Klitschko-Nicholson: Klitschko causes boxing euphoria in Northern Germany

16.12.03 - Four days prior to his upcoming next fight former WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is causing boxing euphoria in Kiel, a seaport city in the north of Germany. Klitschko, 42-2 (38), will take on veteran American Danell Nicholson, 42-4 (32), at the huge Ostseehalle, an arena with 12,000 seats.

„Even at the townhall we’re discussing about the upcoming Klitschko fight the whole day”, Kiel’s mayor Angelika Volquartz admitted. “It’s the event of the decade in Kiel.”

It will, however, already be the second Klitschko event in two weeks. Vitali Klitschko, the older of the two brothers, took the precedence when he impressively knocked out Kirk Johnson at New York’s Madison Square Garden on December 6 and got the deep respect from boxing fans and experts worldwide.

Now it’s Wladimir Klitschko’s turn to equal the performance of his brother.

“Vitali had a great fight and beat a dangerous opponent in convincing manner”, promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl said. “We hope that we can transport the boxing euphoria from New York to Kiel.”

Even though both Klitschko brothers are close to their ultimate and worldwide breakthrough as the leaders of the heavyweight division Kohl urges to be careful.

„I try to restrain our emotions and stay realistic. The hardest fight is always the one directly in front of you. Nicholson has a couple of impressive names in his record. He fought Andrew Golota when Golota was in his prime, and he fought Kirk Johnson and David Tua. We have to respect Nicholson because we want to finish our boxing year 2003 with another victory.”

“I fought in many different cities but I’m specifically looking forward to fighting in Kiel and I’m very happy that the arena is already sold out”, the 27-year-old Klitschko said who trained in Hamburg in the past week but will now stay in Kiel until the day of the fight.

Wladimir Klitschko had a turbulent training period

„I had a very good preparation even though it was a bit turbulent”, Wladimir reported. “We trained in three different cities. First in Los Angeles together with Vitali, then we moved to New York. Back in Germany I first trained in Hamburg, now I’m in Kiel.”

„It’s true that our training was a bit complicated this time because we worked on three different locations“, coach Fritz Sdunek agreed. “But Wladimir is a tough guy who exactly knows what he wants. We also switched all sparring partners three times. But it had no negative effect. Wladimir did very well in our last 10-round sparring session on Friday.”

“I want to finish Nicholson as quickly as possible but I take him very serious”, Wladimir Klitschko said. “Nicholson’s style looks a bit like the style of Muhammad Ali. But I will show his weaknesses inside the ring on Saturday.”

When asked about the future, both Klitschko brothers and their promoter made concurring statements.

„Wladimir is the best boxer in the world. But without a victory over Nicholson we don’t need to talk about a world title fight”, New York triumphant Vitali Klitschko said whereas his younger brother stated: “It’s the aim of Vitali and me to become world heavyweight champions at the same time. But before I won the fight on Saturday I don’t want to make speculations about my future.”

“Vitali Klitschko’s next fight will definitely be a world title contest”, Kohl said. “Wladimir is also close to another world title shot. But he must win his fight on Saturday to get closer to his aims.”

Nicholson wants to take advantage on Wladimir Klitschko’s mistakes

Danell Nicholson, however, has different ideas about the show on Saturday.

“I worked hard at home and I came here to win. My preparation went very well and I’m focused”, Nicholson said. “We watched videos of Wladimir Klitschko. We saw different things. Like all fighters he also has mistakes and I want to take advantage of them.”

“I also watched Wladimir’s fight against Corrie Sanders. Corrie is a southpaw and Wladimir made a lot of mistakes in that fight and I’ve also been focused on this one.”

Asked about the recent fight of the elder Klitschko brother against Kirk Johnson two weeks ago, Nicholson declined: “I saw different scenes. But I didn’t take a lot of focus on this fight because I’ve got to concentrate on my own fight.”

Danell Nicholson’s record in the past seven years is 18-1 with 14 knockouts. The only loss during that period came in March of 2001 when Samoan David Tua stopped the 6-4 Chicagoan in round 6.

“I made mistakes in that fights but I focused on it and worked hard to get rid of them”, the 36-year-old Nicholson explained. “But Tua is a short fighter and Wladimir is a tall fighter. There are different things you have to do with different fighters. I’m ready for whatever to come.”

Second main event is the WBO middleweight championship

In the second main event on Saturday WBO middleweight world champion Felix Sturm, 19-0 (9), is making the first defense of his title against Spaniard Ruben Varon, 21-2 (11).

„Varon is a good counter boxer. I won’t underestimate him”, the youngest world champion (24) of Universum Box-Promotion said. “It won’t be an easy job. I have to put pressure on him.”

Sturm captured the crown of the World Boxing Organization on September 13 in Berlin when he replaced his injured stable mate Bert Schenk on short notice. The young German jumped in with a day notice and won a 12-round majority decision against defending champion Hector Velaczo from Argentina.

„Being world champion feels fantastic“, Sturm swarmed. “On Saturday I want to demonstrate that I deserve my title.”

On the undercard among others: Welterweight contender Michel Trabant, 38-1 (18), and heavyweight prospect Alexander Dimitrenko, 11-0 (6).

The event in Kiel begins 18:00 German time. ZDF is broadcasting live from 22:00.

As always will run the popular live punchstat during the main event. (approx 22:20 German time).

Article posted on 16.12.2003

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