The tension is building. Saturday’s fight night is just around the corner. Three big fights are scheduled and they all have one thing in common. The (fake) WBA Heavyweight Championship between Alexander Povetkin (24-0,16 KOs) and Hasim Rahman (50-7-2, 41 KOs), Kubrat Pulev’s (16-0, 8 KOs) European and IBF International Heavyweight Championship defense against Alexander Ustinov (27-0, 21 KOs) and the WBA Intercontinental Championship bout between Jack Culcay (12-0, 8 KOs) and Mark Thompson (24-1, 14 KOs) are all likely to end prematurely. It would be a surprise if all of them would last the distance.
Convinced of an early success is Hasim Rahman. Once again, the 39-year-old stated his intentions of knocking out current WBA Champion Alexander Povetkin and taking his throne. “I’m happy that I got the chance for the title. I’m completely focused on myself and it doesn’t matter who is in front of me. I will knock Povetkin out.” But how qickly could he end the bout? “Between rounds one and twelve,“ said the challenger.
Also in good spirits was Alexander Povetkin. “My preparation has been going really well. I have a lot of respect for Hasim Rahman and his experience,“ said the 33-year-old. His coach Kostya Tszyu added: “Since we started working together, Alexander has progressed about 40 percent.” Therefore, Team Povetkin has every reason to be optimistic.
The same principal applies for the defending European and IBF International Heavyweight Champion Kubrat Pulev. Lately, the prodigy of Coach Otto Ramin has been riding on a wave of success. “Ever since I won the European title, Bulgaria has been pretty much ecstatic. Whenever I walk along the streets, the people recognize me. That motivates me even more to defend my two titles come Saturday night,” said the 31-year-old, who is known as a joker if he is not inside the squared circle. However, inside the ring it is all about serious business.
And his opponent Alexander Ustinov is very well aware of that. The 140 Kilo colossus stated: “If the opportunity for a knockout arises I will take it.”
The fight for the WBA Intercontinental Championship between Jack Culcay and Mark Thompson also has the potential to end early. “I said before that I am not travelling all the way to Germany to lose. I will do what I have to do. If an opportunity presents itself, I will take it,” said the man from Heywood near Manchester via a pre-recorded video. But Culcay, who turned 27 today, does not want anyone to spoil his party in front of the home crowd. “His record is definitely the most dangerous one out of all of my opponents so far. But in Hamburg I will prove, that I’m the better man,” said the German light middleweight.