Ahmet Öner Speaks Out On Vitali Klitschko vs Juan Carlos Gomez
11.03.09 - In only 10 days WBC world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko and no. 1 contender Juan Carlos Gomez will finally meet at Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle in Stuttgart, Germany. Gomez’ promoter Ahmet Öner thinks that this fight will help bringing heavyweight boxing back into the focus of public interest.
Article posted on 11.03.2009
Mr. Öner, what do you think about the upcoming fight?
Öner: “It will be the best heavyweight fight in a long time. Finally one of the big champions, Vitali Klitschko, faces a real challenge in former cruiserweight titlist Juan Carlos Gomez. This will be no walk in the park for Vitali like his so called fight against Peter. I am pretty sure that all the fans at the venue will be delighted by an exciting showdown. And RTL (the TV station broadcasting the fight live in Germany) will most probably have one of their best ratings in the last years. Not long ago Klitschko’s manager Bernd Bönte said nobody would care about this fight. What a bulls**t. As things are heating up all Germany is waiting for Vitali and Juan to step into the ring. And I am convinced that this fight will have the quality to bring heavyweight boxing back onto the map. With this bout coming up and exciting fighters like Povetkin, Haye and Solis waiting in line the division will hopefully recover from years of boredom..”
How did Gomez’ preparation go from your point of view?
Öner: “I have never seen Juan this fired up and this focused in my life. I know him for quite a while now. We have been training together at the Universum gym when I was still a fighter. Juan has worked very hard to finally fulfil his great dream of becoming heavyweight champion of the world. And his whole team around head coach Orlando Cuellar has done a great job. Nobody should think that Juan is just going to Stuttgart for a big payday. He is going there to fight and win. He is determined and ambitious and he found his old speed again.”
Nevertheless he will go into the fight being the underdog…
Öner: “That’s true but we don’t have a problem with this. Lots of people – especially members of team Klitschko – think that they have already won this fight. They think the only question is whether Vitali will knock Juan out in five, six or eight rounds. And they are already planning the next steps. Let them talk about future fights. We don’t care. In fact, this might even be Juan’s big chance. I talked to lots of boxing experts in Germany and all over the world and although the odds are still against Juan I feel that the public opinion is changing. People recognize that Juan takes this fight very serious and that he will be well prepared. And nobody who really knows boxing questions his abilities. You must not forget that he held the cruiserweight title for four years. He has never lost an important fight. His sole loss was a fluke against Yanqui Diaz when he hadn’t trained but partied a lot instead. Vitali on the other has lost his world championship to a southpaw before when retiring against Chris Byrd… However, Vitali goes into the fight being the champion and the favourite.”
So what do you predict for March 21st?
Öner: “I really can’t say what will happen in the ring. Honestly I think the fight is too open to predict anything. I put the fight under the motto ‘MISSION: POSSIBLE’ because I truly believe that it is possible for Juan to take home a decision win and strip the belt from Vitali. In ten days we will all know…”
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