The November 21 “Universum Champions Night” at the Sparkassen Arena in Kiel, Germany, will feature one of the year’s absolute boxing highlights when long-standing WBO light heavyweight champion Zsolt Erdei (30-0, 17 KOs) moves up a division to challenge WBC cruiserweight world champion Giacobbe Fragomeni (26-1-1, 10 KOs). The 40-year-old OPI 2000 fighter Fragomeni will be making the second defense of his world title against the unbeaten Universum star Erdei, who is five years younger. In this Boxing.de interview, he speaks about the upcoming collision of champions and much more.
Mr. Fragomeni, when and where did you start boxing?
“I was already twenty years old and lived in Milan, but really wanted to lose weight. That’s why I started boxing.”
What does this sport mean for you?
“Boxing is my life, my one and only. Everything I do is for boxing.”
What did you do before your boxing career?
“I was a road worker.”
What was your best fight?
“The hardest was against David Haye. The biggest fights I had, however, were against Rudolph Kraj and against Krysztof Wlodarczyk for my WBC title.”
What makes you such a tough guy?
“Perhaps it’s in my DNA?”
What is your biggest weapon in the ring?
“Exerting pressure on my opponent. Always moving ahead — to flatten them.”
Where do you come from?
“From a poor part of Milan. We had nothing. It was a hard time when I was little.”
What would you be doing today if your boxing career hadn’t worked out?
“I would still be a road worker.”
What mindset in the ring fits you better? To make money or to die for victory?
“I would die for the victory.”
What do your tattoos mean?
“The tattoo on my neck is the name of my daughter. All the others mean something and remind me of special events in my life. It wasn’t always easy and everything nice.”
What do you think about the fact that you’re facing an unbeaten boxer who is a world champion in the class under you?
“I don’t think anything. I only have respect.”
What do you think about Erdei as a boxer?
“He is very strong, a tough boy and a very good technician. A good boxer.”
Where does this fight fit in your biography?
“This will be the biggest and most important fight of my life. Quite clearly I’m not the youngest. With a win, I can show everyone what I can do. I will attack and fight until I drop.”
Why do you have so much energy in your old age?
“I simply love to challenge myself and train hard every day.”