Juho Tolppola challenges European Union champion Giuseppe Lauri in Helsinki May 30

Miika Forsström - Finnish super lightweight boxer Juho “TNT” Tolppola (22-5-1, 9 KOs) challenges European Union super lightweight champion Giuseppe Lauri (47-6, 28 KOs) of Italy May 30 in Helsinki, Finland. The European Union (EBU-EU) titlefight is one of the most meaningful fights on the undercard of WBA world heavyweight titlefight between Nikolai Valuev and Ruslan Chagaev. Juho “TNT” Tolppola, 27, is a former two time European title challenger and he has also once before unsuccessfully challenged for the European Union title. In December 2008 Tolppola fought very well against European champion Gianluca Branco in Italy, but was controversially stopped on a swelling in the side of Tolppola´s head in round nine..

In February Tolppola returned to the ring and clearly outpointed Polish journeyman Maurycy Gojko in Tampere, Finland. Tolppola was set to challenge Giuseppe Lauri already April 18, but the fight had to be postponed due Tolppola´s illness.

“I want to be in the best possible shape when I step in the ring with Mr. Lauri. The training has gone very well recently and May 30 I will be in the best shape of my life. I know that if I perform well I will be able to beat Lauri and take the title from him” Tolppola stated.

Giuseppe Lauri, 32, is an experienced warrior with 53 professional fights under his belt. Lauri won the European Union title in 2007 by beating his previously unbeaten countryman Michele Di Rocco. In 2008 Lauri defended his title twice successfully. In his latest outing in December 2008 Lauri stopped Tolppola´s stablemate Ville Piispanen in six rounds.

Finnish based Russian hot prospect Denis “Djingis Khan” Shafikov (19-0, 10 KOs) will also appear on the undercard of Valuev vs. Chagaev rematch. Shafikov is extremely skilled 23-prospect from Miass, Russia. Shafikov has already scored good wins over high-class opponents like former WBA lightweight champion Raul Balbi and the reigning Mexican super lightweight champion Juan Carlos Rodriguez.

“Denis is a world class prospect. He is ready to fight at the highest level and I see him as a future world champion” Pekka Maeki of P3 Boxing commented.

Also on the card will be Finnish prospects Jarno Rosberg (6-0, 3 KOs), Jussi Koivula (3-0, 1 KO) Niko Jokinen (4-0, 4 KOs) and Robert Helenius (6-0, 2 KOs). Their opponents will be announced later.

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Article posted on 04.05.2009

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