WBA world heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev and his promoter Timur Dugazaev are shocked of the passing away of their trainer and longtime friend Fritz Sdunek.
“I just cannot believe it and cannot find words to express my grief”, says Chagaev. “We have been in the gym together just a few days ago. Fritz was not only the best boxing coach Germany has ever seen but also and foremost a great and unique human being and a role model in all aspects of life. I am proud to have known him and to have worked with him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. It is a very, very sad day for boxing.”
Timur Dugazaev talked to Sdunek only two days before he unexpectedly passed away at a hospital in Hamburg. “Fritz was part of our family. I admired and respected him and had lots of fun with him at the same time”, adds Dugazaev. “I spoke to him when he was in hospital. He told me he was feeling well and that he was looking forward to being released within the next days. We talked about my fight last weekend. He congratulated me to my win, told me what I did right and where I can improve. He was in good mood. I still can’t understand that he is not with us anymore.”
Sdunek has taken over as head coach for both Ruslan Chagaev and Timur Dugazaev in September. In November the team was in training camp in Zinnowitz starting to prepare Chagaev for his first title defense of his second reign as WBA world champion.
“Of course, this is a major setback for our whole team. Fritz can never be replaced – not as a trainer but even more important as the great man that he was”, states Dugazaev. “He was such a gentleman, truly one of a kind. All Chechnya is mourning his death. We miss him already. But of course, we will continue fighting for him. Spiritually he will always be in our corner. We will always remember him as our friend, father and brother.”