Boxing News

Sylvester confident

Team Sauerland

IBF Middleweight Champion Sebastian Sylvester will be counting on the ferocious support of his home fans in Neubrandenburg when he takes on Billy Lyell in his first title defence on Saturday night. The American is a late replacement for Pablo Navascues, who failed a random training drug test. “Preparing for a new opponent on short notice is no problem for Sebastian,” said coach Karsten Rower. “We have watched tapes of Lyell. His style is similar to the guys we had in sparring. Sebastian will be well-prepared and he will definitely defend his title.”

More than 4,500 fans raised the roof on September 19 when Sylvester clinched a points victory over Giovanni Lorenzo to ink King Arthur´s vacant title. Saturday´s clash has been sold out for weeks. “The backing of my fans really means a lot to me,” Sylvester said. “They have supported me when I knocked out Castillejo and also against Lorenzo. I will put on another great performance against Lyell. After all, the Jahnsportforum has really become my living room. I will make sure Lyell won´t feel too comfortable, though.”

Lyell, who defeated John Duddy in April 2009, is convinced he will leave the country with the belt. “This is the chance I have been waiting for,” he said at today´s press conference. “Since my trainer Jack Loew also coaches Kelly Pavlik, a fight against him is very unlikely. That is why we have been thinking about a fight with Sylvester for quite a while – we know him very well. I am in great shape since I was due to fight this weekend anyway so I will make the most of this great chance.”

And Jack Loew added: “We have been following Sylvester for a while so we know how he fights. Billy is in great shape. He is ready to win the title. The fans can expect a huge surprise on Saturday.”

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