It’s fight week in Copenhagen, Denmark. This Saturday IBF featherweight champion Brenda Carabajal (16-4-1, 9 KO) takes on IBF’s mandatory challenger Sarah Mahfoud for the IBF featherweight world championship in Frederiksberg Hallerne.
Brenda Carabajal from San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina arrived in Copenhagen one week before the fight and is set to defend her title for the first time since capturing the interim title by outpointing the previously undefeated Russian Elena Gradinar last year in Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, USA.
The 28-year old Argentinean is accompanied by a delegation which includes her trainer Ramon Chaparro and her main training/sparring partner Marcela Eliana Acuna, who is the current IBF super bantamweight champion.
Carabajal is well prepared after numerous of sparring rounds with Acuna, and she has studied her Danish opponent very well too.
“We know that Sarah Mahfoud is a great boxer with a nice style, a complete fighter, and she is undefeated. But I have the experience and with the great physical shape I bring with me, this will definitely be a great fight. I have come here to win, and I will do all I can to bring my belt back home again,” says Brenda Carabajal.
Sarah Mahfoud (9-0, 3 KO), born in Faroe Islands and the first ever professional fighter from the North Atlantic island group, is based in Denmark, and this is her first world title bout. She qualified for the fight by beating top-ranked Stephanie Ducastel of France and South African Bukiwe Nonina to capture IBF’s intercontinental title in January 2018.
30-year-old Mahfoud has a solid amateur background and won both the Danish and Nordic championships and competed in the world championships too before turning pro. She became a household name in Denmark by winning the Danish version of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2016.
Mahfoud is currently trained by heavyweight fighter Sherman “The Tank” Williams, and her main sparring partner leading up to this fight has been Elena Gradinar, who fought Brenda Carabajal for the title last year.
“It has gone really well. There are a lot of things, that is beginning to work well too. My coach Sherman Williams is inspiring. I’m really happy with him and what he comes up with. I have completed a lot of sparring rounds with Elena Gradinar too. She is strong. It’s give and take all the way, and I don’t think I’ve ever completed so many rounds before. I have been pressured, but it’s cool, because I can do this,” says Sarah Mahfoud, who feels ready and strong enough to conquer the title Saturday night.
Denmark has had world champions in all governing bodies except IBF, which means Sarah Mahfoud can write history by becoming the first Dane to pick up the IBF belt, if she beats Brenda Carabajal.
The card also includes the 20-year-old undefeated super talent Oliver Meng (7-0), who defends his IBF world (Youth) super welterweight title for the first time, when he takes on Vasyl Kurasov (11-3) from Ukraine.
The clever Danish southpaw, who is a European Youth bronze medalist as an amateur, is undefeated in his first 7 bouts as a professional and has never lost a round. He is considered one of the very best Danish boxing talents in recent years.
Danish light heavyweight Jeppe Morell (10-2) is in a tough contest, when he takes on experienced world title contender Nicola Sjekloca (35-5-1) from Montenegro. Sjekloca drew with then EBU light heavy king Robert Stieglitz in 2017. He also challenged for the WBO title, but lost to Arhur Abraham in a close decision. Jeppe Morell is the current IBF Baltic champion, while Sjekloca, who is 7-1-1 in his last 9 bouts, holds wins over Hadillah Mohoumadi, Khoren Gevor and Roman Shkarupa among others.
Danish cruiserweight sensation Ditlev Rossing (13-0, 8 KO), ranked 28 by WBC, returns to the ring after a hand operation and takes on Sviatoslav Svyryd (5-2, 4 KO and 1 ND) from Ukraine. Rossing is also trained by heavyweight fighter Sherman “The Tank” Williams, and the Danish cruiserweight fighter is known for his explosive style in the boxing ring.
In a battle of undefeated fighters Heva Sharif (3-0) from Copenhagen, Denmark is tested against David Munoz (5-0) of Spain in a super lightweight contest.
Russian featherweight Elena Gradinar (9-1), ranked 6 by IBF, is also on the card and takes on Nina Pavlovic (5-2-1) from Serbia in a featherweight contest.
The show also includes a super lightweight contest between 20-year-old Danish prospect Victor Ramon (1-0) and Ezequiel Gregores (1-1) from Argentina.
Adel Younes from Aarhus, Denmark makes his professional debut, when he takes on Guillaume La Selva of France in the middleweight division.
The event will be broadcast/live streamed in Denmark, Faroe Islands and Greenland exclusively by Ekstra Bladet, www.ekstrabladet.dk; in Argentina exclusively by Tyc Sports and in USA and the rest of the world (except Denmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland and Argentina) exclusively by FITE, www.fite.tv.
The show is promoted by Mogens Palle. Together with his daughter Bettina and popular Danish former heavyweight star Brian Nielsen the 85-year old matchmaker/promotor, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) in 2008, now runs the Danish Fight Night boxing shows and is once again the leading boxing promotor in Denmark.
Based in a country with less than 6 million people Palle has produced an impressive number of European champions (26) plus world champions like Mikkel Kessler, Ayub Kalule, Johnny Bredahl, Jimmi Bredahl, Gert Bo Jacobsen, Magne Havnaa, Anita Christensen etc.
Over the years he has also promoted shows with the likes of Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Sonny Liston, Carlos Monzon, Emile Griffith, Victor Galindez, Sandro Mazzinghi, Bruno Arcari, Eddie Perkins, John Conteh, Ken Buchanan, Joe Calzaghe and developed champions and stars in Scandinavia like Tom Bogs, Borge Krogh, Hans Henrik Palm, Jorgen Hansen, Svein-Erik Paulsen, Mustafa Wassajja, John Odhiambo, Bo Hogberg, Chris Christensen, Anders Eklund, Steffen Tangstad, Brian Nielsen, Ole Klemetsen, Mads Larsen, Soren Sondergaard, Thomas Damgaard and many more.
Frederiksberg Hallerne, Copenhagen, Denmark. Saturday February 1st, show starts at 7:00 PM CET
USA and the rest of the world (except Denmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland and Argentina):