PRESS RELEASE; Three top fights will headline a boxing event promoted by Universum on October 22 at Arena Brandberge in Halle/Saale (18 Uhr, ZDF live 23:00). Hamburg based Hungarian Zsolt Erdei will defend his WBO light heavyweight title, the crown that his former stable mate Dariusz Michalczewski held more for nine years, against Frenchman Mehdi Sahnoune, a former WBA champion with an impressive record of 31-1 (27).
Whereas Sahnoune is working out in Paris with his coach Houari Amri on the area of soccer club St. Germain, Erdei, 22-0 (13), will be trained by Fritz Sdunek in Los Angeles. Sdunek currently also prepares WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko for his title defense against Hasim Rahman on Noevmber 12. However, for Erdei’s fight Sdunek will come over to Germany and be in his corner in Halle on fightnight.
“I want to work closely with both world champions”, Sdunek explained this kind of Jet-Set-Training. “We are one team and we understand each other blindly. The conditions in Los Angeles are excellent for all of us. The only problem is that I have take airplanes back and forth. But for the aim of great success I’m gladly willing to accept this strain.”
Erdei has never been to Los Angeles before but he knows Atlanta, Houston and Las Vegas.
„As a boxer you have to make any place your home. I’m Hungarian but I feel home in Germany as well”, Erdei said. Main reasons for this are Erdei’s perfect German language on the one hand and, even more, the fact that he married his German girlfriend Arabella this summer.
Is boxing different when you are a husband? “Not really, but the fact that we are seperated while I’m at the training camp hurts.”
Prior to his fifth world title fight Erdei feels pressure from two sides.
“Against Sahnoune I must be quick and not allow him to get close because he throws very explosive punches. He is a little bit like Lamon Brewster who unfortunately knocked out my stable mate Luan Krasniqi.”
While Erdei understands it is necessary to be careful in the ring he also knows he has to be spectacular to convince German boxing fans.
„I want to win a larger amount of fans. The boxing fans in Halle are very knowledgable. I know this since I fought there in the Amateurs and won the Chemiepokal.”
Erdei, a remarkable and highly sympathetic man, likes to stay modest and honest at the same time.
„I’m world champion. But I’m definitely not arrogant just because I’m a star in Hungary where millions of people watch my fights on TV. I’m a good technician but I’m also aware of my weaknesses. I’m a boxer deep into my heart and I enjoy it. That’s wh my intention is to display a beautiful performance.”
Even sadder for him when he had to cancel his last fight scheduled for July 2 in Hamburg when he suffered a gastroenteric influenza. Several months of training – for nothing.
“It’s like you read a thick book and somebody pulled out the last 20 pages.”
Now Erdei’s intensive training in Los Angeles began.
“Our workout in the gym in Los Angeles is very haerd. Vitali and me have to do 3,5 hours of extreme workout.”
Important entr’actes inbetween and after work: Regeneration, care, get in the proper psychologic mood. Diversion is also the job of Fritz Sdunek who is just called “Mr. Fritz” in the US. He is somebody who the boxing world trusts. Zsolt Erdei and Vitali Klitschko are his currently most important and most consitant champions.
A second world title fight is set for Halle/Saale on October 22 between two woman boxers. Silke Weickenmeier, 19-3-3, is defending her WIBF featherweight title against Ina Menzer, 10-0 (5), a young woman of the Spotlight stable, trained by Michael Timm.
Third attraction of the event will be a duel at super middleweight between two-time world title challenger Mario Veit, 45-2 (23), and undefeated southpaw Gusmyl Perdomo, 9-0 (5), from Venezuela. “It’s him or me”, Mario Veit said, who twice failed to lift the WBO title from Joe Calzaghe in world title shots four years apart (2001 and 2005).
Also on the card is middleweight contender Dirk Dzemski from Halle.