New year, new coach, new challenge: Sebastian Sylvester has big plans for 2009. After dropping a points decision against WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm in November, the Hurricane decided to make a change. In 2009 he will not continue to work with the Viking Box-Team of manager Winfried Spiering and coach Hartmut Schroder. From the end of January on, he will work out in Berlin-Marzahn under the guidance of Karsten Rower. The new coach has been under contract with Sauerland Event since November 2008 and shall lead the ex-champion back to former glory. “Without a doubt this is a very important step in my career,” Sylvester said. “After all the years with Winne Spiering and Hartmut Schroder this decision did not come easily. But after giving it a deliberate thought, I decided that this is the right move for me.”
For several years, Sylvester has been promoted by Sauerland Event, while at the same time having a separate management contract with Winfried Spiering. However, the 28-year-old did not wish to follow the plans of his manager, who had intended to let him fight for different promoters. “My future is with Sauerland Event,” Sylvester said. “That is why this was the only way for me.”
The Viking Box-Team, which is based in the Eisenhaus near Berlin´s East Side Gallery, and Sauerland Event go back a long and successful way. “Our cooperation has been and still is beneficial for either side – it has always been very professional and we have treated each other with a lot of respect,” said Sauerland Event General Manager Chris Meyer. “With us promoting Sebastian, he became European champion twice and earned a world title shot. That is a very good record. When Sebastian asked whether he could join us completely, we of course agreed and let Mr. Spiering know. The cooperation with the Viking-Team will continue nevertheless.” Spiering´s talents such as Henry Weber and Thomas Trolenberg always fight at Sauerland Event´s shows.
Due to his long-time ties, coach Hartmut Schroder did not want to leave the Viking Team. “I owe Hartmut Schroder a lot,” Sylvester added. “He is more than just a coach for me. But now I am starting over again with Karsten Rower. I am very optimistic.”
Rower is an accomplished amateur fighter and coach. 1996 he made Jurgen Brahmer the youth amateur champion. 2007 Rower turned pro and was appointed head coach at Hamburg-based boxing stable Arena before signing a contract with Sauerland Event at the end of 2008. Judging from their mentality, the new coach and his new fighter are sure to get along well – they are both from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. “The first impressions at our initial meeting were absolutely positive,” Rower said. “Sebastian is highly motivated and very ambitious. We will be working very hard and set our goals high.”
At the end of January both will start the preparation for the next fight. Due to limited space in the Max-Schmeling-Gym near the Olympic Stadium, Rower and Sylvester will train at the Sauerland-Gym in Berlin-Marzahn.