Boxing


Abraham, Ayala press conference

Only three days to go before the big showdown in Kiel between the IBF middleweight champion King Arthur Abraham and Elvin Ayala and, at a press conference on Wednesday, held on board MS Color Magic in Kiel, both rivals certainly did not lack self-esteem. "I have not come to Kiel to do some sightseeing. I want to win and I feel like a lion in the jungle," roared the 27-year-old American. "When the fight begins, I know what I have to do. There will be a new world champion on Saturday," continued Ayala..

abrahamLuis Rosa, the American's coach, was equally confident. "During the open training session with the media, the observers were only given a tiny glimpse of how strong Elvin truly is. He has come to take the title back to the USA. On Saturday, he has got to prove that he is capable of it," said the coach.

"Arthur Abraham knows what Saturday is all about," countered manager Wilfried Sauerland. "Everybody has dreams, but I am sure that Arthur will remain world champion on Saturday." Coach Ulli Wegner added: "A victory is very important for Arthur on Saturday because then he wants to go to the States and make a name for himself there."

The IBF champion himself admits to having seen "two or three fights" of his opponent, but he believes that it will be a case of Ayala having to do his homework on him and not the other way around. "Up until now, all my opponents have been as convinced of their chances of winning as he is, but I will show on March 29 who really is the true champion," he added, laying down the gauntlet to his opponent.

abraham


He is not under-estimating him, though. "Kiel is bigger for me at the moment than New York," said King Arthur. Making weight has not been a handicap either. "That is making me even hungrier and I can reach my peak performance even better," explained King Arthur.

Yoan Pablo Hernandez also has a tough challenge to overcome in the cruiserweight division. The WBA Fedelatin/WBC Latino champion faces former WBC champion Wayne Braithwaite. "The last few weeks of training have been really tough. I am well prepared. My aim is to challenge for the world title this year and I am ready for it," said the 23-year-old.

Also in the ring: First Lady Cecilia Braekhus. The Norwegian welterweight boxer fights Tatjana Dieckmann from Hamburg. "Ulli Wegner is an incredible coach. Although we don't speak the same language, we understand each other well. I am happy to be training with him," explained the 26-year-old before her fight.

Article posted on 26.03.2008



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