By Per Ake Persson
It´s official: the battle between the hurricanes is on: IBF middleweight champ Sebastian "Hurrakan" Sylvester defends the title January 30 in Neubrandenburg against Spaniard Pablo "Huracán" Navascues. Navascues is now # 15 in the IBF ratings and thus eligible for a shot at the title.
German heavy Steffen Kretschmann, 14-1, has extended his contract with Arena Box Promotion until 2014. Kretschmann suffered a one-round stoppage against Dennis Bakhtov this past summer but is looking for a rematch.
Swiss promotional outfit Boxing Kings presented a big show December 26 in Berne topped by two EE-EU title fights. Local man Yves Studer, a middleweight, retained the title with a unanimous decision over Andrey Salakhutdzinau while Belorus light heavy Mahamed Aripgadzhiev took out Mohamed Belkacem in the tenth round to keep his crown.
WIBF has presented its Hall of Fame for 2009 with Korean Kim Ju Hee the only non-German based lady. The others are Natascha Ragosina, Susi Kentikian, Ina Menzer and Maria Lindberg. Regina Halmich has been named honorary President beginning in March 2010.
There appears to be financial problems with Francois Botha´s defence of the WBFederation heavyweight title against Evander Holyfield set for January 16 in Kampala, Uganda. It´s still not officially postponed but there are on the other hand not a word about the show, the undercard, PPV or TV.
Arena Box Promotion is now officially based in Duisburg but still has a gym and office in Hamburg. Former European welter champ Selcuk Aydin is currently training in Duisurg and in Turkey former European heavy champ Sinan Samil Sam is planning to come back early next year.
Lightweights Hoang Sang Nguyen and Rudy Encarnacion clash for the vacant European Union title January 16 in Madrid with Rimer Boxe Promoting. Both men are based in Spain.