Arthur Abraham (44-5, 29 KOs) says his opponent Tim-Robin Lihaug (15-1, 8 KOs) should expect no sympathy from him when they meet on July 16 for the WBO International Super Middleweight title at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin.
The former two-weight World Champion is aiming to launch another World title assault following his defeat to Gilberto Ramirez in April, and as he prepares for his return to the ring, ‘King Arthur’ knows he cannot afford any slip-ups if he is to reclaim his super middleweight crown.
‘’Tim-Robin Lihaug is a young, emerging talent,’’ he says. ‘’He is someone who still has a lot to prove and perhaps has a great future ahead of him, but on July 16, he will learn what it means to fight at the very highest level. When the bell rings, he should expect no sympathy from me. This is a fight I must win, and win in style.’’
Abraham adds that he is now eager to atone for his World title defeat and repay the support shown to him by his long-time coach and mentor Ulli Wegner.
‘’Mr. Wegner has shown great belief in me and I want repay his support by proving to him that I can become World Champion again,” he said. ”He is not only a great coach but also a great person, and he is right when he says ‘we win together and we lose together’. Things did not go to plan in Las Vegas, but we have learnt from this, and I will come back stronger and more determined than ever.’’
The 36 year-old is also welcoming a return to the Max-Schmeling-Halle and his adopted hometown of Berlin, where he holds a one hundred per cent win ratio.
‘’I have never lost a fight in Berlin,’’ he says. ‘’And I intend to keep it that way. Here I have the full support of the crowd, and I’m sure they will play their part in another great victory for me.’’
The WBO International Championship fight between Arthur Abraham and Tim-Robin Lihaug will provide chief support for Tyron Zeuge’s WBA World Super Middleweight title challenge against Giovanni De Carolis. Tickets are available online via www.eventim.de and www.tickethall.de or by calling +49 (0) 1806-570044.
All the action will be available to watch live and exclusive in Norway on Viaplay Fighting. For more information please visit http://viaplay.no/fighting
Lihaug ready to send boxing idol Abraham into retirement
Tim-Robin Lihaug (15-1, 8 KOs) says he is ready to send his boxing idol Arthur Abraham (44-5, 29 KOs) into retirement on July 16 when the super middleweights square off at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin for the WBO International title.
In what will be his toughest career assignment, Lihaug will go toe-to-toe with the former two-weight World Champion, a man who inspired the Norwegian fighter’s early career and whose poster hung from his bedroom wall.
‘’Abraham was one of my idols when I started boxing,’’ reveals the 23 year-old. ‘’I even had a poster of him on my wall. He’s been a great champion for many years and has achieved so much in this sport – it will be an honour to share the ring with him.’’
Having landed a dream fight with his one-time idol, Lihaug knows there is no room for sentiment. Abraham is coming off the back of a World title loss to Gilberto Ramirez and another defeat could signal the end of his illustrious career.
‘’I don’t think Abraham is the same fighter he was a few years ago, and I’m very confident I can win,’’ he says. ‘’I was a little shocked when the opportunity came, but it didn’t take me long to start thinking that this is a guy I can beat.
‘’To be in a position to fight him shows I have been doing something right in my career, and it has given me a big motivation boost. I know if I beat Abraham, it will take me to the top level overnight and give me a chance to fight for a World title.’’
While Lihaug believes Abraham has suffered a drop in form in recent years, he is taking nothing for granted against the German boxing great.
‘’I will be preparing for the best Abraham possible,’’ he explains. ‘’He may not be at the absolute highest level anymore, but he is still World-class. He is a guy that I’m going to have to be in my best shape ever to beat, and I am, so I think it will be a great fight, and I’m looking forward to it. I feel calm, relaxed and ready to go.’’
Lihaug, who has established himself as the country’s premier professional boxer following impressive performances against domestic rivals Simen Smaadal and Arne Ernstsen, will be counting on the support of the Norwegian public.
‘’There is a lot of interest in this fight back home and everybody is hoping I win,’’ he says. ‘’I feel like I have the whole country behind me, and I know there will be a lot of people travelling to Berlin to watch the fight. It will be a proud moment if I win, and a great achievement for Norway and for Norwegian boxing.’’
The WBO International Championship fight between Lihaug and Abraham will provide chief support for Tyron Zeuge’s WBA World Super Middleweight title challenge against Giovanni De Carolis. Tickets are available online via www.eventim.de and www.tickethall.de or by calling +49 (0) 1806-570044.