Sebastian Sylvester (32-3, 15 KOs) will now make the first defense of his IBF middleweight title against Billy Lyell after a positive drug test has KOed Pablo Navascues. The Spaniard was tested positive for banned substances during a random training check in January. “We have a zero-tolerance policy as far as doping is concerned and we are proud that our rigid control mechanisms have paid dividends,” Team Sauerland General Manager Chris Meyer said. “Sylvester will now defend his title against Lyell in what will be an exciting fight in front of a sell-out crowd of 4,500 fans in Sebastian´s backyard of Neubrandenburg. With the help of his fans, he will make his first defence a successful one.”
Lyell came to fame last year when he upset then-undefeated Irishman John Duddy, winning a split decision in New Jersey. He has added two more wins to his record of 21-7 (4 KOs) since. “This was good timing,” manager Pat Nelson said. “He has been in full practice and was scheduled to fight anyway. He has no problems with his weight. He is perfectly prepared and travels to Germany to win.”
Added Team Sauerland sports director Hagen Doering: “All contracts have been signed. Sebastian must not underestimate Lyell, who will arrive in Germany on Tuesday. He will be joined by Jack Loew, who coaches Kelly Pavlik.”
Also in action on January 30 will be the “Nordic Nightmare” Robert Helenius (10-0, 6 KOs), who takes on former WBO heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster.