IBF appoints Middleweight Eliminator: Mahir Oral vs. Fulgencio Zuniga
Arena-CEO Ahmet Öner and Alfredo Marchio, promoter from Atlantic City, New Jersey, agreed on co-promoting an IBF middleweight elimination bout between their fighters Mahir “The Lion” Oral (currently ranked on No. 15) and Fulgencio Zuniga (no. 10) in Hamburg in February 2008. The winner of the bout will automatically be ranked on the currently not rated No. 1 spot..
Mahir: “That’s the chance I have been waiting for. I’ve been working hard to make my way into the ratings. Now I can show everybody that I got what it takes to go all the way to the top. I will beat Zuniga and go on to dethrone ‘King Arthur’ Abraham.”
After stripping the WBC International Championship belt from unbeaten “Volcano” Domenico Spada in a 12-round-battle in March “The Lion” was struggling with several hand injuries. After his latest victory against Murat Mahmudov in July Mahir had to undergo surgery on his right hand twice.
Mahir: “The last couple of months have been the hardest time of my life. Especially as I felt that I was on the best way to the top of my game after beating Spada. Now I have only been running for weeks unable to use my right hand in training. On the other hand I have never been that fired up in my whole career. I start preparing for Zuniga right now to make sure that I’ll be in the shape of my life in February.”
That will be necessary if Mahir want to beat Colombian Zuniga who won 20 of his 23 pro-fights, losing only to former WBO light middleweight champion Daniel Santos and WBC/WBO middleweight title holder Kelly Pavlik.
Arena-CEO Ahmet Öner: “It will be a real tough challenge for Mahir and a great fight to watch for all boxing fans. Whoever wins this one is a worthy challenger for Abraham’s title.”