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Universum: Thank You ZDF

Unprecedented 8 year run ends July 31
Klaus-Peter Kohl


The eight year partnership of Universum Box-Promotion and Germany’s ZDF television network will end on July 31 with a stellar show headlined by WBC interim middleweight champion at the o2 Arena in Hamburg. During the successful eight year run, 18 Universum boxers became world champions, and five more who already held belts defended on the network.

To celebrate this golden era in televised boxing, Universum promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl has something special planned: all seats 30 euros. “We wanted to find a special end for a special partnership,” he said, “so the boxing fans can really enjoy themselves on one special evening. One can buy the first row of tickets for 30 euros, which normally cost 600 euros or more. On top of that, every ticket buyer does something good!“ (half the proceeds will be donated to the charitable organization ‘A Heart for Children.’)

Current Universum champions Susi Kentikian and Jurgen Brähmer, as well as a host of former champions, will be on hand to meet the fans and sign autographs.

Universum presented 109 fight nights during its eight years with ZDF (another three events take place in July). Average viewership was 4.6 million (25.17 market share) following the careers of Universum fighters.

“I’m proud and grateful to our boxers and our team,” stated Kohl. “Such ratings more than eight years is a big achievement. Thank you to ZDF for this great collaboration. This made it possible for TV viewers to see live how 18 of our boxers became world champions. This is an unparalleled track record over eight years I wouldn’t have expected. I thank the ZDF crew from the heart. This partnership has set standards for quality boxing broadcasts.”

Universum boxers who won their world titles live on ZDF include Vitali Klitschko, Zsolt Erdei, Felix Sturm, Wladimir Sidorenko, Sergei Dzinziruk, Ina Menzer, Alesia Graf, Julia Sahin, Susi Kentikian, Stipe Drews, Firat Arslan, Andreas Kotelnik, Denis Inkin, Karoly Balzsay, Esther Schouten, Vitali Tajbert, Dimitri Sartison and Jurgen Brähmer.

Universum boxers who were world champion and defended their titles on ZDF include Dariusz Michalczewski, Regina Halmich, Artur Grigorian, Wladimir Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev.

Some highlights:
11/23/2002: Vitali Klitschko-Larry Donald 10.59 million (32.7%)
02/26/2005: Dariusz Michalczewski-Fabrice Tiozzo 7.74 million (30.2%)
28.09.2005: Luan Krasniqi-Lamon Brewster 8.014 million (43.4%)
30.11.2007: Regina Halmich-Hagar Shmoulefeld 9.583 million (44.3%)
04.07.2009: Alexander Dimitrenko-Eddy Chambers 4.935 million (25.3%)

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