De Carolis Looking Ahead to Abraham Rematch

Giovanni De Carolis

Giovanni De Carolis

Giovanni De Carolis (24-6, 12 KOs) is confident of retaining his WBA World Super Middleweight title on Saturday night when he returns to Germany to face Tyron Zeuge (18-0, 10 KOs) at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin.

Having claimed the WBA strap with an eleventh-round TKO win over Vincent Feigenbutz at the Baden-Arena in January, the Italian fighter makes his first defence against another of Germany’s rising super middleweight stars, the undefeated 24 year-old Zeuge.

‘’Tyron Zeuge is a talented young fighter,’’ says De Carolis. ‘’He is fast, he has good footwork and is technically very skilled, but he has been protected so far in his career. He has fought some good opponents but most have been tailor made to suit his style. I believe this will be his first real test, and we will find out how good he really is.

‘’My experience will of course play an important part, but it is not everything. Take for example my physique; I am now much physically stronger and more robust than I was when I was as a 24 year old. If I was to fight myself from eight years ago today, I would win easily, and I believe that will be the case on Saturday night.’’

If successful, the 31 year-old reveals that he would be open to a rematch with former two-weight World Champion Arthur Abraham, who faces Scandinavian star Tim-Robin Lihaug on the undercard of his World title defence.

‘’I’m looking forward to fighting in Germany again,’’ he says. ‘’This is where I won my World title and where, three years ago, I fought Arthur Abraham. He is one of the best fighters of our generation, and although I lost that fight, I learnt a lot. It gave me the belief that I could compete at the highest level, and without this experience, I would not be a World Champion today.

‘’Of course, I would like a rematch with Abraham. He gave me the chance to measure myself against him and I would love to avenge my defeat, but for now, all my focus is on Zeuge and defending my title on Saturday night.’’

Lihaug Has Abraham’s Retirement Plans

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lihaug

Tim-Robin Lihaug (15-1, 8 KOs) says he is ready to send his boxing idol Arthur Abraham (44-5, 29 KOs) into retirement on July 16 when the super middleweights square off at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin for the WBO International title.

In what will be his toughest career assignment, Lihaug will go toe-to-toe with the former two-weight World Champion, a man who inspired the Norwegian fighter’s early career and whose poster hung from his bedroom wall.

‘’Abraham was one of my idols when I started boxing,’’ reveals the 23 year-old. ‘’I even had a poster of him on my wall. He’s been a great champion for many years and has achieved so much in this sport – it will be an honour to share the ring with him.’’

Having landed a dream fight with his one-time idol, Lihaug knows there is no room for sentiment. Abraham is coming off the back of a World title loss to Gilberto Ramirez and another defeat could signal the end of his illustrious career.

‘’I don’t think Abraham is the same fighter he was a few years ago, and I’m very confident I can win,’’ he says. ‘’I was a little shocked when the opportunity came, but it didn’t take me long to start thinking that this is a guy I can beat.

‘’To be in a position to fight him shows I have been doing something right in my career, and it has given me a big motivation boost. I know if I beat Abraham, it will take me to the top level overnight and give me a chance to fight for a World title.’’

While Lihaug believes Abraham has suffered a drop in form in recent years, he is taking nothing for granted against the German boxing great.

‘’I will be preparing for the best Abraham possible,’’ he explains. ‘’He may not be at the absolute highest level anymore, but he is still World-class. He is a guy that I’m going to have to be in my best shape ever to beat, and I am, so I think it will be a great fight, and I’m looking forward to it. I feel calm, relaxed and ready to go.’’

Lihaug, who has established himself as the country’s premier professional boxer following impressive performances against domestic rivals Simen Smaadal and Arne Ernstsen, will be counting on the support of the Norwegian public.

‘’There is a lot of interest in this fight back home and everybody is hoping I win,’’ he says. ‘’I feel like I have the whole country behind me, and I know there will be a lot of people travelling to Berlin to watch the fight. It will be a proud moment if I win, and a great achievement for Norway and for Norwegian boxing.’’

Abraham Trainer Defends Against Negative Talk

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Ulli Wegner has hit back at claims questioning Arthur Abraham’s (44-5, 29 KOs) motivation prior to his WBO International Super Middleweight title fight with Tim-Robin Lihaug (15-1, 8 KOs) on July 16 at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin.

Lihaug’s trainer Thomas Hansvoll had called into question Abraham’s desire, stating that he believed the former two-weight World Champion ‘had lost his hunger’ and after years at the top of the sport was ‘not so interested anymore’.

Wegner has disputed these remarks, and says Abraham is hungrier than ever as he looks to regain the World title he lost to Gilberto Ramirez, starting with a victory over the rising Scandinavian star Lihaug.

‘’The loss to Gilberto Ramirez has only made Arthur more determined,’’ said the 74 year-old star coach. ‘’Now he is without a World title, the hunted has become the hunter. He feels a new kind of motivation, and we will see that in the ring on July 16.

‘’Obviously it was a big blow to lose the title in Las Vegas, but now we must work together to reach the top again. I believe he has what it takes to become World Champion again, if I did not, I would be the first person to tell him to retire. Anyone who knows me knows I am always honest in my assessments, and I can tell you this is not the end of the road for Arthur.’’

While optimistic for the future, Wegner realises another defeat could signal the end of Abraham’s illustrious career. ‘’Anything but a win would be disastrous for Arthur,’’ he says. ‘’But we’ve trained well and I’m confident his hand will be raised.’’