Bad news for Herbie Hide: The WBC Final Eliminator in the cruiserweight division between the “Dancing Destroyer” and Matt Godfrey that was originally scheduled to take place on March 6th in Cuxhaven, Germany, has to be postponed for at least eight weeks because Godfrey suffered a hand injury while preparing for the fight. Nonetheless Hide (46-4, 42 kos) will make his next appearance on March 6th in an eight-rounder against an opponent to be announced..
“I am fired up to get back to Cuxhaven”, says Hide. “I wasn’t happy with my last performance here and I am glad about the chance to show my fans the real ‘Dancing Destroyer’. I am not coming here for playing. I will use this fight to prepare for Godfrey. My goal is to become the first former heavyweight champion to win the cruiserweight title and nobody will stop me on my way.”
The co-main event features WBC international welterweight champion Selcuk Aydin (16-0, 13 kos) who will make his return to the ring after a three months break due to a rib injury. “Mini-Tyson” is set to defend his title against ring veteran Luis “Morochito” Hernandez (22-3, 15 kos) from Ecuador (fighting out of New York).
Besides Hide and Aydin two of the most promising German heavyweight prospects, Steffen Kretschmann and Konstantin Airich, will be back in action in Cuxhaven. Kretschmann (13-0, 12 kos) who is already ranked on #39 by the WBC will face Russian contender Denis Bakthov (28-5, 18 kos, WBA #14, WBC #23) in a PABA championship bout. Bakhtov has won his last four fights in row; his last loss was against Vitali Klitschko’s next challenger Juan Carlos Gomez in June 2007 in Ankara, Turkey.
Konstantin Airich (11-1-1, 9 kos) will step into the ring against Czech prospect Ondrej Pala (22-2, 18 kos) who has a win over former world champion Henry Akinwande in his resume.
There will be nine fights in total. Eurosport will broadcast the show from the Kugelbake-Halle in Cuxhaven live from 9.00pm.
CLEVERLY CLOSE TO FRANCIS SHOWDOWN
Hot talent Nathan Cleverly is aiming to send out a KO message to British champion Dean Francis on Friday night.
The pair will both appear on the same bill in Swindon – with a mouth-watering clash between the two scheduled for later this year.
The light-heavyweight duo have been on a collision course for months, and Cleverly can’t wait for the fight to happen.
“Knowing that Francis holds the British title has been driving me mad,” said the undefeated 21-year-old, who puts his Commonwealth crown on the line at the Oasis Sports Centre against Kenyan puncher Samson Otyango live on Sky Sports
“I believe I’m number one in the country, but until I beat Francis there will always be a debate as to who is the top dog.
“I’ve been willing to fight him since the autumn, but for one reason or another the fight hasn’t been made.
“But once I’ve dealt with Samson Otyango in style on Friday, then Francis can’t run from me any more.
“I’ve always dreamed about becoming a British champion, and to add the Lonsdale belt to my Commonwealth title would be a great buzz. I just hope Francis doesn’t get cold feet after he sees me knock out Otyango.
Cleverly has had just 14 fights, but is already being tipped as a star of the future.
However veteran puncher Francis, who still harbours ambitions of challenging for a world belt, would be his toughest opponent to date.
“It would be man against boy if we ever met,” said Francis, who keeps busy with a fight against talented Joey Vegas in Swindon.
“Nathan’s a good kid, but he’s never fought anyone who punches like me, and he won’t be able to take my power.”
SUTHERLAND: THE PRESSURE IS OFF
DARREN SUTHERLAND has promised his growing army of fans a treat when he makes his second professional appearance.
Ireland’s Olympic bronze medallist was in explosive form on his professional debut in home city Dublin in December despatching Georgi Iliev in the first round.
And the 26-year-old insists he will deliver an even better performance when he boxes a six round super-middleweight contest against a selected opponent at Robin Park Arena on Friday 6th March.
Top of the bill is the vacant European light-middleweight title fight between Salford southpaw Jamie Moore (30-3) and Italy’s former world champion Michele Piccirillo (50-4).
Sutherland who has been sparring with Dean Francis said: “I really can’t wait to deliver some fireworks in my next fight.
“To tell you the truth I am looking forward to it more than my pressure debut even though that was such a special night in Dublin that will stay with me forever.
“Jamie is top of the bill and there will be absolutely no pressure on me because the focus will be on his fight.
“On my debut that were such big expectations because of all the publicity after Beijing and it seemed like I knew everybody who was in the hall.”
Manager and promoter Frank Maloney believes he has already spotted traits that separates Sutherland from the other top fighters.
He added: “When the weather was bad last Monday, Darren couldn’t do his road work properly or get a train to the gym in London for sparring.
“Instead he walked two miles from his home to a health club where he could do some work.
“I bet there were plenty of champions who got up, saw the snow and ducked out of training. This fella is different and made sure he got some kind of training done.”
Tickets for this night of top quality action are available, priced £35, £80 and £90 VIP Ringside are available from 0871 226 1508 and www.frankmaloney.com