Universum has loaded up Saturday’s “Universum Champions Night” at the o2 World in Hamburg, closing out a successful eight year run of boxing on ZDF. The card features the WBC interim world championship between Sebastian Zbik and Jorge Sebastian Heiland, the WBA super middleweight world championship between Dimitri Sartison and Khoren Gevor, the European heavyweight champion duel between Alexander Dimitrenko and Jaroslaw Zavorotny, plus Juan Carlos Gomez, Karoly Balzsay and Jack Culcay in separate bouts..
All seats in the arena have been priced at 30-Euros with half the preceeds going to a children’s charity. Here’s what happened at today’s press conference. Click the photo to go to the next photo WBC interim middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik (29-0, 10 KOs) defends against unbeaten #14 ranked Jorge Sebastian Heiland (16-0, 8 KOs) in the main event.
Sebastian Zbik: “The preparation ran very well. We had three weeks continuously sparring against southpaws. I’m relaxed and calm. We’re set for him and the southpaw stance. I’m confident. I must win this fight to get my chance against Martinez. Of course a victory would be also important for Universum. And for me. I dream of America and Martinez. This is my declared goal. But the focus is only on Heiland.”
Trainer Artur Grigorian: “He’s a good boxer. Technicnally very good. We have respect for him, but the champion is Sebastian Zbik. So Heiland must do more. This is where the chances present themselves for Sebastian. Jorge Sebastian Heiland: This is my first time in Germany. And I want to show a good fight against Sebastian. That’s why I’m here. My great-grandmother was German. I’m glad to get to know the roots of my family and to box here. This is something special for me. It is a dream for me to run through the nice, clean streets. The people are very nice and respectful. I enjoy this. But I’m here to box. Clearly it’s difficult to win on points against Zbik in his backyard. But it’s like this everywhere. Abroad one must be always clearly better. ”
Heiland-Trainer Gabino Gimenez: “Sebastian is a great champion and we are very grateful that he gives us the chance to box against him. This shows his class and greatness. He is very quick and boxes at a technically very high level.”
WBA super middleweight champion Dimitri Sartison (26-1, 17 KOs) collides with Khoren Gevor (31-4, 16 KOs)
Dimitri Sartison: “It’s been a few months since my last fight. I’m really looking forward to the fight. I can promise that it will be a spectacular fight. This is probably the best fight of the evening. Khoren is a strong opponent. I certainly hope that Universum receives a new TV contract. ”
Khoren Gevor: “I’ve been chilling in Amsterdam. After training I go to a coffee shop and have a run-through. So I’m prepared. No, seriously, Dimitri is a very good boxer. He is the world champion. One doesn’t get to be the world champion for nothing. In the fight we’ll see how strong he really is. I’m really looking forward to the super middleweights. Now I can keep my muscle mass, and it won’t decrease as much. This is good for me. For me it does not matter against who I box, the main thing is I earn my money. ”
Magomed Schaburow: “We want to win the fight and we have prepared ourselves. We were at a training camp in Austria and laid the conditioning groundwork for a successful fight. Following Kessler comes Khoren now. This won’t be easy. He’s a good kid, but we’re optimistic. We’ve done all the preparation to win. ”
In the heavyweight class, Universum Boxer Alexander Dimitrenko (29-1, 19 KOs) faces Ukrainian countryman Jaroslaw Zavorotny (14-4, 12 KOs) for the vacant European championship
Alexander Dimitrenko: “I look forward to the fight. My last fight was in July 2010. It was time to return to the ring. And to box for the European Championship is great. I have suspected that the Russians wouldn’t bring off the fight. They have really started to spin. Last week came a fax that Bakhtov is hurt. That was very funny. But I am happy to box for the European championship in Hamburg now. I had a bad day against Chambers. But that’s how it is. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. It is important that one always looks forward and draws the right lessons. It is also relatively unimportant that I must now adjust to a new opponent. The main thing I can finally box again. To me that is the most important. Tohgether with Michael Timm, I have changed along with Michael Timm my complete training. And we talking in Low German. No joke.”
Trainer Michael Timm: “Sascha is in top shape. We have mainly worked a lot on the mental attitude. Jaroslaw had the advance notice as Sasha, so they both start equally. And it will be an exciting fight. Jaroslaw is a very athletic boxer. He wants to win with all his might. He’s not necessarily a technician, but he’s very rough. One must be careful not to get into a brawl.”
Jarsolaw Zavarotny: “This is the biggest fight of my career. I will do everything to bring the belt to the Urkaine. Sascha is a very strong boxer. He is very big. I have great respect for him.”
Universum Promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl: “We were accused by a Hamburg newspaper reporter of embarrassingly gambling away the Dimitrenko vs. Bakhtov European championship purse bid. The dubious fight cancellation from Ekaterinburg two weeks before the fight shows they couldn’t refinance it. It also shows that we know the market well and realistically assess things. We only offer what we can actually deliver. Now we can carry out the European Championship in Hamburg. We are pleased that we can offer the fans in the o2 World the heavyweight championship as a great special bonus on top of the already high-class event with two world championship fights, ex-champions Balszay and Gomez and Germany’s biggest boxing talent Jack Culcay.”
In other action, former WBO super middleweight world champion Karoly Balzsay (21-2, 15 KOs) faces Aziz Daari (24-14-4, 20 KOs) and “Golden Jack” Culcay (5-0, 3 KOs)meets Ionut Trandafir Ilie (13-4)
Jack Culcay: “My opponent is very stable. He has great experience, but is beatable. I’ve now been with Universum for six months. My coach is a good guy. It’s a lot of fun to work with him. I think under Michael Timm I still can develop very far.”
Trainer Michael Timm: “Jack is a really modest, quiet type. He’s fit right in with the group. He didn’t come in like the great King with us because he’s an amateur champion. That’s great. In training he tries hard, always filled with ambition. I’m very satisfied with his performance level. It’s impressive how he boxes. And with making jokes, he’s always at the front.”
Former world champion Juan Carlos Gomez (47-2, 36 KOs) will fight under the Universum banner for the first time in five years
He celebrated his 37th birthday today. “The Black Panther’s” opponent will be named. Juan Carlos Gomez: “Thank you for allowing me to be here. I feel like newly born again with Universum. I thank Mr. Kohl that I may be back here. It’s like a new life. In May 1995, I jumped through the ropes for the first time here. I’m going to do it again. It’s Showtime! I love Universum and I love you all. I had big problems with my old promoter. He hasn’t paid me. I’m an open book. I always disclose everything. I hope that soon I’ll get my money and will immediately show good boxing with Universum.”
Artur Grigorian: “I know Juan from my active career. He was world champion. I was world champion. We were colleagues. I was surprised when I heard that I would train the Black Panther. But I’m happy. He’s become heavier, but the feeling for boxing remains. He can box. Although one must sometimes turn his head a little, but we’ll get it back. Juan is just Juan.”
Heavyweight European Championship: Alexander Dimitrenko vs. Jaroslav Zavorotny added to July 31 card
Another interesting heavyweight clash has been added to Universum Box-Promotion’s big July 31 card at the o2 Arena in Hamburg. Alexander Dimitrenko (29-1, 19 KOs) will fight for the vacant European champion against Jaroslav Zavorotny (14-4, 12 KOs). Dimitrenko was originally slated to face Denis Bakhtov for the title on promoter German Titov’s July 30 card in Ekaterinburg, Russia, however Bakhtov pulled out and the EBU sanctioned Dimitrenko-Zavorotny.