IBO International Cruiserweight Champion Kai Robin Havnaa (15-0, 13 KOs) will face the hard-hitting American dangerman (20-4-1, 14 KOs) on November 16th in Oslo as he looks to move into World title contention.
Norway’s number one male boxer is back in the ring headlining a huge show at the historic Ekeberghallen venue alongside Katharina Thanderz, who meets Danila Ramos for the interim WBC World Super Featherweight crown.
Havnaa was last in action on June 22nd scoring a third-round stoppage win over Levani Lukhutashvili at the Forum Horsens in Denmark. This performance followed a career best win for the 30-year-old, who defeated Rad Rashid in front of his home fans in Arendal on March 2nd to claim his first major title.
Havnaa, the son of Norway’s only ever male World Champion, Magne Havnaa, must now put his World title aspirations on the line against his most dangerous opponent to date in order to prove he is ready to face the best in the division.
Sands, born in Haiti but now based in America, boasts an impressive 72 per cent knockout ratio with 18 of his 20 victories coming inside the distance. The 32-year-old is a former NABA-USA and Minneosaota State Cruiserweight Champion, who has also challenged for the WBO Oriental title.
“It’s amazing to headline a big show in Oslo,” says Havnaa. “Last time I boxed in Oslo was at the Spectrum on the undercard of Cecilia Brækhus in front of 10,000 fans. I’m sure this will be even better with all my supporters and a top Norwegian undercard. I’m very excited.
“My opponent is a very experienced skilled fighter with a long reach and good fundamentals. He is a big puncher, who has fought some of the best fighters in the world, and I will be preparing for the best Al Sands there is.
“I’ve always had a big talent to train hard, but now I’m also starting to master how to train smart. I’ve started to become an experienced fighter. I know what to do, and I know what not to do, and all this is going to take me to next level.
“You never know how good an opponent is until you’re trading punches with them, but from what I can see, Sands is my most dangerous opponent. Boxing is a sport full of surprises and with top shape cruiserweights, anything can happen, but on November 16th, I plan to show why I belong at the top.”
Promoter Nisse Sauerland admits he has taken a risk allowing Havnaa to face Sands, but reveals the reward could be a shot at the IBO World Champion.
“This is potentially a very dangerous fight for Kai,” said Sauerland. “We’re taking a risk here but the reward can be great. This is a chance for Kai to prove he belongs at the top level. If he comes through this, then we could look to make a fight between him and the current IBO World Champion Kevin Lerena.”
All the action will be broadcast live on Viasat 4 in Norway. Christian Ramberg, Programme Manager Sports for NENT Group, says: “World class boxing finally returns to the capital with an amazing fight card. Kai Robin Havnaa will prove that he is a title contender against a very dangerous American opponent. With two knock out experts in action the viewers should not blink.”
HAVNAA AIMING FOR THE TOP AGAINST AMERICAN KO STAR SANDS
Kai Robin Havnaa (15-0, 13 KOs) is aiming for the top against American knockout artist Al Sands (20-4-1, 18 KOs) as Norway’s number one male boxer returns to action on November 16th at the Ekeberghallen in Oslo.
Undefeated in fifteen professional contests, Havnaa has already started to make his name known on the World stage having claimed the IBO International title with a crushing third-round knockout win over Rad Rashid in March.
In Sands, Havnaa faces his toughest career test, but one the Arendal boxer knows he must overcome to realise his ambition of becoming World Champion.
“I’m aiming for the top. That’s the only thing in my head,” he says. “Winning this fight and then aiming as high as I can for the next one. My goal is to become World Champion and beating Sands will be a big step forward for me.
“I know it’s not going to be easy. Sands is a well schooled boxer. Obviously he can punch, you can see that from his knockout record, but he’s going to be in my country against the best Kai Robin Havnaa there’s ever been, so it’s not going to be easy for him either, and I’ll be ready for everything on fight night.”
Having only faced European opposition up to this point, Havnaa is relishing the chance to share the ring with an American opponent for the first time.
“Facing an American fighter is going to be special because of the history of boxing,” he says. “America have always had top fighters in every division, and Norwegians have always followed American boxing, so I’ve had a really good reaction since the fight was announced. Everyone is really excited about it.”
Havnaa says he is pleased with how his preparations have gone so far. He was reunited with coach Joey Gamache earlier this camp, and with the help of his uncle Erling, he believes he has found a winning formula take him to the top.
“My training has been going really well,” he said. “I have been doing everything I should be. I’m injury free and everything is there to make a very good fight.
“I believe you shouldn’t change a winning team. My development over the last year has been very good so we are sticking to the plan. We’re not making any big changes but of course we are always looking for improvements.”
Katharina Thanderz headlines a huge show at the historic Ekeberghallen as she faces Danila Ramos for the interim WBC Female World Super Featherweight crown, while Kai Robin Havnaa looks to bolster his World title claim in a crunch cruiserweight clash with American dangerman Al Sands, and
top talents Kevin Melhus, Alexander Hagen, Bernard Torres and Kent Erik Baadstad complete an action-packed card in the Norwegian capital.
Tickets are available online via www.ticketmaster.no. All the action will be available to watch live across Viasat 4, Viasport + and Viaplay in Norway.