furious attacks to the body. But Sylvester kept all the doors closed and Lorenzo’s efforts went unrewarded. The ‘Hurricane’ hit back powerfully too and his right hand long fist hit the mark, and this inspired the fans into a party atmosphere and heralded the victory celebrations. The fans called for “one more blow” to be landed, and Sylvester obliged, landing more regular and clear punches.
Sebastian Sylvester proved he was still wide awake and in top condition in the closing stages too. “I knew from the ninth round that I was going to win,” he revealed. “It was clear to me that, as long as I did not receive any more unnecessary hard blows, then I would become World Champion.” And the crowd realised that too. Their now customary shrills of “how beautiful it is” emanated around the forum like they had in the German’s first two fights inside the Jahnsportforum.
Yet Lorenzo did not want to accept defeat so easily. In the final three minutes, he tried with all his might to turn things around, but the ‘lucky punch’ remained elusive so that Sylvester was able to register a 116-112, 115-113, 111-116 win. “I cannot understand the judge who ruled against me, but to be honest, I don’t care if I win 2-1 or 3-0,” he said at the press conference afterwards. “Bayern Munich only beat Nurnberg 2-1 too. The main thing is that I am now the IBF World Champion.”