Photos: Eroll Popova
The last Universum Champions Night televised on the ZDF network featured two world championship clashes and a European heavyweight title collision. WBC interim middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik took the last step before coming to America for a WBC-mandated world title showdown with world champion Sergio Martinez. WBA super middleweight champion Dimitri Sartison survived a firefight against Khoren Gevor with his title intact. And heavyweight contender Alexander Dimitrenko won the vacant European heavyweight championship with a dominating performance. Here’s what they had to say after the fights.
On WBC interim middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik’s successful defense against Jorge Sebastian Heiland.
Klaus-Peter Kohl: “I’m hugely glad that Sebastian was accepted so fantastically in Hamburg. Already during the walk-in I felt the eager mood in the building. Naturally we’ll have bring him here again. Sebastian has delivered a good fight. Now we’ll see whether Martinez agrees to the fight.”
Sebastian Zbik: “The walk-in was great. It surprised me how warmheartedly I was received. It was also special for me to fight on the last ZDF card so I was especially motivated. Therefore I tried to fight especially well. Now I hope for Martinez. This is, of course, another caliber. But that’s also why we selected this opponent, so I could face a lefthander.”
Zbik’s trainer Artur Grigorian: “I know exactly how Sebastian must proceed from here and what we need to work on. I was a world champion myself and know that every step after the world championship gets harder and harder.
Jorge Sebastian Heiland: “Sebastian is a great champion. I’m still young and will have to work very hard as to become good as Sebastian.”
Heiland’s trainer Gabino Jimenez: “It was a very hard fight against Sebastian Zbik. However, I think that above all it was a lack of experience.”
On WBA super middleweight champion Dimitri Sartison’s successful title defense against Khoren Gevor
Klaus-Peter Kohl: “It was a very successful evening [for Universum fighters]. After the partly disappointing results from the last few Fight Nights, this is especially nice. But that’s sports. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. These were very good fights and I think we’ve shown that we can still do it. We will shortly report where we are going from here. However, in any case, Khoren fought a super fight and we’ll see that we can do something for him in the future.”
Dimitri Sartison: “I’m very happy. Khoren was a very good opponent. I still made a few mistakes, but I’ll work on it. Naturally, I’m still developing and know that I can develop further. My wishes? I have many wishes. I trust that to my management fully and completely. ”
Sartison’s trainer Magomed Schaburow: “I’m very satisfied. He really tried over the 12 rounds and concentrated hard on his boxing. Of course there are always little things one can improve, but all in all I’m satisfied. He’s a world champion. ”
Khoren Gevor: “The fight went like shit. I didn’t move well. He boxed very cleverly. I congratulate him, of course. He did well. However, I still think that he was one of my easiest world championship opponents. I think the fight was much more open than against Sturm. ”
Gevor’s trainer Orlando Germets: “He didn’t box as we had prepared in training, but he fought well, nevertheless.”
On Alexander Dimitrenko winning the European heavyweight title.
Alexander Dimitrenko: “I had a few worries that I might have gotten rusty. 12 months is a long time. But then the fists flew and I was able to end the fight early. I was certain that the Russians would fail to bring off the fight and I wouldn’t be fighting Bahktov. I’m glad that Universum acted so fast and I was able to fight for the European championship.”
Klaus-Peter Kohl: “We were accused of gambling away [the fight], but it was the others who gambled it away and now we have the European champion. I don’t want to say anything more.”
Dimitrenko’s trainer Michael Timm: “The title is won. Naturally this is something quite special. Especially that we could win the crown after our first preparation. This shows that we’re headed in the right direction. And for me personally this is something positive after some recent disappointments. This is an important title. I’m very happy.”
Yaroslav Zavorotnyi: “I hadn’t expected such a hard punch from Dimitrenko. I was really surprised. ”
On the final ZDF boxing telecast.
ZDF Sports Chief Dieter Gruschwitz: “I would like to thank Universum for the great collaboration. And I personally wish Klaus-Peter Kohl all the best for the future. It was strictly economic reasons for the decision to end the partnership. There was and are no reservations towards the sport of boxing or Universum. The management ended the deal purely on an economic basis. Of course, there’s also always a chance boxing can come back to ZDF. I can’t and won’t exclude anything.”
Klaus-Peter Kohl: “We’ve had eight successful years. We all have coped with problems involving tighter arrangements. I am really very, very thankful for the time of this joint effort. Of course, it’s also a little sad. I can only say “Thanks ZDF” for the possibilities they have given us.”