Photos: Huck, Afolabi make weight
Here are the weights from Erfurt, Germany:
WBO Championship Cruiserweight Title: Marco Huck: 90,0 kg / 198.4 lbs vs Ola Afolabi: 90,3 kg / 199.1 lbs
WBO Championship Super-Middleweight Title: Robert Stieglitz: 75,6 kg / 166.7 lbs vs Nader Hamdan: 75,5 kg / 166.9 lbs
EBU Championship Heavyweight Title: Kubrat Pulev: 111,4 kg / 245.6 lbs vs Alexander Dimitrenko: 116,8 kg / 257,6 lbs.
World ranked contender Ola Afolabi is once again primed for battle this Saturday night, May 5th in the highly anticipated rematch against defending WBO Cruiserweight World Champion Marco Huck at the Messehalle in Erfurt, Germany..
On December 5, 2009, Afolabi, born in London, training out of Los Angeles, California, challenged Huck in Ludwigsburg, Germany, losing a very close decision.
Sporting a record of 19-2-3 with nine knockouts, Afolabi has spent the last three weeks in Germany completing his training and fine-tuning his game plan under the guidance of legendary trainer Fritz Sdunek. Should Afolabi be successful on Saturday over Huck, 34-2-0 (25KO’s), it will mark the 15th world champion Sdunek has trained over his illustrious career.
Afolabi is coming off a sensational performance on March 13th, a brutal stoppage of perennial contender Valery Brudov, 39-4, in Dusseldorf, Germany, earning the Interim WBO Cruiserweight Title. Dropping Brudov in the third and the fifth rounds, referee Geno Rodriguez called a halt to the battering after the fifth stanza. (The interim title became available when Huck moved up to heavyweight to challenge Alexander Povetkin on February 25th.)
Heading into the rematch, Afolabi brimmed with confidence, ““My experience is now so big, due to the professional surroundings of Fritz Sdunek and K2 Promotions, that it is not possible for me to walk out of the ring as the loser. I will give Marco a boxing lesson and if he tries anything crazy I will knock him out. “
Afolabi is also adamant that he is a much-improved fighter than he was in their previous face-off. “I wasn´t completely prepared to take on Huck in our last fight,” he stated. “But now I have a new coach in Sdunek who has taught me so many things. He made me a more complete fighter.” But nevertheless he is well aware of his opponent’s strengths. ”He doesn´t have many weaknesses. He is a very solid fighter and keeps coming forward.”
“We are both better fighters than in the first fight, it is just that I have learned many more things than he has.”
Concurred Sdunek, “Marco´s break after the Povetkin encounter at the heavyweight division was quite short. That must have taken its toll and it might be too early for him to take on Ola.”
Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions was equally confident, ‘It was a very close fight the first time around and we feel that Ola has improved greatly over the last two and half years. He’s won five in a row since signing with K2 and is now a completely different fighter with Fritz in his corner. Ola will be primed and ready to win the title on Saturday night.”
Also featured on the card on Saturday WBO Super Middleweight Champion Robert Stieglitz will defend his title against Australian Nader Hamdan with the winner’s next bout to come against mandatory challenger Arthur Abraham. Also, Alexander Dimitrenko and Kubrat Pulev will fight for the European heavyweight championship.
Rea’s odds tumble as Betfair Prizefighter bell draws close
Bookies are running scared of Joe Rea in the all-Irish Betfair Prizefighter Middleweights on Saturday night live on Sky Sports 1HD.
Rea says that a strict training regime under new trainer Kevin Maree has him in the best shape of his life, sparring with the likes of Kenny Anderson, Tony Bellew and Joe Selkirk as he bids to claim the title in 24th edition of Matchroom Sport’s eight man, one night tournament.
The 28 year old faces Simon O’Donnell in the fourth quarter final in the King’s Hall in Belfast and he was as big as 25/1 with some bookmakers and punters piled into him to win the event, taking his price down closer to the 5/2 he started at with official sponsors Betfair.
“My price is going to keep falling because I’ve got a lot of fans who believe in me,” said Rea. “My training has been great, teaming up with Kevin Maree has changed everything and it’s a new Joe Rea in the King’s Hall on Saturday night.
“I haven’t looked at the betting much really as I’ve been focussing on the job in hand, but people told me that I was a big price and I will be going out there to make some people a nice few quid, as I am here to win this.”
The winner of Rea and O’Donnell will face either Darren Cruise or JJ McDonagh in the second semi final, with bookies’ favourite Eamonn O’Kane kicking off the night against Anthony Fitzgerald in the opening quarter final, for the right to face either Ciaran Healy or Ryan Greene in the first semi final.
On the stacked bill in Belfast, Paul McCloskey faces ‘Chop Chop’ DeMarcus Corley after the all-Irish Betfair Prizefighter Middleweights in a 12 round welterweight clash as Dudey aims to get back into World title contention, and former British featherweight champion Martin Lindsay kicks off the night against Mickey Coveney.
Outright odds with Betfair (correct at 5pm):
Eamonn O’Kane 11/8
Anthony Fitzgerald 5/1
JJ McDonagh 5/1
Joe Rea 13/2
Simon O’Donnell 7/1
Ryan Greene 12/1
Darren Cruise 33/1
Ciaran Healy 66/1
Any other fighter 29/1
QF1: Eamonn O’Kane 8/13 v Anthony Fitzgerald 7/5
QF2: Ciaran Healy 3/1 v Ryan Greene 1/3
QF3: Darren Cruise 15/8 v JJ McDonagh 40/85
QF4: Simon O’Donnell evens v Joe Rea 4/5
Hall to Announce Parade Grand Marshal May 8th
CANASTOTA, NY - MAY 3, 2012 - The International Boxing Hall of Fame will be releasing the name of the 2012 Parade of Champions Grand Marshal on Tuesday, May 8th at 1 p.m.
“Each year boxing fans eagerly anticipate the Hall of Fame’s announcement of the parade grand marshal,” said Hall director Ed Brophy. “And this year’s announcement will surely get people excited for the parade. We can’t wait to release the news!”
Parade of Champions
The Parade of Champions, set for Sunday, June 10th at 1:00 p.m., as part of the 23rd Annual Hall of Fame Weekend, will pass through the streets of Canastota and lead to the grounds of the Hall of Fame Museum prior to the start of the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the new class of inductees. Living inductees to be honored at the Official Induction Ceremony are multi-division champion Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, two-division champion Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” ring announcer Michael Buffer, trainer Freddie Roach, broadcaster Al Bernstein and journalist Michael Katz. Posthumous inductees will also be honored.
In addition to the grand marshal, over 40 boxing stars will be highlighted in the Parade of Champions, along with pageant caliber bands, drum & bugle corps, pipe bands, floats and community organizations.
Check your inbox at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8th for the name and photo of the grand marshal, as the news will be released via e-mail at that time. After receiving the release, if you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact the Hall of Fame at 315.697.7095.
For more information on the Hall of Fame’s 23rd Annual Induction Weekend and the announcement of the parade grand marshal, please call (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/InternationalBoxingHallofFame and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BoxingHall.
Article posted on 05.05.2012
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