Boxing


Henry Maske goes from McDonald's to Hill

MUNICH, Germany (March 8, 2007) - Former IBF light heavyweight champion Henry "The Gentleman" Maske has come out of his 10-plus year retirement to fight the only man ever to defeat him as a professional, five-time world champion and reigning WBA cruiserweight title-holder Virgil "Quicksilver" Hill, on March 31 in "The Rematch" pay-per-view event at Olympia Hall in Munich, Germany..

"The Rematch," promoted by WHS International, will be broadcast live in the United States on cable and satellite pay-per-view starting at 4 PM/ET, 1 PM/PT. The event is being distributed for pay-per-view by Integrated Sports and will be available via iN Demand, DirecTV and TVN for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. In addition to the Hill-Maske 12-round special attraction main event, other broadcast fights on the card will soon be announced.

Hill (50-5, 23 KOs) won a 12-round split decision (116-113, 115-113, 112-116) against Maske (30-1, 11 KOs) in their WBA-IBF light heavyweight unification bout on November 23, 1996 at Olympia Hall.

Maske has been out of boxing since losing to Hill. "During my years as a professional boxer," Maske said, "I did not think much about what would happen afterwards, what would come next. But after a short period of orientation, I started to run my own business as a franchise holder at McDonald's. Today I run four restaurants. I made this decision (to fight Hill) about a year ago and it was not an idea I had in my head for a ling time. It was the heart that made the decision - the fighter in me when I heard of Virgil's victory against (Valery) Brudov (12-round unanimous decision) when he became the WBA champion again. That was the point where this all started."

The 12-round Hill-Maske main event on March 31, contracted at a maximum of 190 pounds, doesn't necessarily mean, win or lose, that Maske will continue fighting or it's an advantage for him to face Hill in Germany.

"Through all these years of my active career as a professional boxer," Maske remarked, "I always concentrated just on the fight that was the next to come. This always was a good strategy to me and I'm not going to change it this time. I think I can breakdown Hill. In contrast to me, he stood in the ring over all these years several times. Watching these fights helps. A loss always hurts but it also goes by and after sometime, other things get more important. This is how it was to me.

"A ten-year 'time-out' does not just vanish without traces, but taking up training again after all of these years was less hard and exhausting than I thought it would be. Of course, staying an active and always disciplined sportsman during the past ten years has helped me a lot. If there are changes in my effectiveness, we will see March 31.

"This fight would not have happened outside of Germany. People's reactions on my comeback during the last months have been very critical and sometimes really negative. The closer we get to the day of the fight, reactions turn more and more positive, but this will not help me, either. I am on my own. It's all on me."

Article posted on 08.03.2007



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