Setanta Sports and Sauerland Event sign two-year deal; Valuev-Holyfield undercard infos

British boxing fans will get a first-hand look at the likes of Nikolai Valuev, Alexander Povetkin and Arthur Abraham in the future after Setanta Sports and Sauerland Event signed an exclusive two-year deal. From January onwards, Setanta will exclusively broadcast one live bout per month in the UK and in Ireland featuring Sauerland boxers. “We are delighted to have signed this deal with Setanta and look forward to working with them over the next two years,” Kalle Sauerland said. “We have an exciting stable of fighters, including WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev, IBF middleweight champion King Arthur Abraham and heavyweight title contender Alexander Povetkin, amongst others. 2009 will be an exciting year for us..

While undefeated King Arthur (28-0, 23 KOs) will be determined to unify the titles at middleweight in the new year, 2004 Olympic gold medal winner and IBF mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin (16-0, 12 KOs) will be fighting for the IBF heavyweight title, which is currently being held by Wladimir Klitschko. The Russian Giant Nikolai Valuev (49-1, 34 KOs) will also be looking to continue his reign as the tallest and biggest champion of all time. “I am sure British fight fans will be pleased they can now catch all these fights exclusively on Setanta,” Sauerland added. And Setanta Sports Sean O´Hara stated: “This is another fantastic deal for Setanta and proves that we are really 'the home of boxing'.”

Larsen to fight Cocco on Valuev-Holyfield undercard

Mads Larsen is looking for his 51st win in his 53rd fight when he takes on Italy´s Roberto Cocco in Zurich on December 20. The Golden Boy knows that a good performance will keep alive his chances of fighting for the world title soon. It would be his second world title fight after dropping a close – and controversial – points decision against then-WBA and IBF super middleweight champion Sven Ottke back in September 2003. Sauerland Event managing director Chris Meyer confirmed he has been in negotiations with IBF champion Lucian Bute to set up a title clash for the 35-year-old Dane, but a final deal has yet to be reached. Therefore it is crucial for Larsen to stay in shape, and in order to do so, he will step into the ring against Cocco.

A win is a must for the man who finds himself in the top 15 in the WBA, WBC and IBF rankings. That is why Larsen has prepared harder than ever before in Berlin´s famous Max-Schmeling Gym under the guidance of Ulli Wegner. “Prior to my last fight in March I worked out in Denmark on my own,” he said. “But it is better to have the coach around. The preparation is harder and you are more disciplined. In the fight against Ross Thompson I noticed that the preparation makes a difference. It is good to be in the gym and have the other guys around – it is a lot of fun to work out with them.”

Larsen stressed that his motivation to become world champion is bigger than ever before. His nine-month ring break was due to family reasons. “I love boxing,” he said. “The most important thing for me is to perform. I can best do that if everything around me is fine and there is a balance. Unfortunately, my mother was sick and I wanted to be close to her, so I took the time and waited until she felt better. That does not mean that boxing is not the most important thing in my life, though. Much on the contrary – it has always been my ambition to win the world title. That has not changed.”

Article posted on 10.12.2008

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