Abraham is a German. IBF middleweight champion with new nationality as of now

04.09.06 - Markus Beyer has lost a title – but without having competed in a fight... the super middleweight champion can no longer call himself the "only German boxing champion." From this time on a second German is in possession of a world championship belt – Arthur Abraham. For a long time the Armenian-born with the worldwide hardest punch of all middleweight boxers had to wait for his naturalization document and the passport with the golden eagle.. Today both documents have been handed over to him at the resident´s registration office in Berlin Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf – the 26th year old Sauerland-boxer had to relinquish his Armenian nationality instead.

Arthur Abraham: “I was born in Armenia, my roots are there – but I grew up in Germany”, says the IBF champion being under contract to the Sauerland team since 2003. “Here I made something of myself. Therefore I owe everything to Germany. I like living here. Germany is my home and that´s final.“

Markus Beyer smilingly accepts the title loss. “I´m pleased for Arthur”, the super middleweight champion says. In October he has to provide for the greatest challenge of his career by competing against Mikkel Kessler in Kopenhagen. “Now there are two German boxing world champions. And we hope that´s final.”

A statement of the German Olympic Sports Association (DOSB) has been necessary for the complicated procedure of granting the German nationality. This has been granted but it has run into difficulties. Athletes resident in team sports have top priority to the DOSB concerning naturalization. Therefore “single combatants” like Arthur Abraham have a harder time of it. Finally Berlin´s domestic senator Ehrhard Körting gave helpful support. He himself fought for the champion successfully.

The champion is going to defend his title on 23rd September in Wetzlar. The defence against the Colombian Edison Miranda having been planed for last Saturday in Oldenburg had to be postponed because of Abraham´s illness. After the walk in a string quartet will play the German national anthem in honor of Abraham. “Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit (unity and justice and freedom)” – and Arthur may enjoy this moment with a complete new feeling.

Article posted on 04.09.2006

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