By James Slater: British-born former WBO cruiserweight champion Ola Afolabi all but vanished after his very close points loss to current WBO king Marco Huck of Germany. That losing fight marked the 31-year-old Afolabi’s first ring appearance since his sensational “breakthrough” KO win over Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli.
Showing his class and skill in both big fights, the clever boxer/puncher known as Kryptonite left the fans wanting more. Thankfully, it has just been announced how the 16-2-3(7) former champ will return to action on the under-card of the huge Klitschko-Haye clash that will go ahead in Hamburg Germany on July 2nd. Now with K2 promotions, Ola will face a British veteran in the form of 42-year-old Terry Dunstan, 24-3(14).
Very kindly giving me the following interview, Afolabi had the following answers to my questions:
James Slater: It’s a pleasure to be able to speak with you again, Ola. Firstly, I just read you will be fighting on the under-card of Klitschko-Haye card on July 2nd?
Ola Afolabi: So far as I know, I will be.
J.S: Against Terry Dunstan?
O.A: They have him [down] as the opponent, yeah. This will be just my third fight since Huck so I have to get in the ring and be active.
J.S: I also read that you may be considering a move up to heavyweight. I know you know how these rumours start, but is there any chance of that?
O.A: This next fight will be at cruiserweight. If I moved up to heavyweight, I’d be going up against big guys. I’d be a small heavyweight, like 210-pounds or so; these guys are like 270 (laughs). So would it make sense for me?
J.S: You wouldn’t rule it out though? David Haye is only a smallish heavyweight.
O.A: I’ll see how I go, whether or not I gain the weight naturally. I mean, anything’s possible, and as you say, David Haye is a small one [heavyweight]. If I went to heavyweight I’d want to fight the big boys, the belt-holders. But if the money were right, I’d consider it, yeah.
J.S: Just talking about your points loss to Marco Huck, that was a very close fight. Do you think the verdict was fair, or did you feel going in that you’d lose if it went to the cards in Germany?
O.A: I knew I had to knock him out in Germany. If that fight had taken place anywhere else, it might have been closer, and maybe I’d have won; you don’t know. But the fact that I didn’t knock him out is my fault. I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. I had him going in the 5th-round but I didn’t finish him.
J.S: Was it your plan to take a break after that fight, or have you been unable to land any fights?
O.A: I’ve had problems in the background, promotional problems. I couldn’t get any fights. I’m now out of those promotional problems and I’m looking to keep active.
J.S: And who are you with now?
O.A: K2, the Klitschko promotional group.
J.S: They are a powerful organisation, now you feel you will get the fights you want and deserve? Would you like another go at Huck, or would you like a fight with Steve Cunningham, who we read may also be moving up to heavyweight?
O.A: I want to get two or three fights, and then later this year or early next year, I will be in a world title fight. I’d like another go at Huck; this time I think I would destroy him. I’d like to fight anyone with a belt.
J.S: We look forward to seeing you back in action. The fans on the forums have been wondering where you’ve been. You’re a gifted and slick fighter, and you’re a pleasure to watch.
O.A: Thank you.
J.S: You made a big impact when you sparked Enzo Maccarinelli back in March of 2009. I think you may have actually ruined Enzo. Did you see how he plans on coming back as a light-heavyweight?
O.A: I did see that. I don’t know what’s the matter with his promoters; they keep putting him in with punchers, again and again. He’s a good fighter, but he just has no chin. I mean, good on him, he’s got balls getting back in there. But I think absolutely he should retire. He’s a good guy.
J.S: Can I ask, where are you based now, Ola – and who trains you now?
O.A: Right now I’m in Austria, I’m working with Fritz Sdunek, Klitschko’s trainer. He’s taught me a lot. Freddie [Roach] taught me a lot too.
J.S: Well, it’s been great speaking with you, Ola. You’re a great fighter, with moves like James Toney, Chris Byrd and all those cute guys. Hopefully you will get those wins under your belt and then get another title shot.
O.A: I appreciate it. I’d love to get back at Marco Huck; but I just don’t think he’ll want to fight me again.