Lajuan Simon Returns to Germany to Face Sebastian Sylvester!
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (June 26, 2009)   
Philadelphia’s Lajuan Simon, 21-1-2 (12) returns to Germany on Saturday to face Germany’s Sebastian Sylvester, 30-3 (15) in an elimination bout for the #2 ranking of the IBF’s middleweights.

Simon lost a close if not disputed title bout to the IBF champion Arthur Abraham in March of this year in Germany. Abraham will headline this Showtime bout that will be held in Berlin defending against his #11 contender Mahir Oral.

The #10 Simon was preparing at the Mike Maltepes gym at 9th and Thompson in Philadelphia this past several months as he did for Abraham. “Things are going good in training. I don’t want to look past Sylvester but look forward to meeting (Giovanni) Lorenzo, the #1 guy,” said Simon. The winner is to meet Lorenzo and possibly fight for the vacant title since Abraham’s camp states they are ready to move up in weight. The #4 Sylvester lost in a title bout with Felix Sturm, the WBA champion last November. He re-won the European title in 2007. “I saw him fight 3 or 4 times on film and have been getting good sparring with Jamal Davis,” he added.

“We look forward to this fight. This is a beaten down version of Abraham,” said head trainer Wade Hinnant. “The focus is on Lajuan now. He is not fighting Abraham,” said assistant trainer Randy Hinnant. The crowd obviously influenced the judges along with a questionable knockdown called by the referee that was more of a push than a punch.

I contacted Simon’s promoter Greg Azar of Rising Star Promotions earlier this week for his input. “People have questioned our (Manager Dave Escalet), decision to allow Lajuan to fight in Abramham’s backyard and now Sylvester’s backyard. At the end of the day I believe in Lajuan’s ability to beat any middleweight anywhere. As his promoter I try to secure an opportunity for Lajuan to prove himself” said Azar. Bouts with #3 Roman Karmazin and #8 Dionisio Miranda never amounted to more than talk by their management and not because of the lack of effort on Azar’s account. “It’s unfortunate for boxing fans that the US television networks have not yet taken notice but the rest of the division should like Quillen, Lyell, Lorenzo, etc. Lajuan is willing to take on anyone in his quest for the title and as his promoter I’m willing to do what I must to make these fights happen. The sport needs fights between ranked fighters and the fans deserved these fights. Any fighter that is serious about being the champ, take notice. Lajuan Simon is ready for you,” added Azar.

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