Mehdi Bouadla (26-4, 11 KOs) will be travelling to Nuremberg, Germany next week with a lot of self-confidence. The man from France will take on WBO Super-Middleweight World Champion Arthur Abraham (35-3, 27KOs) on December 15. And the 30-year-old is prepared to cause a big upset in his first world title bout. Although his training schedule keeps him very busy, he managed to take out some time for a quick interview.
Mehdi Bouadla, you are currently riding on a wave of success. You won all of your last four fights. How are you feeling ahead of December 15?
Mehdi Bouadla: Of course, I am feeling really good. My last bouts all went to my full satisfaction. But I will feel a lot better once December 15 is over and I am able to wear that WBO Belt around my waist.
The last time you found yourself on the losing side of a fight was against Denmark´s Mikkel Kessler back in June 2011. What went wrong for you back then?
Mehdi Bouadla: Kessler, who was boxing in front of his home crowd, was the better boxer that night. It is as simple as that.
Did you learn any valuable lessons from that fight, something that might help you against Arthur Abraham?
Mehdi Bouadla: Kessler and Abraham are two real champions. But that is the only thing they have in common. Of course, I took something out of the fight in Copenhagen, but I was a good boxer before that night anyways. The bout against Abraham will be something completely different, as his style is completely different to Kessler´s. The preparation for Nuremberg is going really well. The training is very intense but that is the way it is supposed to be.
Where do you see the strengths as well as the weaknesses of your opponent?
Mehdi Bouadla: I know that it won’t be easy against Abraham. He has tons of experience and participated in many world title fights. Therefore, he knows what the pressure feels like. You will understand that I cannot talk about his weaknesses. I will reveal them to everyone watching the fight on December 15.
What will your days leading up to the big night look like for you?
Mehdi Bouadla: We have almost completed my sparring and will travel to Germany on Tuesday. Once we get there, I will try to relax and just keep my focus. But it is always like that ahead of a fight. It has become part of my routine.
What kind of person are you outside of the squared circle? What do you like to do during your spare time?
Mehdi Bouadla: When I am not inside the gym of my hometown of Aulnay sous Bois, I like to be around my family and friends. There is nothing better than surrounding yourself with your loved ones. I also enjoy watching good movies and sports in general.
What will be the outcome of the world championship bout on December 15? Will it go the distance?
Mehdi Bouadla: Unfortunately, I can’t predict the future so I am not able to tell you the way the fight will end. But I can promise you one thing: I will definitely give it my all. No matter if the fight goes the distance or not. I will push him from start to finish.
Tickets for the big fight night in Nuremberg are available at www.eventim.de and www.boxen.com.
Rances Barthelemy vs. Arash Usmanee fight on Friday, January 4
Barthelemy and Usmanee to Battle for IBF #2 Spot at Junior Lightweight
The IBF has sanctioned the Rances Barthelemy vs. Arash Usmanee fight on Friday, January 4, 2013, as an IBF Jr. Lightweight Title Eliminator. The winner of the Bout will be ranked number 2 in the world by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) at Jr. Lightweight.
Presented by Warriors Boxing and Bad Dog Productions in association with the Magic City Casino, live from Stage 305 in the Magic City Casino in Miami, Florida. Barthelemy vs. Usmanee will serve as the 12-round junior lightweight main event on a show entitled “Friday Night Fights at Magic City Casino”.
The show will also serve as the year’s debut broadcast of the popular professional boxing series ESPN’s Friday Night Fights (10 PM Eastern on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, online through WatchESPN.com, and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app.)
In the co-featured televised bout that night, a couple of tough junior middleweight contenders will tangle, when young Puerto Rican powerhouse Jonathan “Mantequilla” Gonzalez (15-0-1, 13 KOs) will take on highly regarded Philadelphian Derek “Pooh” Ennis (23-3-1, 13 KOs).
The undercard, which will be announced shortly, will feature several young local and international rising stars.
Tickets are on sale now on the Magic City Casino website www.magiccitycasino.com as well as in person at the Magic City Players Club. They are priced at $100, $75, $50 and $35.
Doors open at 7:30 pm and the first bell is at 8:00.
Watch Juan Manuel Marquez on ESPNFrontRow.com
ESPNFrontrow.com caught up with Juan Manuel Marquez while preparing for Saturday’s fight with Manny Pacquiao. Marquez, also an analyst for ESPN Deportes’ Golpe a Golpe, spoke to ESPN Deportes’ Jorge Eduardo Sanchez on several topics, including the fight, balancing training with his ESPN Deportes duties, and being critical of other boxers in his analyst role.
Unstoppable Germany outclass visiting USA (5-0)
Lausanne, Switzerland, 07 December 2012 – A packed EWS Arena in Göppingen was treated to a near-flawless performance by the German Eagles as they completely overwhelmed the visiting USA Knockouts in Group B. Gojan, Sopa, Michel and Pfeifer were the stars of the show on a night when everything went right.
The experience of German Eagles’ 29-year-old Veaceslav Gojan told in the evening’s opening contest, with the savvy Moldovan looking comfortable throughout the five rounds against American WSB debutant Shawn Simpson. Gojan moved well and used an excellent variety of punches to outsmart his young Bantamweight (50-54kg) rival, taking each of the rounds of each of the judges’ scorecards to give the Eagles to early lead in the match.
20-year-old Kastriot Sopa then impressed in his first WSB outing, with the Eagles’ orthodox fighter putting on a performance full of verve against the USA’s experienced Eric Fowler. The Lightweight (57-61kg) German was relishing taking to the ring in front of the fervent crowd. Sopa looked classy, picking his shots to perfection to stamp his authority on proceedings early on. He continued to grow in confidence as the fight progressed and looked convincing as he cruised to victory.
The Middleweight (68-73kg) bout was a short-lived affair with Xhek Paskali winning the contest by TKO after the USA Knockouts’ William Williams was severely cut over the right eye towards the end of the second round. With the American orthodox fighter unable to continue, the talented German 22-year-old was declared the winner and the home side had now an unassailable 3-0 lead in the tie.
It was the impressive Serge Michel up next, with the German Eagles Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) high on confidence after defeating 2011 Individual Champion Abdelhafid Benchabla in his previous outing. The 24-year-old orthodox German faced Swedish heavy-hitter Kennedy Katende in this one. The taller Michel boxed smartly against the slippery southpaw from the USA Knockouts, using his range and keeping his distance to draw his opponent in before unloading some sweet combinations. Some slick counter-punching followed in the latter stages which ensured the German orthodox claimed another win for his team.
The final bout of the evening saw 2011 AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Erik Pfeifer face the Knockouts’ 23-year-old Hungarian Istvan Bernath. These two powerful Heavyweights (91+kg) put on a great show with both going at each other right from the off. The German’s technique was at times sublime as his attacks found their target time and time again in rounds three and four. That deadly right hook of Pfeifer’s rocked Bernath several times and the German had the crowd up on their feet as he stormed his way to victory.
It was a resounding win for the home team, to the delight of the home crowd, but it will be much tougher next weekend when they travel to Earl’s Court in London to meet the British Lionhearts on Friday 14 December (Tickets are still available). USA Knockouts are also away to Ukraine Otamans that night.
IABA UPDATE (KATIE TAYLOR NAMED AIBA WOMEN’S BOXING AMBASSADOR)
Irish Amateur Boxing Association
Current Olympic, World and European lightweight champion Katie Taylor was today named as AIBA Women’s Boxing Ambassador.
The nomination was announced by AIBA President, Dr Ching-Kuo Wu at the 2012 AIBA Annual Awards Ceremony held in Yerevan, Armenia where Taylor received her third Best AIBA Elite Woman Boxer of the Year trophy.
Speaking at today’s Ceremony, which also saw Tyrone’s Michael Gallagher scoop the Best R&J Award, Dr Wu described Taylor as a role model.
“AIBA is extremely happy that Katie has accepted our offer to become AIBA Women’s Boxing Ambassador”, said Dr Wu.
“She has inspired a generation of women boxers and the acceptance of women’s boxing in the Olympic program has been in part a result of her outstanding achievements. She is now role model to youngsters around the globe and we are looking forward to working closely with her in the build up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games”.
“It is an honour for me to be nominated today AIBA Women’s Boxing Ambassador”, declared Taylor. “I cannot wait to start in this role. I want to help further elevate women’s boxing to ensure it sits at the pinnacle of sporting achievement”.