By Robert Coster
Photos: Olivier Monserrat-Robert
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A press conference was held yesterday in Poitiers at the posh Mercure Hotel in this historic French city in order to preview the much expected battle between WBA bantamweight champion Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno of Panama and his French challenger, former WBA junior featherweight champion and local hero Mahyar Monshipour on Saturday.
The card has the unique characteristic of being promoted by none other than Monshipour himself, making his debut as a promoter as well as attempting to become a two-division world champion. A very relaxed Moreno stated jokingly that he was not awed by the fact of “fighting the promoter in his hometown” and mentioned that he won his title against Wladimir Sidorenko in Germany where Sidorenko was the local favorite.
“Fighting on the road is part of being a champion. I respect Monshipour as a person and a boxer but he is not the one who will take my title away”, said the champion from Panama.
For his part, the very gracious Monshipour had this to say: “Chemito is a great boxer, but I am fighting for the history books, to become a two division world champion. On Saturday, Moreno is going to face a man with an unbeatable will.”
At the bequest of boxing manager Jacques Deschamps, both men shook hands with mutual respect, drawing applause from those present.
Deschamps, who brokered the fight, declared about the upcoming contest:” This fight is a great matchup between the smooth boxer, Moreno, and the relentless warrior, Monshipour. It is a great contrast in styles and should make for a great fight.”
The Moreno-Monshipour bout will be the first world title held in France this year.