Micki Nielsen (22-1, 14 KOs) will face Simon Bakalak (8-6, 3 KOs) in an eight-round contest on July 8 at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Nielsen returns to the ring for the first time in eight months following a year of mixed fortunes. The Danish cruiserweight claimed the WBC International title with a career best performance against Mirko Larghetti in March 2016.
The 24 year-old then signed up for the ‘Super 4’ tournament in South Africa beating Johnny Muller via unanimous decision to reach the final where he suffered his first career defeat with a majority decision loss to Kevin Lerena.
Nielsen has since made some changes to his training team, now working with former amateur coach Gutte Løiberg, and the talented southpaw believes he ready to get back to his best starting with a victory over Bakalak on July 8.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring,’’ said Nielsen. ‘’I think my last fight with Lerena was fifty-fifty. One of the judges scored it a draw while the other two had it for Lerena. Maybe it would have been different if the fight had been Denmark. Of course, it was a tough defeat to take, but now, it’s all about coming back and showing how much I’ve improved since South Africa.
“Everything has become much better and sharper. I’m working with a new boxing coach, and a new strength and conditioning coach. I follow a strict diet program to help keep my weight down, which will really improved my stamina.
‘’I still have faith that I can achieve big things with my boxing. I still believe I can become a World Champion. For me, July 8 is the beginning of a new chapter in my career, and I plan to start it with a bang!’’
Nielsen joins an action-packed card in Ludwigshafen, which is topped by two title fights. German ‘Wunderkind’ Leon Bauer defends his IBF Youth World Super Middleweight title against Abdallah Paziwapazi, while domestic rivals Artur Mann and Leon Harth do battle for the WBO International Cruiserweight crown.