Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wegner Believes Abraham's Best is Yet to Come

Ulli Wegner is of the opinion that his charge, Arthur Abraham, can only get better.

He's known as the “living legend” of German boxing, and 67-year-old trainer Ulli Wegner is of the opinion that his fighter, Arthur Abraham, will win the entire “Super Six” 168-pound tournament.

“Anybody that I train, has to train hard,” said Wegner on Monday. “If Arthur wants to win and if he wants to be successful he has to accept the demands that I ask of him. The only way, in my view, to achieve great things in a such a competitive sport as boxing is to go through a lot of pain.

“Most everybody, obviously, hopes to avoid pain. So my role as Arthur's trainer is that I have to help him fight through the pain barrier. When he fought Edison Miranda the first time, his jaw was broken in two places. It was mostly my decision to let him continue fighting through that. It didn't look very pretty. His jaw was broken in two places, but it was not up high on his face. Had it been up higher I would have had no choice but to stop the fight. “

The 29-year-old Abraham, the former IBF middleweight titlist, is undefeated at 30-0, 24KOs. Many are predicting that he will be the last man standing when the tournament is over. First up for Abraham is former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor. The fight takes place Oct. 17 in Berlin, Germany.

As part of their training routine, and in order to maintain speed as he moves up to 168 pounds from 160, Wegner has had Abraham train with 61/2 pound weights strapped to his hands when he throws punches in the gym.

“This way, when we take off the weights, his hands are just blazing fast and he is just so powerful,” said Wegner.

Wegner claims that Abraham has been successful thus far because he has discipline and because he listens to instruction.

The German trainer, who has been involved with the sport for his entire adult life has worked with many former world champs including Sven Ottke, Torsten May, Oktay Urkal and Markus Beyer.

“I think some of the other European fighters we have seen in the past have failed, because they lack the discipline needed to compete at the highest levels. Without discipline, nothing works. Many American fighters don't have this kind of control – they become world champions and then they lose focus.”

Wegner claims he was most disappointed in Taylor's conqueror, Kelly Pavlik, who is generally regarded as the world's best at 160-pounds.

“The way I see it, Pavlik backed out of fighting us,” said Wegner. “He always has had some sort of excuse. Either he's injured or he doesn't want to fight. He always seems to have an excuse and I don't know why.”

As for Abraham's chances in the “Super Six” tournament, Wegner believes that his man should be able to win it all.

“Arthur still has plenty of room to become a much better fighter,” said Wegner. “The thing is, he has the desire to become a very special fighter and in my view, we are now halfway to that point. He listens to me and that is important. We still have big dreams and I would say that Arthur is still at only 60% of his true ability.”

September 2009

No comments: