Saturday night at the Sparkassen Arena in Kiel, Germany, signals the start of a hot year end spurt of boxing action presented by Universum Box-Promotion. In Vitali Tajbert and Dimitri Sartison, two German hopefuls are seeking to claim world championships. Four weeks later on December 19 in Schwerin, two more Germans, WBO light heavyweight champion Jürgen Brähmer and WBC interim world champion Sebastian Zbik will risk their belts. Universum promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl spoke about the upcoming “Festival of German Professional Boxing.”
Mr. Kohl, how are things going these days in German boxing?
“Better than ever. We are very happy about both the fight nights this Saturday in Kiel and on the 19th December in Schwerin. This will be a festival. Four German boys fighting in four weeks for four world championship belts, three of them live on the ZDF. This has never happened before in the history of German boxing. Besides Felix Sturm, Ina Menzer, Susi Kentikian and Alesia Graf, we also have other German world champions under contract. Robert Stieglitz, whom we promote with Ulf Steinforth, boxes for us. Plus now, in addition, we have signed the German amateur world champion Jack Culcay. Our competitors in Berlin have Marco Huck and Sebastian Sylvester with belts. So I am very happy about the present situation in German boxing. This creates a hunger for the 2010 boxing year.”
How do you see the chances for your boxers Vitali Tajbert and Dimitri Sartison?
Very good, even though I believe that both have very hard nuts to crack. Vitali has faces a tough Central American who improves every time and constantly moves forwards. But Vitali is looking to become the first German world champion in the super featherweight division. He can write history. Dimitri Sartison has an unorthodox Croatian opponent who is very experienced. But, it’s Dimitri’s second world title shot and he would absolutely like to take advantage of this chance. I’ve observed the boys in training. They are prepared very well, and with Magomed Schaburow they have a top trainer who lives boxing 24 hours a day. “
How do you see the double world championship card in Schwerin?
“The hall is already almost sold out. Both boys are exceptional. Jürgen Brähmer and Sebastian Zbik top an evening that is electrifying the whole region in Schwerin and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. I am very happy for Jürgen, who is now a world champion. With Sebastian we have a man of the future who has steadily expanded his fanbase. And, both will be seen by many millions who gather before the television.”
On Saturday your long-standing world champion Zsolt Erdei moves up to cruiserweight and seeks to become the first Hungarian to become world champion in two weight classes. How do you see his chances?
“I admire Zsolt’s ambition. He said to us that he would like to once more experience a big highlight in the autumn of his career. And after attempts for title unifications failed, the fact that he immediately accepted such a big difference in weight has deeply impressed me. He will hopefully outbox Fragomeni with his technical class and great fitness. Even though he is the challenger on the paper, I am very optimistic.”
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Current German boxing champions:
1. Ina Menzer: WBC, WBO, WIBF featherweight world champion since October 2005 (Universum)
2. Alesia Graf: GBU and WIBF junior bantamweight world champion since February 2006 (Universum)
3. Felix Sturm: WBA middleweight world champion since April 2007 (Universum)
4. Susi Kentikian: WBO, WBA, WIBF flyweight world champion since February 2007 (Spotlight)
5. Sebastian Zbik: WBC interim middleweight world champion since July 2009 (Spotlight)
6. Robert Stieglitz: WBO super middleweight world champion since August 2009 (SES/Universum)
7. Marco Huck: WBO cruiserweight world champion since August 2009 (Sauerland)
8. Sebastian Sylvester: IBF welterweight world champion since September 2009 (Sauerland)
9. Jürgen Brähmer: WBO light heavyweight world champion since November 2009 (Universum)
Note: Unbeaten former IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham is currently participating in the SHOWTIME “SUPER SIX” Tournament.