Gutknecht: I will use my weapons to defeat Braehmer; Mickey Ward

Eduard Gutknecht (24-1, 9 KOs) is probably facing his toughest challenge to date. The European Light Heavyweight Champion is putting his title on the line in an all-German affair when he takes on former world champion Juergen Braehmer (38-2, 30 KOs) on February 2. But the current titlist is not just thinking about the EBU Belt. The winner will receive mandatory challenger status for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Championship. Just a week ahead of the fight Gutknecht reveals why he believes that he is the only realistic option to win the championship bout.

Eduard Gutknecht, you will be making the fourth defense of your EBU Title on February 2. What are your thoughts on the challenger Juergen Braehmer?

Eduard Gutknecht: Juergen is a very powerful and goal orientated man. I remember him being extremely dedicated to the sport from our days at Universum. I expect him to be the same now. Therefore, I know that I have a big challenge at hand. However, our main focus during this preparation has been on my strengths and not as much on his weaknesses. The plan is to take advantage of his mistakes and get the win.

This fight is also an eliminator for a WBO Title shot. Does that give you some extra motivation?

Eduard Gutknecht: It is motivation enough to be able to prove myself against Juergen Braehmer. He is a former world champion and was at the top of his game while I was just at the beginning of my career. Now I am the European champion and he is challenging me. I am excited about that.

As you said earlier, you know Braehmer from your days at Universum before you joined Team Sauerland. What do you remember from that time?

Eduard Gutknecht: Juergen is an easy and straightforward guy. He doesn’t hide behind the bushes and he tells you what he thinks. We have never had any problems.

How did your preparation go? Did you pay attention to anything in particular?

Eduard Gutknecht: I have been training a lot in order to get into the best shape possible. We paid especially attention to my defense as Braehmer has some pop in his fists.

Braehmer obviously has an advantage when it comes to experience. How are you going to make up for that?

Eduard Gutknecht: I am ready for this bout and really looking forward to it. Everybody can talk ahead of a fight but it’s an entirely different thing once you have entered the ring. At the end of the day, it is just the two of us and two pair of fists. I am planning to use my ‘weapons’ to defeat him.

February 2 will be your first outing as a professional boxer in Berlin. How excited are you to be fighting at the Max-Schmeling-Halle?

Eduard Gutknecht: I did have quite a few fights in Berlin during my days as an amateur. Now I am really excited about my first pro fight in the German capital.

Are you thinking ahead of the Braehmer fight? What does the future hold for you?

Eduard Gutknecht: I’m not. Braehmer is a tough challenge and he won’t be brushed aside just like that. There is a lot of pressure on me and I know that many people are saying that Juergen Braehmer will be in great shape. I’m expecting to meet the best Juergen Braehmer of all time and that is exactly what I have been preparing for. As soon as I heard that he signed with Team Sauerland, I knew that we would face each other. Afterwards we will know who is heading towards a world championship and who will be back to the drawing board.

What is your prediction for the fight in Berlin?

Eduard Gutknecht: I will give it my all in order to leave the ring as thechampion. I do not want to leave any kind of doubt on who the winner of the fight is. If required I will not rely on the judges – and in hindsight all the fans want to witness an early end. It will be hard but I believe in myself and that I will defend the European championship.

Tickets for the big fight night at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany can be purschased at www.boxen.com and www.eventim.de.

“Irish” Micky Ward To Return To Canastota

CANASTOTA, NY – JANUARY 25, 2013 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today “Irish” Micky Ward, whose life was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning motion picture The Fighter, will attend festivities planned for the 24th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend set for June 6-9th and pay tribute to 2013 Inductee Arturo “Thunder” Gatti.

“Micky Ward was a true warrior inside the ropes,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “The Hall of Fame is excited to welcome him back to Canastota to help recognize the achievements of his fellow warrior and friend Arturo Gatti.”

Ward and Gatti, who will be inducted posthumously, engaged in an epic trilogy that earned “Fight of the Year” honors for their first and third bouts (2002 & 2003). The two fighters developed a friendship and remained close until Gatti’s passing in 2009.

Said Ward of Gatti’s induction, “He gave it all in the ring. He gave everything to the sport of boxing. He gave the fans what they wanted. He was a great fighter, a two-time world champion and was in ‘Fight of the Year’ four times. I’m really happy for Arturo.”

The fighting pride of Lowell, MA, Ward was one of boxing’s most exciting fighters. He turned pro in 1985 and used a crowd-pleasing style to register a 38-13 (27 KOs) record. In addition to his rivalry with Gatti, Ward scored wins over Shea Neary, Reggie Green and Emanuel Burton. During his career, he was in “Fight of the Year” three times (2001 vs. Burton, 2002 and 2003 vs. Gatti). Ward’s life was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning motion picture The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg starring as Ward and Christian Bale as his brother / trainer Dicky Eklund.

Events planned for the weekend include a banquet, a night of welterweight warriors, parade, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, cocktail party and the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 2013. Inductees include two-division champion Gatti (posthumous), five-time world champion Virgil “Quicksilver” Hill and two-time light flyweight champion Myung-Woo Yuh in the Modern category; “Let’s Get It On” referee Mills Lane, ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr. and journalist Colin Hart. Posthumous inductees in the Old-Timer, Pioneer, Non-Participant and Observer categories will also be honored.

An impressive list of over 40 boxing greats from the United States and abroad are scheduled to participate in weekend festivities.

For more information on the Hall of Fame’s 24th Annual Induction Weekend 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.


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