Hinteregger Chasing Some Luck

08.01.05 - Talk about a roller-coaster start to 2005 for hard-luck Austrian superwelterweight Gotthard “The Cougar” Hinteregger – or does it actually seem that Ups and Downs are a constant feature in the life and career of the former IBF Intercontinental champion from Vienna? 2004 actually started with the biggest Up in Hintereggers life when he stunned the boxing world with a 4th-round knockout of previously undefeated Italian Emanuele Grill..

“Sacrificial Lamb Comes Home A Champion!”, screamed the Austrian newspapers after a career-best performance in Italy. Fast forward six months and Gotti, as friends call him, suffered the boxing equivalent of a traumata. Defending his acquired IBF Intercontinental crown in England, Hinteregger played jo-jo with his challenger Jozsef Matolcsi, knocking the Hungarian down four times – before loosing concentration for just a split-second. Enough for Matolcsi to land one haymaker to end the fight in round eight. It was a classic fight for sure and righly earned high accolades from ‘Boxing News’, but it also left a mental scar on Hinteregger.

But, wait a second, the Ups and Downs keep on coming! First, the IBF ordered a mandatory rematch with new champion Matolcsi, which was good news. “I must get back into that ring with him, no matter what will happen” said Hinteregger, 24-7-1 (12 KO’s), “otherwise I will ask myself every day until I die whether he is really better or if I was just an idiot.”

Predictably, bad news followed. Money Hinteregger was handling on behalf of Fight Production, the German company who manages him since 2003, and its Danish partner Risum Boxing got stolen at a boxing event Gotti was attending as a cornerman. After manager Olaf Schroeder, boss of Fight Production, assured Hinteregger that his company would account for the majority of the loss and soon after confirmed the rematch with Matolcsi for mid-February again in England, things looked bright again.

True to form, then came the shocking news of Matlocsi being injured in a stabbing attack in his hometown of Debrecen in Hungary earlier this week and the chance to regain the IBF Intercontinental belt went of out the window for Hinteregger. At least for the moment… But mind you, at 37 years or age, though well preserved, the Austrian does not have any time to waiste.

“I don’t know why all these things happen to Gotti, but they sure happen for a reason,” said manager Schroeder, shrugging his shoulders. “We will just wait a little to see what the medical prognosis on Matolcsi is and when he can possibly fight again. Yes, we do have other options to take, but Matolcsi has preference, because their first fight was such an unbelievable classic, if they don’t do it again both will feel that something is missing in their lives forever.”

If what occurred in Hinteregger v Matolcsi had taken place in a high-profile fight on world level, it would be a lock to occupy a large page in boxing’s history book. If what occured in Hinteregger’s life during the last year follows a strict pattern in the exchange of Ups and Downs, Matolcsi has only postponed a reversal of fortunes.

Article posted on 08.01.2005

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