News: Abraham not looking past Raul Marquez to Pavlik or Wright, Cleverley sums up Oakey

HOBOKEN, N.J. (September 26, 2008) – Unbeaten International Boxing Federation middleweight champion “King” Arthur Abraham insists that he isn’t looking past his October 4th title challenger, former world champion Raul “El Diamente” Marquez, as he prepares for their 12-round main event showdown, headlining a pay-per-view card airing in the United States and Canada live from Bamberg, Germany..

Abraham-Marquez is promoted by Wilfried Sauerland, presented by Sauerland Event and its Managing Director, Christian Meyer, in association with Seminole Warriors Boxing. The broadcast is being distributed in the United States and Canada by Integrated Sports for live viewing at 3 PM/ET – 12 PM/PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, TVN, DirecTV, DISH Network, Viewer’s Choice Canada, and Bell ExpressVue, for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. A replay will be shown that same night starting at 9 PM/ET. Al Bernstein and Nick Charles will call the action.

Abraham (27-0, 22 KOs), rated No. 2 by The Ring and ESPN, captured the IBF middleweight title early three years ago by way of a fifth-round knockout of Kingsley Ikeke (23-1). Seven successful title defenses have followed against Edison Miranda, Shannon Taylor, Kofi Jantuah, Sebastian Demers, Khoren Gevor, Wayne Elcock and Elvin Ayala.

The 1992 U.S. Olympian Marquez (41-3-1, 29 KOs), rated No. 2 by the IBF as well as No. 8 by The Ring and ESPN, earned his title shot against Abraham by defeating previously undefeated No. 1 contender Giovanni Lorenzo (26-0) in their June 21st IBF title eliminator.

“King” Arthur assures Marquez that he is not ignoring him at all. Earlier this week, the 37-year-old mandatory challenger complained about being overlooked by the undefeated IBF middleweight champion, who will make his eighth title defense in Bamberg. “Abraham´s people are looking beyond me,” Marquez claimed. “I want to spoil all that talk about him fighting Pavlik or Wright in his next fight.”

Even though there might be a potential mega-fight on the horizon, “King” Arthur vowed to take one step at a time. “I am not ignoring Marquez at all,” the 28-year-old stated. “Two exhausting training sessions a day, an exhausting training camp, as well as a tough eight-week preparation
period tells a different story. If I was ignoring him, I would be lying on the beach in Florida to enjoy the sun. I would not even be responding to his provocative statement!”

“King” Arthur admitted he fully respects Marquez. “He is an accomplished fighter with a great deal of experience,” Abraham said. “But this would not be my eighth title defense if I had underestimated any of my opponents. He is not the mandatory challenger for nothing. Still there is no chance he can beat me.”

Abraham will make his first fight since celebrating a successful U.S. debut in June, when he knocked out Edison Miranda in the fourth round of their rematch. “I am keen to return to the U.S. as soon as possible – not just for vacation but for business,” Abraham added. “After stopping Marquez, I will make big fights in the U.S.”

The 10-round co-feature on the PPV show from Germany has former NABO champion Otis “Triple OG” Griffin (19-3-2, 7 KOs), of Sacramento, taking on Yugoslavian-born Enad Licina (14-1, 8 KOs), now living in Germany, for the vacant IBF Intercontinental cruiserweight belt. Details are coming soon regarding undercard bouts on Abraham-Marquez PPV card

For more information about the Abraham-Marguez PPV go to or


Boxing-scholar Nathan Cleverly is preparing for his hardest exam yet - a Commonwealth light-heavyweight challenge against former champion Tony Oakey.

Cleverly will face Oakey at the Everton Park Sports Centre, Liverpool, on October 10 as he steps up to title level for the first time. Sky Sports will televise the fight live.

And after the fight, it will be straight back to the lecture theatre for Cleverly, who is in the third year of a Maths degree at Cardiff University.

"This is a massive fight for me, but I can't wait to make the step up to title level," said Cleverly, who has only had 12 professional outings and is just 21.

"I know Oakey is going to be in my face right from the start, he's that kind of fighter.

"People think he is going to be tougher, stronger and better prepared mentally than me, but they are in for a surprise.

"I'll match whatever he throws at me, and come back with more - that's a promise. I know this a great stage for me and a chance to prove that I belong at British level."

Cleverly was initially due to face British and Commonwealth champion Dean Francis on the card, but Francis pulled out, vacating his Commonwealth belt in the process.

And former British, Commonwealth and WBU champion Oakey was quick to step up to the plate as a replacement.

"Francis beat Oakey in his last fight, but it was 50-50 and up until it was stopped you could make a case for Oakey winning, so opponent wise, it's just as tough," said Cleverly.

"It's a question of youth against experience, and I believe youth will prevail.

"Francis is still very much on my agenda as well, and when I've beaten Oakey I'll be going after him."

Cleverly made his American debut in Las Vegas earlier this year, and the rangy stylist has been ear-marked for big things ever since he turned professional.

And he insists that boxing is his number one choice - despite his academic ability.

"It's great to have a degree to fall back on, but I've not given much thought to a career outside of boxing," he said.

"I want to win this British title, make a few defences and see where I go from there. I know I can be the best light-heavyweight in Britain, now I just have to prove it."

The undercard features Liverpool stars Tony Bellew, Joe Selkirk, Steven Smith, Craig Lyon and the pro debut of Liam Smith.

Manchester prospects Matthew Hall, Denton Vassell and Anthony Crolla complete the card.

Tickets, priced £40 and £60, are available from the Sports Network Box Office on 01992 550 888.

Article posted on 26.09.2008

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