December 10, 1999
Vitali Klitschko: "Next year after winning all my next fights Lennox Lewis won't be able to avoid me!"
Hamburg - December 9, 1999. Concluding 1999 - the most successful year for
Universum Box-Promotion ever - the German promoter will stage the last boxing event of the millennium in Germany next Saturday at Alsterdorfer Sporthalle in Hamburg. In a spectacular championship double header Vitali Klitschko will defend his WBO heavyweight title against Obed Sullivan, whereas Juan Carlos Gomez puts his WBC cruiserweight title on the line against Napoleon Tagoe. The event will be televised live by Premiere World in Germany at 22:00 CET.
"I studied no less than nine of Klitschko's fights on video", an extremely confident and eloquent Obed Sullivan said on a press conference this week in
Hamburg. "I've been in the ring with the much tougher opposition. I will bring back the championship belt to the US. Usually a challenger steps up in class to fight the world champion. But this time it's opposite. It's a young champion fighting an experienced challenger."
"After the fight we will see whether it is my advantage or disadvantage to be a young champion", the 28-year-old Vitali Klitschko countered. "I prepared for eight weeks. I did a lot of sparring, running and power lifting. I'm in great shape and I want to win badly."
"Obed Sullivan is in the best physical and mental shape ever", coach Chuck McGregor who trains Sullivan since 4=BD years stated. In fact Sullivan, 34-5-1 (24 KOs), was extremely active the past twelve months. The 31-year-old man from Gulfport, MS already fought six times in 1999. He won five of those fights and gave up a split decision to unbeaten Derrick Jefferson. Also the two other defeats of Sullivan in the last five years - to then undefeated Hasim Rahman and to Jesse Ferguson - were close split or majority decision losses.
Sullivan has been stopped only once in his career - by the hands of undefeated Michael Grant in round 9 in 1998. "When Grant knocked me down for the first time in my career I lost my head. I raised too quick when I was still dazed. This won't happen to me again", Sullivan believes. "Whatever happens on Saturday - I will have no excuses!"
"Sullivan is a very strong opponent. He fought good quality opposition. I'm
sure it will be a good fight and I will retain my world title belt", Vitali
Klitschko, 26-0 (26 KOs), predicted.
"[After defeating Holyfield in November] Lennox Lewis said he doesn't know who Klitschko is", the WBO champion Klitschko, the last recognized world champion beside Lewis, reports grim. "He must be badly informed because my name
is already quite known in the world of boxing. Next year after winning all my next fights we will ask Lennox Lewis again who Klitschko is. He won't be able to avoid me or my brother Wladimir."