Luan Krasniqi in shape two weeks prior to European championship

29.01.04 - Two weeks prior to his second run on the European heavyweight championship, this time against his stable mate and reigning title holder Sinan Samil Sam, Luan Krasniqi (Photo: Fabian Weber) showed up in excellent shape. “For the first time in my career I did an obligatory test of running ten times 800 m. Afterwards I still had enough breath left to run it twice more if I wanted”, said Krasniqi yesterday during a public workout in his hometown.

Krasniqi, 25-1 (13), became European heavyweight champion in 2002 but lost the title the same year on July 20 to Polish Przemyslaw Saleta. Now he wants to regain what he believes belongs to him on February 14 in Stuttgart from Turkish Sinan Samil Sam who dethroned Saleta three months after the Pole defeated Krasniqi.

For the preparation for his third European title fight Krasniqi seeked the seclusion of his small hometown in the Black Forrest and added Universum coach Torsten Schmitz to his team. Schmitz gained attention by making Regina Halmich the most successful woman championship fighter of all times. He also led the middleweight contenders Bert Schenk and Armand Krajnc to world titles and prepared cruiserweight world champion Juan Carlos Gomez.

“I’ve been waiting a long time for the chance to train a heavyweight. I regard this as the chance of my lifetime”, Schmitz, a former world class amateur boxer, said. Schmitz believes Krasniqi has a clear technical advantage over Samil Sam. “Luan’s only problem is he’s keeping his left hand low. We definitely need to get rid of this bad habit.”

Krasniqi, a German of Albanian origin, knows what the upcoming duel means for him. “This is my last chance for getting big fights and big purses”, he said.

On the undercard in Stuttgart top rated German light heavyweight prospect Thomas Ulrich is fighting American Michael Rush in a defense of his WBC international title.

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Article posted on 29.01.2004

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