28.03.04 – One of the greatest Champions ever in Europe said goodbye yesterday night at the Magdeburg (Germany) sold out 8.000 seats arena. Undefeated SVEN OTTKE after beating by clear unanimous point decision his Challenger and former World Champion ARMAND KRAJNC (29-2-0) gave a big surprise to all his audience saying he was about to turn 37 (next June) and it was the time to hang out the gloves.
Very few new about it and it seems it was a decision he and his wife decided already sometime ago. Not even Mr. Wilfried Sauerland could hold the emontion of the moment when some tears showed on his face, including Ottke’s long time trainer Mr. Ulli Wegner, who was awarded by the Champion with the keys of a brand new Z4 BMW as present for all his support and cares during his whole professional career.
To give just some figures Ottke became professional fighter on March 22nd 1997 after a long and successful amateur record. On October 24th 1998 he beat CHARLES BREWER to become new IBF World Champion. After this he made 16 successful defenses of his IBF Title against some Top fighter like Thomas Tate (wtko11), Glencoffe Johnson (wud12), Silvio Branco (wud12), James Crawford (wko8), James Butler (wud12), Anthony Mundine (wko10), Joe Gatti (wtko9) until March 15th 2003 when he fought against WBA Champion BYRON MITCHELL winning by majority point decision and becoming UNIFIED WORLD Champion.
Those who got to meet personaly Mr. Ottke define him not only as a great sportman and fighter but also as a gentleman “in and out” of the ring.
Yesterday night European Boxing family has lost an extraordinary Champion but World Boxing history has gained a name to be included among the Top: SVEN OTTKE (34-0-0 / 6 KOs) March 22nd 1997 – March 27th 2004.
The Official Scoring of the Championship was:
Manuel Maritxalar (Spain) 119-109
Cesar Ramos (Puerto Rico) 120-108
Medardo Villalobos (Panama) 120-110
Referee: Armando Garcia (Miami, USA)