Thomas Madsen believes Dina Thorslund (12-0, 6 KOS) can secure a knockout win as she defends her WBO World Super Bantamweight title against Alesia Graf (29-7, 13 KOs) on January 19 at the Struer Energi Park in Denmark.
“Graf is an experienced boxer, who has met many good fighters in her career,” says Madsen. “She is tall and she throws good straight punches, but I don’t believe she is physically strong enough to resist Dina.”
Madsen insists his fighter is ready to go all ten rounds if required, but does not think it will be necessary for the hard-hitting World Champion, who has stopped six of her previous opponents inside the distance.
“Dina’s shape is good and she is ready to go ten hard rounds, but I hope she can knock Graf out. She must at least test Graf early with some power punches. I believe and hope for a KO victory,” says the Danish trainer.
Following an impressive 2018, Madsen has high hopes for the New Year: “It will be a great year where we chase even more success. We are looking to win more World titles and to unify the division, and that may mean fighting abroad.”
Dina Thorslund tops the bill in Struer, defending her WBO Female World Super Bantamweight title against Alesia Graf, while former European Champion Dennis Ceylan rematches Jesus Sanchez for the EU Featherweight crown.
Oliver Flodin faces Abdul Khattab in a Scandinavian middleweight thriller, heavyweight hope Kem Ljungquist takes on Dominik Musil, Lolenga Mock continues his World title chase against Mateo Damian Veron, Mikkel Nielsen meets Bulgaria’s Angel Emilov, and Adam Bashanov faces Ivan Nikolov.
Dina Thorslund (12-0, 6 KOs) defends her WBO Female World Super Bantamweight title against Alesia Graf (19-7, 13 KOs), while Dennis Ceylan (19-2-2, 8 KOs) rematches Jesus Sanchez (9-1, 2 KOs) for the European Union Featherweight title on January 19 at the Struer Energi Park in Denmark.
Thorslund returns to her hometown fortress for a fourth time to make the first defence of the WBO World title she claimed with a unanimous points win over Mexico’s Yessica Munoz at the Struer Energi Park on August 25.
The 25 year-old is currently Denmark’s only reigning World Champion, the first Dane to have won a World title since Mikkel Kessler, and only the second female in Danish boxing history to have achieved this success.
“This will be the fourth time I box in front of my fans in Struer,” says Thorslund. “It has been amazing every other time, and I hope it will be again. It is almost too much to hope for, but so far, the support has only improved each time. It’s hard to describe how much it means to have people in Struer to back me up.
“Alesia Graf is tall so she poses a different kind of challenge than I’m used to. She’s a good fighter, but let me make it clear: I’m not afraid of anyone!”
Graf, nicknamed ‘The Tigress’, from Stuttgart, Germany, has held versions of the World title in both the Super Flyweight and Super Bantamweight divisions, as well as challenging for the Bantamweight crown on three occasions. She is an experienced contender, who is confident of upsetting the home fighter.
“This is a big opportunity for me to fight for the WBO World title,” said Graf. “Dina is undefeated, which obviously says something about her, but I go into every fight with the intention to win, and this is no different. I will prepare as best as possible. It will be an exciting fight for sure, with me coming out on top.”
Having suffered a shock second-round knockout defeat to Sanchez at the Struer Energi Park on March 10, former European Champion Ceylan has the chance for revenge as he rematches his Spanish rival for EU title.
Ceylan has said it is ‘all or nothing’ as he looks to get his promising career back on track on January 19, stating a loss will result in his retirement.
“Sanchez caught me with a good shot last time, but that’s not going to happen again,” said Ceylan. “This time, I’m going to prove that I’m the better fighter. I’m not afraid of this guy. I want revenge. This fight is all or nothing for me. If I win, my career is back on track, but if I lose, I will retire.”
Sanchez returns to Denmark full of confidence following his knockout win, and has vowed to get the better of Ceylan for a third-time having reportedly schooled the Danish boxer in a sparring session prior to their first encounter.
“We sparred together in 2017 while you were training in Madrid, and I got the best out of you. We fought in Struer, and I knocked you out. The third time we meet, it will not be any different,” says the Spanish Champion.
“It’s always dangerous to predict a knockout because you risk looking for a big punch and opening yourself up for counters. Therefore, I am happy to simply predict a win – be it on points or inside the distance.”
“We’re delighted to be returning to the Struer Energi Park with another fantastic card,” said promoter Nisse Sauerland. “The atmosphere is always electric when Dina fights, and this time the fans can look forward to a double header of title fights with Dennis challenging for the EU Featherweight title.
“Dina’s star continues to rise, and I believe she is close to establishing herself as one of the best female fighters on the planet. Dennis has had a difficult twelve months, but now has the chance for redemption. By defeating Sanchez and claiming the EU title, he can get his career firmly back on track.”
Tickets for Double Trouble: Dina Thorslund vs. Alesia Graf and Dennis Ceylan vs. Jesus Sanchez are on sale now and available online via www.ticketmaster.dk or by calling (+45) 70 15 65 65.