Ahmet Öner Birthday Q&A
CEO of ARENA Box-Promotion turns 38 today - Saturday night in New York ARENA-CEO Ahmet Öner celebrated his first show at legendary Madison Square Garden co-promoting “Island Warriors – Latin Fury 12” with Top Rank and PR Best Boxing. Today the Turkish / German promoter is back in Hamburg to celebrate his 38th birthday with family and friends. His Cuban stars Odlanier Solis and Yuriorkis Gamboa made Öner early birthday presents with their stunning performances knocking out Monte Barrett and Whyber Garcia.
Article posted on 12.10.2009
After the impressive wins of Solis and Gamboa, is there anything left to wish for, Ahmet Öner?
Ahmet Öner: “Of course, I wish for health for me, my family and everybody close to me. Apart from that I’m pretty happy after Saturday’s show..”
So you don’t wish for a world title fight for Odlanier Solis?
Ahmet Öner: “No, I don’t wish for that – I work for it. That are two different things.”
You said you are pretty happy with Saturday’s show. How did it feel to co-promote fights at the Madison Square Garden for the first time?
Ahmet Öner: “It’s a great feeling. After only three years in business we already arrived at the “Mecca of boxing”. Saturday’s “Island Warriors” show was great from the beginning to the end. I want to thank Bob Arum and the whole Top Rank team for giving me the opportunity to be part of that. We contributed our part and I think everybody involved in the show did a great job. Not only Solis and Gamboa were very impressive. The undercard fights were fantastic, the atmosphere was great and I think everybody who saw the main event has to agree that Lopez vs. Mtagwa is a fight of the year candidate. One thing that makes me proud about that show – besides the performances of my fighters – is that we broadcasted it live in Germany and gave the German fans the chance to watch those spectacular fights. To be honest you don’t get to see such great action and so much quality in the ring in one night in Germany very often.”
Talking about Germany: what is next for ARENA and Ahmet Öner?
Ahmet Öner: “We’ll have a heavyweight night on October 24th in Cuxhaven featured live on Eurosport with our German heavy hope Steffen Kretschmann, the return of former WBC #1 heavyweight “The Hunter” Wladimir Virchis and the re-match between Konstantin Airich and Ondrej Pala.”
And what will be next for Gamboa and Solis?
Ahmet Öner: “I think we’ll see Gamboa as co-feature of Juan Manuel Lopez again in January in Puerto Rico. With Solis we’ll have to see how his spectacular knockout-win over Barrett affects his rating. We definitely want to keep him busy and have him fight quality opponents. It’s our goal to make him the mandatory challenger for either Vitali or Wladimir as soon as possible. Solis is the future of the heavyweight division and everybody who thinks different can come and get a dose of his extraordinary speed and power.”
Do you take some days off to spend time with your family?
Ahmet Öner: “Unfortunately, this is nearly impossible in our business. Who rest on his laurels will be punished for that by missing great opportunities. But everyone who knows me also knows that I am not the guy who can take some time off. I am never satisfied. We managed to turn ARENA into a well-known name in the boxing world in only three years. Now we want to establish the brand as on of the top promotional companies in the world. There is still a lot of hard work ahead of us. But we are up to the task.”
So what will you be doing in the next couple of days?
Ahmet Öner: “Tomorrow morning I fly to Monaco; on Thursday I have to be in Istanbul. Next week we got our show in Cuxhaven; after that we’ll go to the WBC convention in Korea. That doesn’t leave much spare time…”
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