Hide, Kretschmann and Oral back in action on June 26th

After his very successful US show on April 17th with Yuriorkis Gamboa winning the first world title for ARENA Box-Promotion promoter Ahmet Öner is preparing his next event in Germany for June 26th at the Hermann-Neuberger-Halle in Völklingen (near Saarbrücken, close to the French border). The show will be headlined by former world heavyweight champion Herbie Hide, promising German heavyweight prospect Steffen Kretschmann and rising middleweight star Mahir Oral..

“The Dancing Destroyer” Herbie Hide is close to making history. If Hide can win his WBC international championship bout in Völklingen the two time WBO heavyweight champ will challenge the winner of May 16th WBC cruiserweight championship clash between reigning titlist Giacobbe Fragomeni and Krysztof Wlodarczyk next. So Herbie could become the first ever former heavyweight champ who wins a world title at cruiserweight.

“Lots of people have gone up in weight to fight for titles”, says Herbie. “But I am one of the very few who went down. I always said that I am a natural cruiserweight. I was just fast and powerful enough to knock out the big guys as well. Now I feel very comfortable and I can guarantee everybody in the whole world that I will be champion again. Nothing can stop me and whoever gets in between me and the belt I am looking for will get knocked out.”

28 year old Steffen Kretschmann (13-0, 12 kos) will face his toughest test so far in strong and experienced Russian contender Denis Bakhtov (28-5, 18 kos). The fight was originally scheduled for March 6th but Kretschmann suffered an ear injury and had to undergo surgery. Now “Kretsche” is back on track and all fired up to get back into the ring and show his class.

But reigning and defending PABA champion Bakhtov (currently ranked on #14 in the EBU and WBA) will definitely not come to Germany just to collect his purse and hand over his title. The 29-year-old is coming from four straight wins in the last two years. His last loss was a decision to recent world title challenger Juan Carlos Gomez in June 2007.

“Steffen will need all his power and concentration to win this fight”, states Ahmet Öner. “Still I believe that this kid is capable of achieving great things in the near future. If he beats Bakhtov convincingly he will be in the mix for a European title fight. After that the sky is the limit given the fact that – besides the Klitschkos – there are not many extraordinarily great heavies around at the moment.”

The third co-main event of the night features WBC#3, WBO#12, WBA and IBF #14 Mahir “Lion” Oral (25-1-2, 10 kos) who takes on Russian powerpuncher Dmitry Pirog (13-0, 11 kos). “The winner of this bout will be very close to a world title shot”, says Öner. “It won’t be easy for Mahir but there are no easy fights on this top level.”

Tickets for the show will go on sale on May 11th; Eurosport will broadcast the fights live from Völklingen.

Article posted on 28.04.2009

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