448 days after capturing the WBO middleweight world title Felix Sturm returns to the place of biggest victory: The Estrel Convention Center of Berlin where he entered the ring as a late substitute in September 2003 and beat reigning 160 lb. champion Hector Velaczo by split decision over twelve rounds.
In the same arena Sturm now faces former WBC champion Hassine Cherifi on December 4 in the chief supporter of the European heavyweight championship between Luan Krasniqi and Timo Hoffmann.
ZDF will broadcast live in Germany at 22:00.
„I have best memories on the Estrel. That was my night”, Felix Sturm said. After winning the crown of the World Boxing Organization he defended it successfully once, then faced Oscar de la Hoya in Las Vegas and lost his title by way of a highly controversial decision in a memorable showdown on June 5, 2004.
“Everybody saw that I dominated de la Hoya. I want to become world champion again”, the 25-year-old Hamburg based German stated. “To accomplish that I have to beat Hassine Cherifi convincingly.”
This won’t be just a ten round walkover. Sturm’s coach Michael Timm considers the highly experienced Cherifi, 35-10-1 (20), as “extremely awkward”. Among others the Frenchman faced the reigning or former world champions Felix Trinidad, Robin Reid, William Joppy and Harry Simon. Altogether Cherifi fought for a world title five times in three different sanctioning bodies and in two different weight classes: middleweight and super middleweight.
On May 2, 1998, Cherifi won the WBC middleweight crown against Keith Holmes but lost it in the rematch to Holmes right away. Cherifi is also a former European champion.
Felix Sturm knows that rumors about a fight between him and Felix Trinidad already circulate on the internet and in Puerto Rican newspapers.
„It’s too early to speak about what may happen next year“, Sturm, 21-1 (9), said. “For now I just want to win, and win again, then win again. I want to be faster than the others, land the better combinations and at the same time not get hit. I’m an evasive technician. That’s what I want to show.”