Brook-Jackiewicz on 10/8; Upcoming WBF fights; Zumbano interview

Kell Brook will defend his World Boxing Association (WBA) Inter-Continental title against Rafal Jackiewicz in a World Title eliminator on Saturday 8 October, at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield, live on Sky Sports.

The unbeaten Welterweight star claimed the belt against Lovemore N’dou in his last outing in the Steel City in June. Brook took his professional winning streak to 24 fights against N’dou and will move a step closer to his dream World Title shot with a win over the 34 year-old Pole.

Former undefeated European Champion Jackiewicz, who is rated fifth with the IBF and number 10 with the World Boxing Organization (WBO), has lost just one of his last 24 fights and has never been stopped in his 48-fight career. Jackiewicz successfully defended his European strap twice, including a victory over Jan Zaveck, who he then challenged for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title, losing a majority decision.

“I can’t wait to fight in Sheffield again,” said Brook. “The atmosphere at the Lovemore N’dou fight was incredible and I’m sure it’s going to be even better at Ponds Forge. Jackiewicz is a tough opponent who has held the European belt and challenged for a World Title so he will provide a great test for me.”

“I'm delighted to bring Kell back to Sheffield again on October 8, especially after the special atmosphere that the fans created at his last fight,” said Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn. “Rafal provides the next step up in terms of tests for Kell and with both fighters knowing they are on the verge of a World title shot, a slip up here can destroy any dreams so you can expect an explosive fight.

“Kell is on the threshold of a World Title shot and victory against Jackiewicz could set up an early 2012 shot with WBA Champion Vyacheslav Senchenko. I've also had discussions with Lou DiBella about the prospect of meeting Andre Berto should he capture the IBF title against Jan Zaveck in September and with Rafal's number five IBF rating, this is a real possibility.”

Tickets for Kell Brook vs. Rafal Jackiewicz, plus a full championship undercard, are on sale now from Matchroom Sport price £30 unreserved, £50 ringside and £80 inner ringside – call 01277 359900.

Upcoming WBF Title Fights

The World Boxing Federation is proud to announce our title bout lineup for the remainder of 2011 as of August 9. There will be seven world title fights, three male and four female, starting as early as next Saturday night, August 14. Besides, two Intercontinental title bouts will take place and one Mediterranean belt will be at stake. Here is our full schedule:

August 14, 2011 – East London, South Africa

Women’s World Super Bantamweight Title

Unathi Myekeni vs. Gabisile Tshabalala

Promoted by KK Promotions

August 20, 2011 – Mantanillo, Mexico

World Super Featherweight Title (Vacant)

Rafael Guzman vs. Rafael Hernandez

Promoted by HG Boxing

August, 2011 – Hungary

Women’s World Cruiserweight Title (Vacant)

Zita Zatyko vs. Izabella Torok

Promoted by Profibox Promotion

September 9, 2011 – Saint Denis, Reunion, France

Women’s World Light Welterweight Title

Myrian Lamara vs. Lely Luz Florez

Promoted by LM Sport Events

September 30, 2011 – Windhoek, Namibia

World Light Heavyweight Title (Vacant)

Harry Simon vs. Tody Dodson

September 30, 2011 – Belgrade, Serbia

Mediterranean Heavyweight Title (Vacant)

Nenad Stankovic vs. Shendrit Hotnjani

Promoted by Petkovic Boxpromotion

October 1, 2011 – Yutz, France

Women’s World Welterweight Title

Ann Sophie Mathis vs. Cindy Serrano

October 7, 2011 – Las Palmas, Spanin

World Super Welterweight Title (Vacant)

Sebastien Madani vs. Saul Roman

October 14, 2011 – Munich, Germany

Intercontinental Heavyweight Title (Vacant)

Alexander Petkovic vs. John Napari

Promoted by Petkovic Boxpromotion

October 22, 2011 – Tüblingen, Germany

Intercontinental Cruiserweight Title (Vacant)

Björn Blaschke vs. Mounir Toumi

Promoted by PunchUp Boxinvg

Interview with Raphael Zumbano

Brazilian heavyweight prospect Raphael Zumbano is on the verge to make big noise in boxing. The 30-years old fighter won the WBF International title in March and was named “Fighter of the Month”. In this exclusive interview with World Boxing Federation (WBF) Media Director Clive Baum, Zumbano discusses his title win, his boxing career and a possibly fight against WBF heavyweight champion and boxing legend Evander Holyfield.

Q: Mr. Zumbano, the last couple months of your career have been quite exciting. Winning the WBF International title and becoming the WBF’s “Fighter of the Month”. How do you feel about your latest accomplishments?

Raphael Zumbano: It is a great honor for me to be the international champion of the WBF and also an opportunity to make two big dreams happen: First, to become the first Brazilian heavyweight world champion and second, to have a chance to fight one of the greatest fighters of all time in Evander Holyfield.

Q: You might be at the best age for a heavyweight right now. What is your next goal in boxing?

Zumbano: I think from fight to fight. For me, the next fight is always the most complicated. But nothing will top the hardest part in my career and that was my professional debut. Leaving the amateurs to go to the pros is a very big change. The only thing that came close to that difficulty was my fight for the WBO Latin title because I stepped into the ring only 15 days after my only brother and biggest supporter died. But I fought and won, dedicating the win to him, although I really didn’t feel in a position to fight.

Q: The WBF has ring legend Evander Holyfield as their world heavyweight champion. A fight you might be interested in and a fight you would come to the United States for?

Zumbano: Evander Holyfield belongs right into the Hall of Fame. Since I was a child, I always watched his fights. The one that sticks in my head was his first fight with Mike Tyson. I was in a nightclub with friends, when suddenly the music stopped and a giant television was turned on inside the club so that everyone could watch the fight live. I always imagined to have the honor one day to fight a guy like Tyson or Foreman, but deep down I knew that would be impossible because of the age difference. They, after all, would retire before I would be in the position to fight them. But today, I have the chance, thanks to the WBF. Fighting Holyfield would be a childhood dream and a new milestone my career and in Brazilian boxing. To be honest, I’m a big fan of Evander but when I fight, I will forget it all and win.

Q: Tell us about your popularity in Brazil?

Zumbano: Unfortunately, in Brazil, while boxing is one of the most loved sports by the people, many of them like to see you struggle more than they root for your success. There are always crowded gym’s, we do not have much support from sponsors, media and especially the government. And very importantly, we have no world champion today. But all this will change after I win the WBF world heavyweight title.

Q: How did you get into boxing?

Zumbano: In fact, because I am from a family linked to boxing, I subscribed to it from an early age and trained in the academy with my grandfather. But I actually started training for competition later in 2002 alone, with 22 years of age, shortly after the death of my grandfather.

Q: What do you do besides boxing and training?

Zumbano: When I’m not training and coaching others, I love to be with my son and my nephew and play with them – but I also teach them some boxing (laughs).

Article posted on 10.08.2011

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