Dariusz Michalczewski returns on championship triple header

22.02.05 - Hamburg – Next Saturday former WBO light heavyweight world champion Dariusz Michalczewski returns to the ring on a big event promoted by Universum Box-Promotion: A championship triple header at the huge Color Line Arena of Hamburg. “This event has been a major subject for many months. We present three world title fights on the same evening and a sensational undercard.. This will be the best boxing event we ever promoted”, promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl said on the event that is already sold out for several months and will attract over 17.000 spectators to Hamburg’s biggest indoor arena.

“It’s not the first time we make big fights. But this time we have three world title contests with top quality opposition. It’s an absolutely special feature for all boxing fans.”

Focus of the interest will be the comeback of “Tiger” Dariusz Michalczewski, 48-1 (39), who returns to the boxing ring 16 months after losing his WBO world title, a crown he held for almost ten years. In front of his own home croud that saw him losing for the first time ever in October 2003, he will now challenge reigning WBA light heavyweight champion Fabrice Tiozzo, 46-2 (30).

“You can learn more from losses than from victories”, the 36-year-old Michalczewski believes who resumed training on 1st October last year. “For my last three fights I wasn’t prepared under optimum conditions because I did too many things on the side. This time I prepared specific and precise. That’s why I could get into the great shape that I’m in right now.”

Like Michalczewski the 35 year old title holder from France is in training for several months as well.

„Originally I had a fight scheduled on November 8. But the fight was called off”, Tiozzo explained. “That’s why I’m basically training for five months now. I had no problem to get down to the light heavyweight limit. On Saturday I will do everything to defend my title successfully.”

The champion stated that he is not irritated by the fact that Michalczewski enjoys a strong home town advantage at Hamburg’s Color Line Arena.

“A boxing ring is a boxing ring, no matter where it’s located”, the man from Lyon declined. “I accept that the fight takes place in Hamburg. That way the entire pressure will be on Dariusz. I’m not afraid of his home advantage and I don’t believe that I can only win by knockout. There are three independent judges at ringsite. I have complete faith in this.”

“Dariusz in his career has fought against every possible kind of style”, coach Fritz Sdunek explained. “Tiozzo will be a very difficult task. But Dariusz has prepared more specifically than he did in a long time. He is a very experienced pro and I believe the style of Tiozzo will please him.”

„Dariusz and Tiozzo are both highly experienced and they have a similar fight record“ promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl analysed. “Both always wanted the best possible opposition. Neither of them has ever ducked anybody.”

Tiozzo’s promoter Michel Arcaries agreed and forwarded an energetic message to the US: “On Saturday two Europeans will fight each other. Both are at the top of the light heavyweight division. European boxing can compete with American boxing any time.”

In the second light heavyweight world title fight of the evening Hungarian Zsolt Erdei, 21-0 (13), will take on Argentine Hugo Hernan Garay, 23-1 (12), for the second time, in a defense of his WBO 175 lb. title.

Erdei and Garay were already facing each other last year on May 8. The Hamburg based Hungarian won a majority decision over twelve hard fought rounds. This time the man from Budapest wants to work out a clearer victory.

„I’m aware for quite some time that I will face Garay again“, Erdei said. “This time I was able to prepare for eight consecutive weeks together with Fritz Sdunek, two of those weeks in a training camp in Poland. The weather was ideal as was the entire preparation. Much better than prior to our first fight.”

However, not only the 29-year-old Erdei, but also his five years younger opponent from Argentina believes he was able to improve the potential of his performance.

„I wasn’t sufficiently perpared for our first fight. This time I will bring the world title belt home to Argentina”, the confident challenger stated.

Garay said he carefully watched the fight between Erdei and Alejandro Lakatus that took place after the two had been facing for the first time.

„Even without watching this fight I knew what I had to do better next time“, the man from Cordoba said.

“I don’t expect a different fight than last time”, the world champion said. “He will come forward with a lot of pressure and I will outbox him like I did last time.”

However, Erdei announced he would have a few little surprises in store this time. “But no chocolate!”, the humorous Hungarian told his curiously interrogating challenger with a smile.

There was also some fireworks and humor involved in the first meeting of the opponents for the WBA bantamweight world championship contest: Julio Zarate, 21-2-1 (13), and Wladimir Sidorenko, 16-0 (6).

The 29-year-old Mexican Zarate will make the first defense of his title against the Hamburg based Ukrainian of the Universum boxing stable. Zarate captured the WBA crown last March in Tokyo against Japanese Hideki Todaka.

“I know Sidorenko pretty well and closely followed his career”, the bright and lively Mexican surprisingly said. “I’m aware that I will face a very strong challenger. I prepared conscientiously. I worked out at 3000 m height in the Mexican mountains. And I had sparring partners who were able to imitate the style of Sidorenko pretty well.”

Julio Zarate is a nephew of former legendary bantamweight world champion Carlos Zarate who was holding the WBC 118 lb. title twice between 1976 and 1979.

The 27-year-old Ukrainian challenger Sidorenko is pointing on his excellent preparation together with coach Michael Timm as well.

„I promise that I will leave the ring as new world champion“, the energy loaded 1,62m little man said, who is giving away half a head in height to the world champion. Sidorenko is the official challenger of the WBA. He worked his way to the number one position with 16 consecutive wins and a victory over former world champion Leo Gamez in an official title eliminator.

On the undercard of the event at Color Line Arena five Eurofighters of the Spotlight Boxing stable will step into the ring: Karoly Balzsay (super middleweight), Denis Boytsov (heavyweight), Willy Blain (super lightweight), Sebastian Zbik (super welterweight) and Susianna Kentikian (bantamweight) in the only woman boxing fight of the evening.

ZDF will broadcast live at 22:00 on German TV.

At about 19:00, and broadcast the fights of Boytsov, Blain and Zbik live on the internet

Article posted on 22.02.2005

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