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Povetkin, Pianeta work-out!

Alexander Povetkin has vowed to take one step at a time as he prepares for Saturday´s showdown with Jason Estrada. The White Lion is eager to return to the ring following his ankle injury which forced him to postpone his hotly-anticipated clash with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Today Povetkin (16-0, 12 KOs) gave the fans a first taste of his class during a public work-out session in Dusseldorf. “When I twisted my ankle back in October, I didn´t think it was a big issue at first. But the doctor´s diagnosis then was a huge blow for me,” he recalled. “However, I have put the injury past me. I am back at 100 percent and don’t have any problems with my left foot any more.”

Even though the showdown with Klitschko is on the horizon, the top-ranked IBF challenger claimed he will shift his full focus to Estrada. “I am only thinking about Saturday,” Povetkin said. “Estrada is on my mind. Once I have beaten him, I want to fight Wladimir Klitschko.”

While Povetkin only did some light shadow boxing and skipping during the work-out, Estrada (15-1, 3 KOs) also worked the pads with assistant coach Ernest Shelton, firing quick series of hooks. Just like Povetkin, the American also took time to speak to the on-site media members. Asked about his ‘lights out tattoo’, he replied: “Povetkin will see what that means.”

In the co-featured main event, EU heavyweight champion Francesco Pianeta (18-0, 11 KOs) will make a third defence of the title he won last August. It will be a special fight for the 24-year-old who was born in Italy and raised in Gelsenkirchen, which is just 30 miles away from Dusseldorf. “My coach Ulli Wegner has prepared me very well,” he said. “I am in top shape and will leave the ring as the winner.” His opponent, experienced Albert Sosnowski (44-2, 27 KOs), is also confident of success. “He is a big guy but he has only limited boxing abilities,” the challenger said. “I will win the fight in the last couple of rounds.”

Also in action will be local hero Nadia Raoui (9-0, 3 KOs). The 23-year-old will clash with Maria Rosa Tabbuso (12-1, 3 KOs) for the WIBA Flyweight Title. Raoui came to fame last December when she fascinated a sell-out crowd of 12.000 fans in Zurich on the Valuev-Holyfield undercard. The fans reacted with shock and disbelief when the judges scored the fight a draw which allowed Eileen Olszewski to keep her title. “I am so close of accomplishing my goal and win the world title,” the ‘Beauty Beast’ said. “I have trained very hard with my coach Dietmar Berg and I am well prepared.”

Raoui will count on the fan support from her nearby home city Herne. Last night she played tour guide for Alexander Povetkin, giving him a brief tour of Dusseldorf. “I am really looking forward to Saturday night,” she added.




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