Feature Story

Universum Beach Presser

Photo: Eroll Popova
Photo: Eroll Popova

The Hanseatic city of Rostock on the Baltic Sea is again looking forward to a big boxing event. On Oktober 10th at the Stadthalle in Rostock, two world title fights, plus several other high-profile fights will highlight the next “Universum Champions Night.” Champions will collide in both world title bouts as unbeaten WBC/WIBF featherweight champion Ina Menzer meets jr. featherweight champion Esther Schouten in a rematch of their January clash considered by many to be the female fight of the year, and the “Killer Queen” Susi Kentikian will display her spectacular fighting style defending her WBA and WIBF belts against WIBF jr flyweight champion Julia Sahin. Also seeing action will be unbeaten heavyweight contender Denis Boytsov, unbeaten local featherweihght star Marcel Meyerdiercks and 2008 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist Rakhim Chakhkiev making his pro debut.

Photos: Eroll Popova

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On Wednesday, a press conference was held at “Beach 23”, a surf- and kite-sailing school in Rostock-Warnemünde taking advantage of the sunny late summer “beach weather.

Ina Menzer: “During my last appearance here in Rostock it was winter and very cold. Now it is so much nicer that we can announce the rematch of the “fight of the year” at the beach with great weather. I’m looking forward to this mandatory defense against Esther Schouten, since the boxing fans can again expect that it will be a great fight. How I will adjust to my opponent this time, of course, is a mystery, and ultimately you can’t plan 100% for a fight like this. Let them be surprised!”

Menzer’s trainer Michael Timm: “That [the first fight] was the very first women’s boxing match at the highest level. The “title fight of the year”is justified and quite honestly, I expect on October 10th it will again be a fast, dynamic and highly technical fight.”

Mandatory challenger Esther Schouten: “Of course we’ve analyzed the first fight in great detail and I made many mistakes. I will box differently this time — after coming back from a long pause due to illness and now winning the world championship at jr. featherweight, obviously I’m more confident. Everything is going much better now and I must take advantage of this second opportunity! ”

Schouten’s trainer Dirk Dzemski: “The first fight was high class, but Esther had too much on her mind. That we can and must remedy.”

Susi Kentikian: “Of course I know Julia Sahin well, her fighting style is very well known. She is the undefeated champion in a lower weight class, very agile and quick, but I am too. And I punch harder. Even if you can’t guarantee a KO, I will live up to my nickname ‘Killer Queen.’ My preparation has been and will still be very intense in the coming weeks. It will be a very tough fight!”

Kentikian’s trainer Magomed Schaburow: “Susi has worked hard and developed very well in the last few fights. To defend the titles is now more difficult than to win them. We are afraid of no opponent and Julia Sahin will feel the same way. Susie wants to retain her titles!”

Denis Boytsov: “The boxing fans here liked my last fight in Rostock against the “King Kong” (Israel Garcia) and I’m here to box again. My last fight against Taras Bidenko was not an easy fight – because we’re friends, I had to turn off my private feelings and win clearly. My goal remains the world championship. The Klitschko brothers currently dominate the heavyweights, but I’ll remain right on their heels. In a year and a half, I might be able to land a title fight. Warning: I have some oomph in my fists!”

The opponents of Boytsov, Meyerdiercks and Chakhkiev , as well as other high-profile fights, will be announced in the coming weeks.

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