Dariusz Michalczewski will continue his boxing career
17.11.03 - One month after his first defeat as a professional boxer Dariusz Michalczewski made his decision for his future. The longtime light heavyweight world champion of Universum Box-Promotion will continue his career. The 35-year-old German-Pole who lost his WBO crown on October 18 to Mexican Julio Cesar Gonzalez announced his decision on today’s press conference at the Atlantic hotel in Hamburg.
Article posted on 17.11.2003
“Until recently all my thoughts were just meant for boxing. This has changed. All in all there are five important things that I want to spend my attention for in the future”, Michalczewski began meaningful in front of two dozen journalists and three camera teams.
“First: I want to coach young up and coming boxers. Second: I want to give even more support to my charity donation. Then, next year, my own TV show will start in Poland. And in 2004 I will complete my new book.”
“But there is one more goal that I set for myself”, Michalczewski continued. “I want to become world champion one more time. And I want it as soon as possible!”
The man from Gdansk who suffered his first defeat in 49 fights in Hamburg’s Color Line Arena said that the fight against Gonzalez hasn’t made a lasting impression on him.
“I already knew directly after the fight that I want to continue to box. I don’t do it to prove anything to anybody. I rather want to thank all my fans who showed so much sympathy to me after my defeat.”
Michalczewski said that one emotional factor for his decision were the flood of fan mails that he received after his defeat. Many of those letters were moving the tough professional fighter a lot.
“I received so many touching mails from my fans. Also many letters from women who painted hearts and asked me that I should please continue my career. This support really touched me.”
According to Michalczewski and his promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl the decision was rational and emotional at the same time.
“Dariusz and me had deep discussions”, Kohl explained. “I asked him whether he wants to continue fighting or not. After his defeat we noticed huge waves of sympathy for him. Finally Dariusz owns the recognition and sympathy that he always deserved. And he was also very impressed about the TV ratings of 9,5 million on ZDF.”
“Dariusz is very motivated and he wants to become world champion again as soon as possible. Now there are several different options”, Kohl said. “We have to begin negotiations to find out whether or not Dariusz has to fight an eliminator first and we need to know how the reigning world champions react.”
According to Kohl one possible opponent is longtime WBO cruiserweight world champion Johnny Nelson from England who beat Michalczewski’s stable mate Alexander Petkovic last Saturday in Bayreuth. Directly after his victory Nelson sent a challenge to Michalczewski for a showdown at the cruiserweight limit of 190 pounds.
Another option would be a fight against WBA light heavyweight champion Silvio Branco from Italy. The World Boxing Association gave Michalczewski the #1 position in their new rankings.
“In his whole career Dariusz has never asked for a certain opponent. He is willing to fight everybody”, Kohl said. “We aim for a direct world title fight now. But of course we have to orientate on the rules of the world boxing bodies. However, Dariusz may not have a long layoff.”
Michalczewski said he would like to make his comeback in April or May 2004.
“Dariusz lost to Gonzalez because he was lacking energy and liveliness that evening. But he fought up until the very last minute which is something you can say about few other fighters and we have to give him a lot of credit for this. Being in the best shape on a good evening Dariusz can still beat everybody.”
“Earlier I used to fight because I wanted to earn money”, Michalczewski admitted. “But now money is no object anymore. I’m fighting for my fans and I’m fighting because I love this sport.”
Michalczewski said he would be happy to face either Johnny Nelson or Silvio Branco. The man from Gdansk could also still imagine to fight against Roy Jones Jr., a showdown that for many years boxing fans worldwide are longing for.
Michalczewski couldn’t help but sending a little sideswipe to his longtime rival who avoided him for many years.
“The victory of Roy Jones over Antonio Tarver was highly questionable in my mind. If Roy Jones really won against Tarver, then I have beaten Gonzalez even twice as clear!”
“My performance against Gonzalez wasn’t very good. But you don’t have to look pretty to win. The fight was close and this time the judges didn’t grant me the champion’s bonus.”
The official result of the Michalczewski-Gonzalez fight was a split decision victory for Gonzalez. Scores were 116:112 twice for Gonzalez and 115:113 for Michalczewski.
Michalczewski didn’t want to define whether he will just make one comeback fight or, in case he becomes world champion again, is intending to continue his career to make title defenses.
“When you are fighting on the world class level you have to concentrate on your very next fight only. I don’t want to think about what is coming afterwards and I don’t want to define whether I’ll fight just once more or five more times.”
The concrete decision who will be Michalczewski’s comeback opponent will made early next year.
“Now Dariusz deserves a rest and may celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve”, promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl stated. “WBA champion Silvio Branco is a concrete option. But his promoter may want a fight against Frenchman Fabrice Tiozzo first. As soon as I found out details I’ll sit together with Dariusz again.”
“We deliberately never criticized the judges’ decision of the Gonzalez fight”, Kohl explained. “There were good arguments why Dariusz won this fight. He was the one who landed all the power punches and Gonzalez was on the back move all the time. But just as the rumor is unsuitable and wrong that foreigners can’t win a decision in Germany, we would also never believe that American judges want to trick us.”
“I was the only one who was not surprised that I suffered a defeat”, Michalczewski said. “Nothing horrible had happened. It was just a defeat. And losing is part of the sport. It was a close fight and this time I just didn’t get the bonus of a defending champion.”
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