SPRINGFIELD, MO (October 17, 2012)–On Friday night October 6th, Number-one WBO world rated cruiserweight and NABA, NABO and WBC continental Americas champ BJ Flores (28-1-1, 18 KO’s) scored another knockout victory when he stopped once-beaten David McNemar in front of a packed house at the Shrine Mosque in Springfield Missouri.
Flores has now set his sights on highly regarded WBO champion Marco Huck of Germany
“He is the champion and I am WBO #1 challenger. It’s no secret this is a fight I have wanted for a very long time”, said Flores
Over the last fourteen months, Flores has fought four times and looked very good in those outings. Flores has shown good power by knocking out 3 of his last 4 opponents and scoring multiple knockdowns in those fights. Flores says, “I know I needed to get better and improve. In order to be successful in this game you have to stay active and stay busy. Unfortunately this was something that I wasn’t able to accomplish before but now with the hometown crowd and fan base we can do shows in Springfield and keep me active and busy”.
If you look a bit deeper into Flores last 4 fights there is a little more than meets the eye. Nick Iannuzzi (16-2) who was coming off a VERY close and controversial loss to number-three world rated power puncher Lateef Kayode. Flores hurt Iannuzzi badly and knocked him down in the first round and battered him until the referee stopped the contest in the fifth. Flores dominated journeyman Paul Jeanette (12-3) for ten rounds by scores of 100-90 on all three cards. Next up was Hugo Pineda (39-5) who was coming off an eight round decision loss to undefeated Russian prospect Jimmy Kapanov.
Flores dropped Pineda twice and scored a stoppage victory in the sixth round. Next up was McNemar (13-1). Flores dropped McNemar twice and the referee calling it off at 2:14 of the second round. McNemar was coming off a very close loss to undefeated and world rated Ryan Coyne (18-0). This type of opposition can keep Flores sharp and ready for the big opportunity when it comes.
“After Huck KO’s Firat Arslan I want him next. Huck is very tough and very well-conditioned. He is very strong and very confident. He has a great team around him and I respect him as a fighter. But any time he has fought anyone who can box he has had troubles. Steve Cunningham, Denis Lebedev and Ola Afalobi all gave him fits. I have quietly changed my entire boxing style. I have tried to fly under the radar and go back to the drawing board and get better. I have fought 4 times in the last year and feel sharp and ready. I have 3 KO’s against decent opposition. I WANT a step up! NO ONE will expect me to beat him. It will be an absolute shocker!!
There are some really good champions in this division and I know I will have to be at my best if I want to defeat a good champion in his home country. This will bring out the best in me. Sometimes I will go run 5 miles in the middle of the night just to keep me hungry. I work out at all times of the day and put my body through all kinds of torture to make sure I am ready when my moment arrives. Nothing worth having can be easy. I have taken my bumps and bruises and learned a lot in my professional career. I think about it every day and work tirelessly so that I can be prepared when my moment comes”.
For Highlights of Flores 2nd round TKO over McNemar, click:
This is a first! Since last Saturday, Coach Ulli Wegner has four world
champions in his training group. Arthur Abraham´s successful bid for the WBO
Super-Middleweight Championship at the o2 World Berlin, Germany, added a
record winning fourth belt to the already existing three champions Cecilia
Breakhus (WBC-, WBA-, and WBO- Welterweight Champion), Marco Huck (WBO
Cruiserweight Champion) and Yoan Pablo Hernandez (IBF Cruiserweight
Champion). All won under Wegner´s guidance
Never before has a German boxing coach been that successful at the age of
70. For Wegner, who has been in this business for 41 years, it is a real
highlight in his illustrious career. But if it is up to the trainer
himself, voted coach of the year nine times in a row by “BoxSport” magazine,
there are still a few titles to come. “In Dominik Britsch, Robert Helenius,
Eduard Gutknecht and Karo Murat I have some more potential world beaters in
my group,” said Wegner.
The secret of his success: He is able to get his prodigies to perform at the
top of their game when it matters. “It is also important to be highly
organised,” according to the coach. “When you have a lot of top-notch
athletes in preparation for their next fights, you need a team around you,
you can trust. I have such a team in my assistant coach Georg Bramowski and
our Physiotherapist Ralf Lewandowski who support me where they can.”
On September 15, Wegner and one of his boxers will do everything they can to
keep the record of four world champions alive. IBF Cruiserweight Champion
Yoan Pablo Hernandez will try to defend his title at the Stechert Arena in
Bamberg, Germany. This time the Cuban will face off with mandatory
challenger Troy Ross from Canada. “Yoan Pablo showed great skill during his
two victories against Steve Cunningham. His attitude towards training is
immaculate. Ross is a tough opponent but I am convinced, that with the help
of the audience, he will win this difficult fight,“ said Wegner.
Tickets for the big fight in Bamberg can be purchased online at www.eventim
.de and www.kartenkiosk-bamberg.de.
Fans of all-action fights can look forward to another highlight this fall.
On November 3, WBO Cruiserweight Champion Marco Huck is going to defend his
beloved title against “fighting machine” Firat Arslan. The venue for this
world championship bout will be the Gerry-Weber-Stadium in Halle/Westphalia,
For Huck, it will be a return to the place of his biggest victory. Exactly
three years ago, the now 27-year-old fighter dethroned then WBO titlist
Victor Emilio Ramirez from Argentina and became a world champion himself.
Since then, the cruiserweight, who was raised in Bielefeld, Germany has
defended his championship nine times. Huck wants Arslan to be number ten on
that list. A win would also be special, as the World Boxing Organization
would crown Huck their Super-Champion at cruiserweight. “That is an extra
motivation”, said Huck. “I would be the first fighter in our Team to receive
that honour. I will not let the chance of becoming WBO Super-Champion slip
Nevertheless, in Firat Arslan, the prodigy of Ulli Wegner will face the
number eight-ranked fighter by the WBO, who will be anything but an easy
ride for him. “He is a real machine, constantly putting pressure on his
opponents. Moreover, he is a southpaw. I will have to be in top condition,”
according to the world champion.
Sauerland Event managing director Chris Meyer: “We are happy to be hosting
another all-German affair. These are the kind of fights, which polarise the
masses. Huck against Arslan is also a fight between a current and a former
world champion. That gives it some extra spice.”
Tickets for the event on November 3 can be purchased online at
www.eventim.de or www.gerryweber-stadion.de. Further information can be
obtained at www.boxen.com.
Fritz Sdunek says Vitali Klitschko would eat Marco Huck alive Huck responds: “I bring more to the table than all the tomato cans Vitali is negotiating with at the moment.”
Champion coach Fritz Sdunek has been quoted on a Russian boxing website stating that „Vitali Klitschko would eat Marco Huck alive.“
WBO Cruiserweight champion Huck is surprised by the statement of Klitschko’s long-time coach.
“I respect Mr. Sdunek a lot but I am surely no snack for either Klitschko brother”, says Huck. “I guess there was a mistake in the translation. You only have to look at all the names currently discussed as possible opponent for Vitali for September to know that I would be a far better option than any of the guys they are talking about. At least I always come to fight.
I know that I didn’t have my best day against Ola Afolabi – but I hung in there and defended my title. A fight against either Klitschko brother would be a completely different story. Afolabi was a mandatory fight, so I did what I had to do.
If Fritz Sdunek wants to know what a fight between me and Vitali would look like he should watch the tape of me beating up Alexander Povetkin. That is the kind of Marco Huck Vitali would need to be ready for. And he would look as clumsy as Povetkin who was a huge favourite against me as well.
But instead Vitali prefers to pick some kind of vegetable from the patch which is known as WBC world ratings. Fritz Sdunek was quoted saying I shouldn’t even talk about a Klitschko fight. With all due respect, Mr. Sdunek, you mentioned my name and brought it up right now. And I think it’s because you know that none of the tomato cans Vitali is negotiating at the moment brings as much to the table as I do.”
Marco “Captain” Huck is the new and old WBO Cruiserweight World Champion. On Saturday night the 27-year-old fought out a draw against mandatory challenger Ola Afolabi in front of 5.500 fans at the Messehalle in Erfurt. After twelve drama-filled rounds, judge Zoltan Enyedi gave the fight to the German with 115:113. Both Ingo Barrabas and Paul Thomas scored the bout 114:114
“It was a good fight,“ said Huck. “I am a real fighter and warrior, which is why I still have my title.” And it seems that the prodigy of Ulli Wegner was correct with his evaluation. To begin with Ola Afolabi was more agile and active and managed to take charge of the fight.
Round three started with some great combinations by Huck, and his British opponent was clearly affected by it. But in round four the challenger, coached by Fritz Sdunek, landed a strong left hook to the chin of the German during an infight. And it seemed as if the champion was on the verge of losing his belt after a deep cut opened up above his left eye.
But then the WBO champion started using his left hook and right straight. Towards the end of round nine he let lose a salvage of blows. Afolabi was lucky that he was saved by the bell, otherwise he probably would have been brought to the canvas. This did cost a lot of energy for Huck, nevertheless he still managed to dictate the pace for the remainder of the fight. During the last round the world champion really went for it as it was all or nothing. Although both men were struggling to stand on their feet, Huck still managed to find some energy and landed some important blows on his opponent.
And the judges’ scorecards showed how significant this last hurrah was. The belt would most likely have been lost without the tremendous character shown by Huck towards the finish of the bout. Ulli Wegner: “I am so happy that Marco showed his power at the end of the fight. Both sides should be pleased with the result. The fans saw an exciting and entertaining fight.”
Afolabi`s coach Fritz Sdunek had a similar view: “At times Ola forgot to box. He was on top but let Marco surprise him. The result is alright but I am not happy with Ola´s performance,” said the coach at the post-fight press conference.
A great honor and a lot of fun for WBO-Champion Marco Huck right before his mandatory defense at the Messehalle in Erfurt (live on ARD at 10:55 pm) against the Brit Ola Afolabi: The Cruiserweight World Champion is a Doctor! The Dean of the “Miami Life Development Church” awarded Huck with an honorary title. Normally Daniel van Hoogen sells these titles to the masses via the internet. But as a big fan of Captain Huck the Luebeck native thought of something special. “We believe that Marco possesses one of the strongest punches in boxing and always excites the crowd with great knock-outs. Therefore he deserves this title for his contribution to the sport. By the way, no one can buy his title and we won’t be offering it again to nobody,”
Marco Huck – from Captain to Doctor! His title from now on will be: “Dr.h.c. of hardest punches and knockouts, MLDC, USA”. At the official award ceremony, Huck showed his appreciation at the city centre of Erfurt: “I promise that I will try everything to prove that I am worthy of this honor.” The current world champion is planning his opponent Ola Afolabi to be the first treatment of “Doctor Huck”. “Marco Huck: Today it´s just playing games but Saturday will be all business”
Here are the weights from Erfurt, Germany:
WBO Championship Cruiserweight Title:
Marco Huck: 90,0 kg / 198.4 lbs
Ola Afolabi: 90,3 kg / 199.1 lbs
WBO Championship Super-Middleweight Title:
Robert Stieglitz: 75,6 kg / 166.7 lbs
Nader Hamdan: 75,5 kg / 166.9 lbs
EBU Championship Heavyweight Title:
Kubrat Pulev: 111,4 kg / 245.6 lbs
Alexander Dimitrenko: 116,8 kg / 257,6 lbs
ERFURT, GERMANY, (May 3, 2012) 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.
ABOUT K2 PROMOTIONS
K2 Promotions currently promotes the unified heavyweight champions, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko. Over the last decade, K2 Promotions has promoted the most heavyweight championship title bouts of any promoter worldwide. K2 Promotions is one of Boxing’s most respected promoters showcasing boxing’s biggest events in the US and Europe at some of the world’s premier venues.
For more information, please visit their website at
Normally at a press conference only the fighters of the main event are in the spotlight. But this was not the case on Wednesday afternoon in Erfurt. The spectators of the big fight night on May 5 are also keen to find out which coach comes up with the better strategy for the world championship bout between the cruiserweights Marco Huck and Ola Afolabi.
Hence the two coaching legends of German boxing, Ulli Wegner and Fritz Sdunek, did not hold back at the conference. But before they got started, the WBO champion himself had a few things to say. “Ola Afolabi is a really tough guy. But mentally I am very strong. Therefore he won´t get my title,” said Huck. This is the second time that the 27-year-old will be boxing at the Messehalle in Erfurt and he is extremely happy to do so. His first fight here, back in August 2010, ended with a KO victory over the American Matt Godfrey. “The fans here are extremely enthusiastic about boxing so it is amazing that they will get to witness such a great show.”
But of course Ola Afolabi has a very different view and already sees himself as the new WBO cruiserweight champion. “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”, said the Brit.
Fritz Sdunek, Afolabi`s coach, is looking forward to his third encounter with his rival Ulli Wegner. Back in 2000, he won the first battle with Wegner when Vitali Klitschko fought off Timo Hoffmann. In August 2007, Wegner then got one back on Sdunek as his prodigy Arthur Abraham knocked out Khoren Gevor in round eleven who back then was coached by Sdunek. “I am very excited to once again see Ulli in the opposite corner,” said Sdunek. And he is not surprised by the optimism of his own fighter Afolabi. “Ola lives in Hollywood. They do talk very fondly of themselves over there. Also 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 one of my fighters. On Saturday we will leave the arena victorious and I will be in the lead with 2:1 against Ulli.”
But Wegner, who just turned 70 last Thursday, was not just going to take this little tease quietly. “The challenges in the cruiserweight division are much bigger than the heavyweights,” according to the nine-time coach-of-the-year. “And it is a pleasant coincidence that the coach of Marco`s challenger is my old friend Fritz.” Wegner continued: “Both men have grown since their last encounter back in 2009. Not too long ago, I have been praising Marco for sticking to the tactics during his fights. If he manages to do the same again on Saturday he will win once again.”
Super-Middleweight Robert Stieglitz is also planning to leave the ring victorious. The WBO champion will face off with the Australian Nader Hamdan. The winner of the bout will then have to face Arthur Abraham, the mandatory challenger, in the next fight.
“Right know I am not even thinking about facing Arthur,“ said Stieglitz. “I am only concentrating on the next fight. As soon as I have won the bout on Saturday night, we can start talking about Arthur Abraham.”
But his opponent Nader Hamdan is planning to grab his chance with both hands. “I didn’t think twice about accepting the fight as I have nothing to lose.”
The third part of the main event, the fight for the vacant European Heavyweight Title, also promises to be very exciting. Kubrat Pulev, the prodigy of coach Otto Ramin, also knows that it will be a thrilling encounter. “I don´t want to say too much about the fight. The only thing I will say though is that I will win,” said the 30-year-old.
The former heavyweight champion of Europe, Alexander Dimitrenko, was very optimistic himself. “I have been in this business for quite a while now and I am not even in my thirties yet. I have been through ups and downs. Therefore experience-wise I am in front and it will show on Saturday.”
The rematch is just around the corner. Once again Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KOs) and Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 9 KOs) will fight it out for the WBO Cruiserweight World championship, this time at the Messehalle in Erfurt on May 5. In December 2009, the two athletes squared off in Ludwigsburg. Back then Huck won an exciting bout by unanimous decision. Two-and-a-half years later both men believe that they have grown and developed into better boxers. May 5 will show who really has put in the work since then.
The current champion is aware of the fact that his opponent is stronger than before. “He must have developed since our last meeting, otherwise he wouldn´t be the mandatory challenger for my belt,” said Huck. “But I myself have become a better boxer in comparison to two years ago. With each fight I become wiser and more experienced.” 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 Fritz 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.” According to Afolabi, he does see himself having the advantage on the night. “We are both better fighters than in the first fight, it is just that I have learned many more things than he has.”
But all eyes will not just be on the two main acts of the night. The duel between the two legends of German boxing, the coaches Ulli Wegner and Fritz Sdunek, who will once again cross paths, will also be fascinating. On one side Wegner will do everything in his power to ensure that prodigy Marco Huck remains champion, while on the other hand Sdunek will be looking to take Huck´s belt off him with his man Afolabi. Asked who is the better coach, both fighters saw their respective just a nod in front. “I couldn´t be any happier than having Ulli Wegner on my side,” said the German whose reign as champion with Ulli Wegner by his side started back in August of 2009. Afolabi believes that Sdunek has the upper hand. “I have a lot of respect for Ulli Wegner, but I have to say Fritz because of everything he has taught me.”
Both fighters see themselves having the edge over the other and both are convinced that the match-up will end in their favor. “I will be the world champion and will take the title with me,” said the interim-champion. “I am much stronger and my punch is much harder, it will not go the distance.” But for Huck everything else than a victory is out of the question. “I know that I will win this one again. This time I will be even more convincing,” said the champion. “He should be prepared for an early end to his night.”