Boxing News

Zbik fires back

Eroll Popova

During a public training session earlier this week, WBC interim middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik and #2 contender Domenico Spada exchanged some heated words. “He wanted to tell me he’s winning the fight and the belt is his,” explained Zbik. “But it was very difficult to understand him and I had to correct his English once. In the end he can say what he wants. We’ll see on Saturday what his words are worth. Then I’ll show him his place. That he made a scene is a sign of insecurity.”

They collide Saturday in what should be a spirited grudge rematch on Universum’s big world title twinbill in Magdeburg. WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz defends against unbeaten Edward “Eddy” Gutknecht in the other world title matchup.

The first Zbik-Spada fight ended with Zbik winning a narrow decision 115-114 on all cards. “This is a completely different fight,” promises Zbik. “I’m physically in a very different condition. I had an injury-free preparation without health problems. This is already a huge difference from the first fight. I’m assuming that I’ll go into the fight as a different fighter and produce a very different performance.

“I have every reason to be optimistic, because previously I was in really disastrous shape and probably should have canceled the fight. But it was my first world title chance after five years and he couldn’t even beat me in that form. Now I’m in top shape and can go confidently into the fight.

“I’ll stay true to my style and we have a very good plan. I must, of course, get through the early rounds, then the fight will go well for me I’m sure.”

WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik is also in action on Saturday, boxing against WBC jr middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. Zbik wants nothing more than to meet Pavlik for the full belt.

“There should finally be clarity here,” stated Zbik. “The boxing fans want to know who the best middleweight is. I want to finally get in there with Pavlik, and not be interim champion forever. I hope that after my fight with Spada the WBC or Pavlik finally takes the responsibility to make a mandatory defense. I’m ready in any case. I would also fight [IBF champion] Sebastian Sylvester or [WBA champion] Felix Sturm. Sebastian is already booked. Felix’ plans are unclear. I want to be the best in the division. I won’t duck anyone. But first I have Spada waiting on Saturday. This is the most important, for now.”

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