Erling Havnaa will take charge of Kai Robin Havnaa’s corner for his upcoming cruiserweight clash with Rad Rashid on March 2 in Arendal, after head coach Joey Gamache was injured in an unprovoked attack and left unable to travel.
Havnaa faces his toughest career test as returns to the SØR Amfi to headline his hometown arena, but for the first time in his career, he must enter the ring without his coach Gamache, who is currently recovering in New York.
Havnaa’s uncle Erling, who has previously worked as an assistant to Gamache, will now assume responsibility as head coach, and can draw on past experience having witnessed his brother Magne Havnaa, Norway’s only male World Champion, claim the WBO World Cruiserweight title.
“Now that Joey is unable to travel to Norway and be in Kai’s corner for this fight, I have no problem taking over this job and responsibility,” says Erling.
“With that said, to be clear, I want Joey to be Kai’s head trainer in future, and I am happy to continue my role as assistant when Kai needs me. I think Joey is one of the best trainers in the world and the best trainer out there for Kai.
“We will continue to follow Joey’s system. I don’t plan on changing too much. There will be a lot of sparring in the coming weeks, and Kai has already been doing all his running right, so he will be reaching peak shape soon. I just have to keep an eye on him to make sure he’s not overtraining.”
Erling was a constant figure in his brother Magne Havnaa’s corner and was there to see him write his name in the history books by stopping undefeated American Boone Pultz in a rematch for the WBO World title on May 17, 1990.
“For Magne’s fights, my role was to be a brother he could trust,” says Erling. “I didn’t have the same experience that I have now. He had his own trainer and a professional team around him. I helped him with some light sparring, and I was someone he could talk to and discuss different career options with.
“But all that experience is very helpful for me now. I have been in the fight game since the 80s, and having been so close to my brother during his successful professional career, there’s not much I haven’t seen before.”
While Erling admits there are similarities between his nephew and brother, he is also quick to point out their differences, but says he believes Kai has the ability to follow in his father’s footsteps and become Norway’s next World Champion.
“I see many similarities, of course, but they’re also different in many ways too. We cannot try to make Kai my brother; rather we must be honest and treat Kai as his own individual. Magne had a long amateur career, which is something Kai did not, but Kai has many strengths that are even better than my brother’s.
“It’s extremely difficult to follow in Magne’s footsteps,” he adds. “There has only been one man from Norway to have made it as World Champion, and that’s my brother, but it’s not impossible for Kai. If the motivation is there and he remains injury free, he can make it. We have a plan to get Kai to the top!”
Rad ‘Thunder’ Rashid will be looking to derail Havnaa’s promising career, but Erling is confident his nephew has what it takes to overcome the German’s challenge and continue his climb to the peak of the cruiserweight division.
“I see a guy that looks strong,” says Erling. “Rashid is an experienced opponent with twenty professional fights, but I believe Kai can beat him. Kai is hungrier, and I know he will do anything to win, but this is professional boxing and when two heavy guys at a good level get in the ring, anything can happen.
“People are excited for this one. Everyone in Arendal was very happy with the last event. I know they appreciate an athlete like Kai, who is working hard and putting everything on the line in the ring. I’m expecting another great fight!”
Kai Robin Havnaa returns to the SØR Amfi in Arendal on March 2 to headline his hometown arena in his toughest career test against Rad Rashid.
Katharina Thanderz provides chief support with a super featherweight contest against unbeaten Brit Rachel Ball, Hadi Srour meets Zoltan Szabo, Anders Eggan faces Frane Radnic, and Jamshid Nazari takes on Ivica Gogosevic.
EGGAN RULED OUT OF RADNIC FIGHT WITH HAND INJURY
Anders Eggan (3-0, 1 KO) has been ruled out of his fight with Frane Radnic (11-11, 10 KOs) on March 2 at the SØR Amfi in Arendal on the undercard of Kai Robin Havnaa’s clash with Rad Rashid after injuring his hand in sparring.
“I injured the knuckle on my right hand in sparring,” explains Eggan. “The tissue is really damaged and doctors have told me I need to rest my hand for five weeks to allow it to heal correctly. I’m disappointed as I was looking forward to boxing in Arendal, but unfortunately these injuries happen in boxing. I have to follow my doctors’ advice, and hopefully, I’ll be ready to fight again soon.”
Fight fans can still look forward to an action-packed event in Arendal. Local hero Kai Robin Havnaa returns to the SØR Amfi to headline his hometown arena in his toughest career test against Germany’s Rad ‘Thunder’ Rashid.
Katharina Thanderz provides chief support with a super featherweight contest against Rachel Ball, Hadi Srour is back in the professional ring to meet Zoltan Szabo, and Kristiansand’s Jamshid Nazari takes on Ivica Gogosevic.
Kai Robin Havnaa (13-0, 11 KOs) will face his toughest career test against Rad ‘Thunder’ Rashid (16-4, 13 KOs) on March 2 at the SØR Amfi in Arendal.
‘King Kai’ is back at the SØR Amfi having blasted out Daniel Vencl inside two-rounds on February 3. A performance he followed with the show reel second-round stoppage of Frank Bluemle at the Baden Arena in Offenburg on April 28.
Havnaa must now face a significant step up as he looks to advance his promising career with a ten-round contest against the former WBU Cruiserweight Champion and WBO European Heavyweight title challenger.
“I will need to be in my greatest shape ever,” said Havnaa. “Rashid fought for the WBO European Heavyweight title in March, so I know he is going to be big, probably bigger than me, and I’ll have to be at my best to beat him.
“He’s a strong opponent. He’s experienced and looks solid. I’m expecting him to come with an ‘all in’ mentality, but with that said, you never know what you’re dealing until you start trading punches, so I’ll be prepared for everything.”
Rashid, from Frankfurt, Germany, is known as ‘Thunder’ due to his punching power, which has seen him claim 13 of his 16 wins inside the distance.
“I’m not worried about his power, but I will be aware of it,” says Havnaa. “When you’re a big cruiserweight, all punches are dangerous, but I trust my defence. I’ve been working on it a lot, and that’s why I’ve never been down in my fights.”
Havnaa will once again be counting on his fans to turn the SØR Amfi into a hometown fortress, as the 29 year-old admits he feels unbeatable in Arendal.
“I have the feeling nothing can stop me now, especially not at the SØR Amfi!
“The support I got from people in the arena last time gave me more energy and power than I ever thought possible,” he says. “I get motivated just thinking about it, and that’s priceless when you’re preparing for war. My win will be shared with everyone who’s there supporting me on March 2!”
Promoter Nisse Sauerland says this fight marks the ‘first big step up’ for Havnaa, and will provide an important acid test for the Norwegian talent.
“Kai has done everything asked of him so far in his career,” said Sauerland. “Since his professional debut, we’ve been gradually increasing the level of opposition, but this fight marks his first big step up. He will need to prove himself at this level if he wants to continue to progress. He has the talent and determination to go a long way, but now, he has to back it up in the ring!”
Kai Robin Havnaa (13-0, 11 KOs) will headline his hometown arena on March 2 as Team Sauerland return to the SØR Amfi in Arendal, Norway.
Following a hugely successful debut show on February 3, which saw Havnaa blast out Daniel Vencl inside two rounds, Team Sauerland are back with another event, which promises to be ‘bigger, better and more exciting’.
Havnaa, undefeated in his thirteen professional contests after a devastating knockout win over Frank Bluemle on April 28, 2018 in Offenburg, had been sidelined with a thumb injury, but now full recovered, says he cannot wait to walk out in front of his home fans in Arendal for a second time.
“It was an unforgettable experience,” says Havnaa. “The feeling I got walking out in front of all friends, family and supporters in Arendal was unbelievable.
“I got 100% good feedback last time. It was the first professional boxing event in Arendal, and people tell me they got goosebumps when I entered the ring. Many people said it was the best and most professional show ever in Norway.
“It’s going to be an even bigger, better and more exciting show on March 2!”
An opponent for Havnaa will be confirmed shortly, but the son of Norway’s only ever male World Champion, Magne Havnaa, has been promised his toughest test as he looks to take his career to the next level.
“This is going to be the biggest test of my career. My promoter has promised me that,” he says. “I’m back in full training following my thumb injury and my shape is very good. I didn’t want a tune up fight. I feel that I’m at a much higher level now than I’ve ever been before, and I’m ready for a big fight.
“2019 is going to be my year! It’s time for me to take my boxing to a new level. I want to fight the best, and I want to become World Champion. I’m ready to step up, and that begins with this fight on March 2 in Arendal!”
Said promoter Nisse Sauerland: “We’re delighted to be returning to the SØR Amfi in Arendal. We will be announcing an opponent for Kai in the coming weeks, and fans will not be disappointed. Kai has done everything asked of him so far in his career, but now the time has come for him to step up. Home support will be important as he faces his toughest career test. Fans can also look forward to a full undercard showcasing the best of Norwegian boxing!”
Kai Robin Havnaa will headline an action-packed show on March 2 at the SØR Amfi in Arendal. Tickets are available online via www.ticketmaster.no.