The wait for the highly anticipated European Light Heavyweight Championship is almost over. Current titlist Eduard Gutknecht (24-1, 9 KOs) takes on former world champion Juergen Braehmer (38-2, 30 KOs) at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany on February 2. The two camps are in their final preparations for the fight and as expected, both coaches believe that their own man has the edge over the opponent.
There is only one favourite when it comes to the bout between Gutknecht and Braehmer and that is the current EBU-Champion. That is at least the opinion of his coach, Ulli Wegner. “Eduard is in very good shape. I believe that he has the quality to win this tough fight and to move on to even bigger things,” said Wegner. “He has shown great attitude during our preparations and is always eager to learn more under my guidance. We know that Braehmer has his own qualities and is very experienced but he is not the same Juergen Braehmer he was two years ago during his time as the WBO-Champion. He isn’t world class anymore.”
Karsten Roewer has an entirely different point of view. “I have been very impressed with Juergen during our training. He is always willing to work hard and he gives it his all. You can tell that he lives for boxing,” said Roewer. “We have been working on the basics and will use the last few days at camp to work on his real strength – counter boxing. We know that Gutknecht fights with a lot of heart so Juergen has to keep constant pressure on him. However, I know that he has what it takes. He has the experience and is determined to get back to where he was and prove his doubters wrong.”
But not only the match-up between the two fighters is the cause for some heated debate. February 2 is also the duel between two coaches of Team Sauerland. One of them is Ulli Wegner who currently has four world champions under his wings. The other, Karsten Roewer, is still an up and coming trainer who already guided Sebastian Sylvester to the IBF Middleweight World Championship. However, the coaches themselves do not see any significance in the fact that they are going head to head.
“That is no special challenge for me”, said Wegner. “I have formed loads of guys, who had no great experience as amateurs into world beaters. I made them and taught them discipline, tactics and technique. Roewer on the other hand has loads of good amateur boxers but so far only managed to guide Sebastian Sylvester to a world title.” Roewer added: “Of course it is an exciting task to compete with one of the greatest coaches in the world and maybe even get one over him.” Nevertheless, the 50-year-old also has a warning in store. “Ulli mentioned that he isn’t a good loser – unfortunately for him so am I.”