Photos: Universum Box Promotion
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WBA heavyweight champion (in recess) Ruslan Chagaev worked out today at the “Sportschule Hennef” near the former German capital Bonn. “Hennef” is a famous place for soccer teams and has a lot of boxing history, as well. In 1990 German Soccer Head-Coach Franz Beckenbauer chose this place for training camp before starting the World Cup in Italy. Germany became World Champion in 1990 in Rome. In 1995 Universum Box-Promotion held first negotiations with Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko there. Right now at “Camp Chag” middleweight champ Felix Sturm is training for his bout on July 11th at Nurburgring Arena against European champ Khoren Gevor. On Wednesday, Chagaev and his teams will move to Oberhausen. This Saturday over 60,000 fans in the arena of FC Schalke 04 and millions of people worldwide will be watching the highly anticipated fight of the heavyweight world champions.
On Monday both champions Ruslan Chagaev (WBA) and Wladimir Klitschko (IBF/WBO/IBO) met for the first time at the press conference in Gelsenkirchen. Universum-Promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl, who flew in with Chagaev and his team to Gelsenkirchen, stated on the podium saying “We have applied for a special request with the WBA, that Ruslan will be defending his WBA title and it will be a unification bout. The opposition will have time until Wednesday to comment on that case. We will be awaiting a decision by the WBA until then. We haven’t heard anything official yet and we are remain calm. For us it is clear and that will remain so that Ruslan Chagaev is the only and full WBA world champion. This was shown in the split of the purse for the cancelled fight against Valuev in Helsinki. Ruslan would have received 55 percent and Valuev 45 percent but everyone can form their own opionion about this.“
WBA world champion Ruslan Chagaev: “It has always been a big dream to fight in Schalke. Now it becomes reality. I have met the football team of Schalke 04 previous to my fight in 2008 against Matt Skelton. I gave them a boxing lession together with my trainer Michael Timm. They were very nice. In general the people here are very kind and honest. I’m so excited about the fight. The size difference to Wladimir doesn’t bother me. I have prepared myself for Valuev who is also tall and heavy. I’m expecting to fight for 12 rounds. It is in God’s hands what going to happen on Saturday. I don’t want to say much as I want to let my hands speak in the ring.“
Wladimir Klitschko praised the Universum world champion. “He is the best opponent you could have asked for. Ruslan is the ideal solution after the cancellation of David Haye. He is the third best boxer after my brother Vitali and myself. He holds the WBA belt. He is the true world champion as he has defeated Nikolai Valuev.“
Chagaev-Trainer Michael Timm: “We didn’t come here to be just the stand-in. We want to win the fight on Saturday. That’s obvious. Ruslan has got it in him. We have worked so hard for this. Ruslan has continiously trained after Helsinki and we are so happy about this chance. A thank you to Wladimir, that he is facing us. Everything can turn out to be positive now.“
The fight will be televised by RTL, Sky TV, and in the United States on ESPN Classic.