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News: Vitali: Wlad will fight Haye in 2009; Martinez-Cintron On Feb 14th

Reigning WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko is confident that a fight between his brother Wladimir and British heavyweight contender David Haye will happen in the next 12 months.

Vitali told Setanta Sports News that talks were underway and he was certain the fight would happen. He said:

“I’m more than sure the fight will be this year, in 2009. And there’s a big chance it will be in England because the interest in this fight is very big.”

Vitali revealed that he stepped aside so his brother could face David Haye. He added:

“I would be happy to fight Haye, but my brother wants to fight him also.

“So, we have decided that the youngest brother will fight David Haye.”

Martinez Defends Interim WBC 154 lbs. Title vs. Cintron February 14th on HBO

DiBella Entertainment serves up a Valentine’s Day treat with the addition of a potentially explosive 154 pound title fight between interim WBC champion Sergio Martinez and former IBF welterweight kingpin Kermit Cintron, to HBO’s Boxing After Dark on Saturday, February 14, at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.

The scheduled 12-rounder will be the first bout of 2009 for both fighters. Martinez (43-1-1, 23 KOs) was supposed to defend his interim belt against undefeated Joe Greene on the recent DBE-promoted Berto-Collazo welterweight championship card in Biloxi, MS, but illness forced WBO # 4 rated Greene to withdraw. “Maravilla” Martinez was then briefly scheduled fight Daniel Santos before the WBA junior middleweight champion changed his mind…claiming lack of proper preparation time. Cintron (30-2, 27 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over former IBF 140 lbs. champion Lovemore N’dou on the Taylor-Lacy DBE show, seen on HBO this past November 15, in Nashville, TN. “El Asesino” Cintron is currently rated the # 2 welterweight in the world by the IBF.

“Sergio Martinez has been anxious for the opportunity to build on his spectacular knockout win over Alex Bunema on HBO this past October, while Kermit Cintron is riding high again following his recent victory over N’dou. It says a lot about the character of two great professional fighters when Sergio and Kermit are willing to put it all on the line against each other. Both guys want to be the best and neither one will pass up an opportunity to prove it!” said DBE president Lou DiBella.

Madrid, Spain’s Martinez, by way of Buenos Aires, is 33-year-old southpaw and former IBO 154 pound titlist, who put the American boxing audience on notice in October, as “Maravilla” produced a dazzling TKO victory over then WBA # 1 rated contender Alex Bunema to earn the interim WBC 154 pound title.

One of boxing’s hardest punchers, former welterweight champion Cintron won the vacant IBF title in October 2006 with an impressive display of power punching – halting Mark Suarez in six one-sided rounds. Born in Carolinas, Puerto Rico, Cintron, 29, now fights out of Reading, PA.

Martinez vs. Cintron is part of an HBO tripleheader also featuring unified lightweight champion Nate Campbell defending against Ali Funeka and Alfredo Angulo vs. Ricardo Mayorga in a WBC 154 lbs. eliminator.

Tickets information for the Feb. 14 boxing tripleheader will be announced shortly. The BankAtlantic Center is the home arena for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League.

Sweeney trades Valentines Fight Night for Paddy’s Day bout

Michael Sweeney has been pulled off the undercard of Cyrill Thomas and Cristobal Cruz’s IBF featherweight title clash in France on February 14 and will now make his Banner Promotions Tommy Egan Promotions debut in an American St Patrick’s Day show instead.

A late demand for the weight limit to be reduced from light-heavyweight to super-middle for the clash with Frenchman Tony Averlant worried the Mayo Storms camp and prompted the withdrawal.
”At such short notice it wouldn’t be safe to lose that kind of weight,” Egan explained.

“After speaking with his trainer Sean Manion and Banner Promotions Artie Pelullo we felt it was a bit much to ask him to drop that kind of weight in such a short time. It is disappointing. We were confident Michael could have defeated Averlant despite the fact he was fighting a French fighter in France with a French referee, but we felt the request to drop weight was too much.”

Despite his obvious disappointment Egan was quick to look to the positives. He highlighted the fact the undefeated Sweeney will get to spend more time under the guidance of ‘Irish boxing legend” Sean Manion. Also a new bout, which Egan claims will give his fighter a chance to show case his talents in front of a wider audience, has been immediately arranged.

Sweeney will now fight on St Patrick’s weekend show in Illinois which will be aired as a ESPN Friday Fight Night across the States and depending on negotiations could be broadcast in Ireland.

”We have already arranged for Michael to fight in Illinois on March 20 on a St Patrick’s weekend show out there. He is very excited about the prospect of fighting on ESPN and showing his talent to a large audience. Michael also has the chance to work a little more with his fellow Westerner Sean. He gets one on one training with one of Ireland’s greatest ever boxers which will only benefit him.”

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