Heavy(weight) Business For Fight Production!

At first glance, heavyweights Richel ‘The Dutch Sonny Liston’ Hersisia and Frankfurt’s own Willi ‘De Ox’ Fischer don’t seem to have much in common. But they are actually stablemates at Fight Production and share a manager in Olaf Schroeder, who seems to have developed a taste for the ‘Big Boys’. Oh, and they both sport impressive records with Hersisia being 30-2 (24 KO’s) and Fischer 34-6-1 (22 KO’s). Ingo Barrabas of recently caught up with Schroeder for a quick heavyweight exchange..

Hersisia or Fischer – who of them is better?

You can’t compare, at least not at this stage. Richel is currently flying high, to take Ralf Rocchigiani on board as trainer has been one of my best decisions in a long time and given Richel another push. He is there, ready to take on everyone, whereas Willi is on a comeback after previously been in some big fights. One or two more fights for Willi and your question will be much more interesting to answer. But both are very serious and its fun to work with both of them – although that may surprise a few people in Willi’s case.

Yes, and because of that, few people were willing to get involved in Willi’s comeback!

That’s not entirely true, because don’t forget heavyweights with good records are always a commodity. In fact, before coming to Fight Production, Willi had, amongst others, an offer from Sauerland Event, but turned it down. He didn’t wanted to sign away everything bar his underwear. So there was interest in Willi, but he wanted to go an independent way, be part of the decisions concerning his career and always know what’s going on. He never had that before and that contributed to many of his problems in the past. Our mutual friend (and former three-time WBC supermiddleweight champion) Markus Beyer then set up a meeting and the rest is history…or rather future, I hope!

You decided to give the promotional rights to Arena Box-Promotion, a relatively new German outfit headed by Ahmed Oener – whom trouble seems to follow whereever he goes. Is that a problem and what where the reasons for signing with Arena?

Not at all, that’s not our business or concern. I’m concerned only to make Willi’s final flight a success, everything else about Arena is Oener’s business and I don’t care. He certainly shook up German boxing, whatever one thinks about him. And our reasons to sign with Arena were simple: They have a lot of heavyweights we can aim for later on, their offer was good and I was able to work out the deal with Ahmed in less than two days.

Richel Hersisia’s promotional ties with Arena’s competitor Universum Box-Promotion have apparantly ended with the Taras Bidenko fight. Will he soon join Fischer at Arena?

At this moment, I don’t think so. We are currently happy as a free agent, being able to look at every offer and talk to everyone. In the Bidenko fight, Richel has proved he belongs to the top, in Europe at least, and we are looking to build on that. But let me say one thing: Universum was the most fair partner one could hope for, actually they did much, much more for us than they were obliged to do, so they will always remain in a pool position when it comes to Hersisia.

You already mentioned former WBO cruiserweight champion Ralf Rocchigiani, who trains Hersisia since the summer together with his brother Graciano. That seems to work well!

It does, and I don’t even want to think about what Richel could have achieved had he worked with them from the start of his career. But its never too late and I’m sure the best is yet to come. Ralf now also trains (European lightheavyweight champion) Thomas Ulrich and it won’t be long until people realize both Ralf and Graciano are absolute top class trainers. Nobody, especially not in Germany, has the background these two have.

Imagine you could choose: Who would be your dream fight at this moment for Hersisia?

Luan Krasniqi, that’s a no-brainer! He said he can’t retire like this (having been outclassed by Tony Thompson in his last fight), so come on, Luan, take on a guy you know you can beat! Be a lion and not just a know-it-all pussy cat!! Many people know Luan and me go way back to when his pro career started with Panix Promotions and when Richel was having his fourth fight (in 2001), Luan told me “Olaf, you know yourself, this guy will amount to nothing”. That was mightily arrogant, and time proved that exactly this attitude cost Luan the WBO ‘world’ title. And if he knew as much as he always thinks, he would have seen that Brewster destroyed him and saved himself any further embarrassment. Now if Luan dares to step up one more time, he can have the ‘nothing-man’ – but Richel will definitely kick his behind, and bad! However, I think all this talk after his last fight about not wanting to retire in such laughable fashion was just trying to fool people and himself. Luan does not have the nerves for boxing anymore.

And the dream fight for Willi Fischer?

Hmm… Now please don’t accuse me of always picking fighters that are finished – but Herbie Hide would be the ultimate fight for Willi. But again, Hide will probably rather lock himself in the men’s room rather than give Willi a rematch (having stopped Fischer in just two rounds in 1998). Herbie’s always been a bully and as soon as someone’s not intimidated, he loses it. Big boosts for the public and behind the scenes its “Can I really beat this guy easy? Or will he punch back?”. Now with Willi, of course, he can hide behind the cruiserweight excuse, as if 10 kilos mean much at heavyweight. This time, Willi would be right in his head, concentrated and not disturbed, which were the main reasons for his listless display in ’98 – and I would voluntarily pay Herbie a psychologist if he could gurantee that he gets him into the same ring as Willi.

Article posted on 10.10.2007

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