Beyer, Abraham and Huck preparing on Usedom with Ulli Wegner

28.07.06 - When chief coach Ulli Wegner was phoned to give an interview he was enjoying the sun in his wicker beach chair, listening to the sound of the waves of the Baltic Sea. This seems to be an idyllic scene but the coach of the Sauerland team is not on summer vacation but in training camp. Since Monday he and Arthur Abraham, Markus Beyer and Marco Huck have been working hard in Zinnowitz, the place where they have prepared for competitions for years. Hotel “Baltic” where they are staying suits them fine.

“In Max Schmeling Gym at Berlin Olympic Stadium construction work is going on which is why the windows cannot be opened” the coach says. "At a temperature of 92°Fahrenheit it just can’t be done; consequently we went to the Baltic Sea to escape the heat."

This decision will pay off; Ulli Wegner is already satisfied with the training. On Usedom he is preparing the sportsmen individually: Because of the serious competitions he divided the group, thus being able to concentrate on the two champions and on Marco Huck who is holding his first title fight in September.

“Arthur and Markus have reached different stages of preparation”, Wegner explains. WBC super middleweight champion Markus Beyer is competing with WBA titleholder Mikkel Kessler (Denmark) in Copenhagen on 14th October, whereas IBF middleweight world champion Abraham will already have to climb into the ring against challenger Edison Miranda (Columbia) in Oldenburg on 26th August..

“Now it is important for Markus to practice the basics and to work on his stamina while Arthur has to work hard for his techniques and tactics by using special practices. Next week sparring will start for him.” For the 26-year-old boxer born in Armenia it is the first defence he has been forced to. Ulli Wegner assesses the challenger who won all his 26 pro fights (23 of them before finish) as a “really hard nut to crack”. “Miranda is very quick with his legs and throws a hard, accurate right jab”, the chief coach analyzes. “Arthur has to dominate from the beginning – if he was behind early, the fight would turn out very difficult because of Miranda’s spectacular speed.”

Meanwhile Markus Beyer has probably taken on the hardest job of his boxing career. The spectacular WBC-WBA fight will take place in Copenhagen’s legendary Parken Arena (14,000 spectators). Kessler has won 37 fights (28 fights by a knockout) and has held the WBA title since 2004. Recently he defeated Eric Lucas and Anthony Mundine, two excellent sportsmen.

Even though some experts think that Beyer will have low chances to win, Ulli Wegner is strongly convinced of Beyer’s strengths. “Kessler is a very good Puncher”, the coach knows. “But Markus has more potential, I believe. Anyhow it will be a very difficult fight, particularly as it does not take place in Germany.

But I strongly believe in victory.”

Until the weekend the boxers and their coach are enjoying the great circumstances on Usedom. Apart from hard training there is also time for active recreation on the beach and the water. “After intense training the guys jump into the Baltic Sea for a cool down.”

Before going on training camp again, the team will be able to train at the gym in Berlin again next week. To put the finishing touches to their competitiveness, all of them will go to the Bundesleistungszentrum in Kienbaum. At the simply fitted out former GDR sports school near Berlin they will just be able to focus on the fights lying ahead – there is hardly any distraction in Kienbaum.

Article posted on 28.07.2006

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