|Hamdan steps in to challenge Stieglitz for WBO title
By Anthony Cocks, Doghouse Boxing (April 30, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Veteran Australian boxer Nader
“Lionheart” Hamdan 43-9-1 (18) has grabbed one last shot at the
big time with a late offer to face reigning WBO super middleweight
champion Robert Stieglitz 41-2 (23) next Saturday, May 5th,
in Erfurt, Germany.
Hamdan, who won the WBO Asia Pacific
title from former WBO #8 Daniel Pawsey by twelve round unanimous
decision in his last bout, first heard about the opportunity on
Twitter after George Groves, who was replacing former champion Mikkel
Kessler, withdrew from the fight citing an undisclosed injury.
“I’m excited, it came from
nowhere,” said Hamdan, 38, who was watching his sons play soccer
when DoghouseBoxing spoke to him before stepping on a flight to
Germany on Saturday afternoon.
“I’m on Twitter and then I read
that his opponent Groves pulled out, Kessler pulled out earlier and
moved up in weight, so I rang up Angelo Hyder. I fought there [in
Germany] twice, I fought two credible fights against Abraham and
Larsen. Mr Sauerland said he’d have me back and here we are man,
we’re going over to Germany for a world title shot again.”
A seasoned pro who first stepped into
the prize ring back in 1997, Hamdan has fought twice in Germany in
the past, losing an eight round decision to Mads Larsen in 2007 and a
twelfth round TKO then-emerging middleweight Arthur Abraham in 2004.
With further international assignments taking place in Croatia,
Canada and Japan, the hostile German crowd is unlikely to faze the
The timing couldn’t be better for
Hamdan, who was already in serious training to face undefeated light
heavyweight Blake Caparello 11-0-1 (5) on May 18.
“We’ve sparred twelve rounds this
week, and we did another hard fast eight rounds before I left
yesterday with Anthony Mundine, so we’re ready,” said Hamdan. “I
know I’m 38 going on 39, I won’t get another shot again. We did
beat Daniel Pawsey in my last fight, he was number eight in the WBO,
and that put me in a position to be where I am at right now. And I
guess I’ve got a bit of luck on my side because anything can
happen; with Mr Groves getting injured it put me in the right place.
I’ve given them two good fights over there against those other
opponents and I’m glad that they remembered me.
“I’m so glad that I’m fit
already. The weight is pretty good, it’s a huge opportunity and a
dream come true for me. Once I’m over there I’m sure I’ll
settle in. Everyone knows I come to fight, I’m a twelve round
fighter, we’re going to dig in and go for it.”
At 38, Hamdan is well aware that this
is likely to be his last opportunity to win a world title. And
despite 53 pro bouts under his belt, many of them fought over the
twelve round distance, he insists that his body is holding up well.
“The body is good,” said Hamdan. “I
beat the right fighter to put myself in this position right now and
I’m fit because I was getting ready for another fight. The gym work
has been great, I’m ready. This is it. I ain’t going to get
another chance at this again. I’m going to take it with both hands
and go for it.”
Write for Doghouse Boxing, e-mail Anthony at: email@example.com.
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