Boxing


Sturm weighs 159.4 lb. for fight against stable mate Schenk

04.03.05 - Leverkusen – German boxing star Felix Sturm, 22-1 (10), weighed in at 159.4 lb. prior to his clash with countryman and stable mate Bert Schenk, 36-1 (23), in the main event of a Universum boxing show in Leverkusen, Germany, on Saturday. Schenk weighed 158.7 lb. The winner of the fight at Wilhelm-Dopatka-Halle may be in line to challenge unified middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins later this year..

“I don’t have Hopkins in my head yet. First I have to beat Bert”, Sturm said who lost a controversial twelve round decision to Oscar de la Hoya on June 5, 2004. In his two fights afterwards he beat American Robert Frazier on September 18 in Leverkusen and Frenchman Hassine Cherifi, a former world champion, on December 4 in Berlin.

“The fight against Bert will be the most interesting challenge of my career after de la Hoya”, the 25-year-old Sturm said who will have the home advantage in Leverkusen, the city he was born in.

Sturm is taking the fight against Schenk very serious, something he proved last weekend. To not put his preparation at risc he didn't come to the Universum show in Hamburg to root for his stable mate and friend Dariusz Michalczewski.

"I didn't want to risc getting infected by the flue in that huge crowd and to get my time schedule mixed up from that trip", Sturm said who decided to stay in his hometown Leverkusen and watched the loss of his friend on TV.

For the 34-year-old Schenk the duel against his stable mate may be his last chance to get back into world title contention. The man from Berlin was holding the WBO middleweight title in 1999 but had to vacate it after one successful defense when he tore his achiles tendon in training.

Bert Schenk is a silent warrior who prefers performing instead of pretending. On Monday Schenk interrupted a journalist at the press conference in Leverkusen who was asking for cross comparisons between him and Sturm. "All that gossip doesn't really interest me. You talk too much", Schenk said. " On Saturday we will find out who is the better man: Felix or me."

In October 2000 Schenk failed to regain the WBO crown when he was stopped in round 6 by the new champion Armand Krajnc. Since then he scored twelve straight victories but never fought for a title again.

Felix Sturm held the same WBO middleweight belt from September 2003 to June 2004 making one successful defense before losing the crown to de la Hoya in Las Vegas.

Sturm and Schenk have high ranking positions at the four major sanctioning world boxing organizations. Sturm is WBC #4, IBF #3 and WBO #1. Schenk is WBA #3, IBF #8 and WBO #7.

In the co-main event in Leverkusen undefeated 22-year-old Russian heavyweight prospect Alexander Dimitrenko, 17-0 (11), will fight for the IBF Youth title against American Chris Koval, 20-1 (16).

The 6-foot-7 Dimitrenko and his opponent Koval both weighed 249 lb.

Complete fightcard and extensive photo gallery on www.boxing.de

Article posted on 04.03.2005



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