Photos by Universum
Unbeaten WBC interim middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik (29-0, 10 KOs) faced off off with challenger Khoren Gevor (31-4, 16 KOs) at a press conference to announce their July 17 world title clash in Schwerin, Germany. Zbik and Gevor previously trained together for five years under the guidance to legendary trainer Fritz Sdunek at the Universum Gym in Hamburg. However, Sdunek is now working exclusively with WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, so both fighters now have different trainers.
Zbik is now fully trained by Artur Grigorian and will again be walking in the pawprints of Dariusz “Tiger” Michalczewski , setting up his training camp in Zakopane, Poland. Two-time world title challenger Gevor is now training under Dutchman Roland Germerts in Amsterdam.
Here’s what they had to say…
Sebastian Zbik: “We’ve trained together for years and have a lot in common. We now have to have block that out for the fight in the ring, and then we’ll be friends again. Anyone who saw the fight between Gutknecht and Stieglitz knows that was no friendship fight. Anyway, I’m happy to finally box against someone who can box well. Against Khoren I don’t always have to be afraid of headbutting, as against Spada. Kelly Pavlik has clearly stated that he’s changing his weight class. Martinez, also a world champion (at 154lbs), will probably go back down one class. So the fight on July 17th could be for the 100% world title. I’m excited.
“I’ll be with Marcel Meyerdiercks and Karoly Balzsay in Zakopane under the supervision of trainer Artur Grigorian and conditioning coach Christoph Busch. We work very hard, but of course you sometimes laugh. It must also be fun, because we are working very intensely and are sometimes really on our last legs. So it’s important to laugh at times. But there’s not much time before the fight so the preparation is intense. Khoren is an opponent who puts on a lot of pressure, is strong and always moves forward. That’s why good conditioning is very important.”
Khoren Gevor: “His statistics say it all. He has great experience and a great record. He is not interim champion for nothing. But I am also up to scratch, and have changed a lot. I moved to Kleve on the border with Holland. Ex-Universum world champion Michele Aboro put me in touch with my new trainer Orlando and I am very happy in Holland. Sebastian and his team know me 100%. So I must change in order not to be predictable. Now I’m even doing yoga, and much more sparring rounds than before. I don’t guarantee to give my friend any gifts in July.”
Orlando Germents: “Yoga is incredibly good to relax the muscles and wind down. Khoren’s only thinking of the fight and would rather fight immediately. I often have to slow him down.”
Dietmar Poszwa, Universum Management: “Sebastian wants to go against the best in the world and show that he is truly the best middleweight! Waiting for what happens with Kelly Pavlik and Sergio Martinez and doing nothing is not him. He’d rather box Gevor, who is certainly one of the top ten middleweights. I’m very pleased that both have agreed to the fight, even though they are friends. But whoever wants to be at the top can’t take that into consideration.”
Schwerin Mayor Angelika Gramkow: “I’m looking forward to the event. We were very grateful to ZDF and Universum that in December 2009 we were able to hold the world title fight here. The hall was sold out and the atmosphere great. So I am very happy that we have an event of this kind again, especially after long abstinence. Schwerin is a real boxing town so we are very pleased with your confidence.”
More notable fights will be announced in the coming days.