Arthur Abraham: "I never would have forgiven my coach!”

26.09.06 - The pictures have moved Germany like hardly any other sporting event of this year: on Saturday world champion Arthur Abraham defended his IBF middleweight title in spite of a double fractured jaw covered in blood against a dirty boxing Edison Miranda from Colombia. Leading on points the champion from Berlin unbelievably remained on his feet for eight rounds and won the fight. At present Abraham stays at the Protestant hospital Siegen to convalesce. For the first time he talks about the fight to be remembered, about his opponent and the criticizing of his coach Ulli Wegner..

Arthur, you are in the hospital since Saturday night. How do you feel?

Abraham: Iīm fine, thanks. According to the attending physicians the operation went off without a hitch. Iīm very happy about the hospitalīs senior consultant, professor Hell, having been in the hall by chance. He straightaway carried out the operation at night. In grateful recognition I gave him my world champion wreath as a present. For stabilization there are two titanium sheets in my jaw. In my face thereīs still a swelling but apart from that I feel good.

Do you already have assimilated what had happened on Saturday?

Abraham: Not yet. This will surely take a little time. I have seen the photos in the newspapers. They really looked cruel. But that can happen to every boxer. I know for sure that Iīve done the right thing. Itīs been a question of keeping my world championship belt but itīs been about more. It has been a question of honour and pride. Iīve been leading on points. Without the injury I would have knocked out Miranda – definitely. But I never would have given him the belt through concession.

How did the jawbone break actually?

Abraham: That has been quite unfortunately. Miranda didnīt strike hard during the whole fight. In my face there was an extreme swelling but I didnīt even have a black eye or a cut. During the third round Iīve been inattentive for a short moment – there was an uppercut – not even hard, too – but my mouth was open. Therefore the jawbone broke.

Did you know about the fractured jaw immediately?

Abraham: No, they just told me during the break after the fourth round.

Didnīt you think about conceding during the medical treatment after Mirandaīs butt when ringside doctor professor Wagner had diagnosed fracture?

Abraham: When I understood that conceding would mean Mirandaīs win through technical knockout to the IBF supervisor itīs been clear to me that Iīll go on. My opponent had behaved undignified in the run-up to the fight . He had affronted me and my crowd in the hall by running his finger over his throat – he could never go home with the belt. During the break my coach told me: “Youīre clever – heīs not.” Thatīs been exactly the way it went: I have been too clever for Miranda and I knew about it. He couldnīt even beat me with a fractured jaw.

Your coach Ulli Wegner has been criticized by many people because he didnīt stop the fight. What do you think about that?

Abraham: I never would have forgiven my coach for that! Weīre a team, we know each other quite well – he never would have been allowed to stop the fight. Moreover I have been completely lucid. The referee had asked me about ten times if I want to go on – and ten times I said yes.

What do you think about your opponent Edison Miranda?

Abraham: Usually I respect each of my opponents. But Miranda isnīt a good sports man. Heīs strong and fast but something really important is missing: fairness. From the beginning on he was punching deep again and again. He was butting me with his head and he was punching after the round has been finished – Mirandaīs way to fight is unfair, inhuman and dishonourable.

Probably you have to fight against Miranda again next year.

Abraham: Believe me: Iīm waiting for this day! He couldnīt defeat me when I was seriously injured. Next time Iīll climb into the ring unhurt and Miranda wonīt survive the sixth round. Even with a fractured jaw I almost would have knocked him out.

What about your daily routine at the moment?

Abraham: Of course itīs a little bit boring. But I got so many good wishes – calls, emails, letters, flowers. Iīm very happy about it and I want to thank my fans for it. Since today there is a connection to the Internet. Now time will fly even faster.

Have you already watched the fight on dvd?

Abraham: No, not yet. Iīll do it today in the evening.

For the first time you have stepped into the ring as King Arthur and it has been the fight of a lifetime. Did you already realize that you became a legend through this fight?

Abraham: No. Others can judge things like that – not me. In the ring Iīm King Arthur Abraham and I never concede. Thatīs it!

Arthur, we wish you all the best. Thanks a lot for the conversation!

Article posted on 26.09.2006

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