European Front: Klitschko-Valuev, Sturm-Golovkin and more
by Brickhaus from Bad Left Hook
According to German website Spox.com, Nicolai Valuev has given his promoters the go-ahead to make a fight between himself and Vitali Klitschko. Negotiations have reportedly been an on and off affair, with Valuev previously turning down multiple offers because his team felt the money wasn't right, and with Klitschko already saying he's moved on. Finally, after Klitschko said he's looking elsewhere, the Russian giant said he wants to make the fight. "I want to box against Vitali. An interesting fight that the boxing world has been waiting for several years," said Valuev. The rumored date would be May 29. According to the article, promoter Kalle Sauerland has been pressuring Valuev to make this fight, and it looks like he may have finally succumbed. No word on how this may affect the rematch clause that Valuev has in his back pocket to face current titlist David Haye.
Felix Sturm is refusing to face his mandatory Gennady Golovkin, so long as promoter Universum is involved in the picture. Sturm and Universum have been locked in a legal battle for a while now, where Sturm says he's a free agent, and Universum says they have a valid contract. Yesterday, Sturm filed an affidavit in German court that he refuses to fight under the Universum banner, which means he would not be facing Golovkin, who is also promoted by Universum. Adding a wrinkle, Golovkin also claims that his contract with Universum is expired and that he is a free agent. Sturm will be stripped of his title if he does not make the defense by July.
Alexander Povetkin's opponent for next weekend's card has finally been named. He'll be facing Javier Mora, which is about as good of an opponent as one could expect to get on less than 10 days' notice. He's still biding his time to make his mandatory against Wladimir Klitschko. New trainer Teddy Atlas is supposedly working on some things with him that should give him more of a chance to beat the consensus #1 heavyweight. The only time Mora stepped up, he was knocked out in a round by Sultan Ibragimov.
Matthew Macklin will be facing his toughest test yet when he defends his European middleweight title against Khoren Gevor in a matchup between two legitimate top-10 contenders. The fight is scheduled to take place in late April in Birmingham, England. Gevor is yet another one who's trying to sever ties with Universum, so we'll see if that throws a wrench into what looks like a compelling match on paper.
Two other smaller European bouts have been scheduled. Dmitri Sartison will defend his farcical interim title against Jean Paul Mendy, while Jan Zaveck will make the first defense of his title against Rodolfo Ezequiel Martinez. Mendy was last prominently seen scoring a draw against Anthony Hanshaw in the finals of a prior Showtime super middleweight tournament, and has been fighting scrubs in France since then. Martinez is about as bad of a first defense as Zaveck can make of his title. He's never fought a 12 rounder, and he recently lost to Edvan Do Santos Barros, who has lost to such luminaries as Jesus Soto Karass, Alexis Camacho and Keith Thurman. Rafal Jackiewicz, who controversially beat Zaveck once before, looms as his mandatory.