Turkish top prospect Avni Yildirim is convinced that WBO Super Middleweight Champion Arthur Abraham will defend his title against Robert Stieglitz this Saturday in Halle / Westfalen.
“He is in good shape”, said Yildirim after sparring with “King Arthur” last week in Berlin. “Abraham is very experienced, but he doesn’t seem to be very hungry anymore. He is more of a businessman than a fighter. He wants to make money and he knows that to make even more money he has to beat Stieglitz. I want to thank Arthur Abraham and his trainer Uli Wegner for giving me the chance to do some rounds with the champion. It was a good experience for me. And I think now Abraham knows who Avni Yildirim is and that there is somebody who could take away the belt from him.”
Yildirim is currently fighting at light heavyweight and will try to capture the vacant WBC Silver International Championship on August 15th in Miami, Florida, when he takes on veteran Glen Johnson. Even though the 23-year-old who has won all of his five pro fights so far feels comfortable at 175 lbs. he considers moving down to 168 lbs. “I can make either weight without any problems”, says Yildirim. “I am more powerful at light heavyweight. But if there are good fights at super middle – for instance against Abraham – I will take them, too.”
Promoter Ahmet Oner is convinced that his newest attraction got what it takes to make it all the way to the top. “I think Avni is the best Turkish fighter I have seen so far”, states Oner. “He is more skilled than Selcuk Aydin and more focused than Sinan Samil Sam. Glen Johnson is an excellent test and a big step-up for him in only his sixth pro fight but I’m sure that he is up for the task.” Oner surely wants his fighter to take the fast lane to the top. Of course, it was the promoter’s idea to let Yildirim spar with Arthur Abraham. “I have had my issues with Sauerland in the past but that’s history. And I always got along well with Uli Wegner. It’s always good to see him. He’s a great coach and I think it was good for Avni to spend some time with him.”