Mariano Hilario (15–5–0) plans to be a discourteous guest as he’s traveling to Finland. Hilario, who resides in Madrid but was born in Dominican Republic, faces Niklas Räsänen (13–0–0) on 17th December as the Finnish challenger aims to seize the European Boxing Union’s EU super middleweight title.
Hilario isn’t worried. His preparations have been “perfect” and the champion has worked a lot with the unbeaten Swedish light heavyweight Erik Skoglund, who had his own training camp in Madrid.
“Can’t say I am scared to fight abroad,” says Hilario with a smile.
“I’ve been with the Spanish Team as an amateur and we had many tournaments abroad. As a pro, I’ve fought in France and USA. If I was not scared to fight in Las Vegas, why should I be scared to fight in Helsinki?”
But there’s no denying he’ll be facing a dangerous opponent. After a succesful amateur career Räsänen has been unstoppable as a pro.
The skillful Finnish southpaw isn’t shy to say that his main aim is to win a world championship title. To do that, he must beat Hilario first, and he wants to beat the champion clearly.
Hilario isn’t spooked. He has studied his opponent and while he doesn’t mention any particular weaknesses he’s planning to exploit, he believes his skills will prove to be too much for Räsänen.
“Let’s just say that I won the EU title by knocking out a southpaw. I see no reason why this fight should end any differently”, Hilario says smiling.
“I am definitely going to win. It doesn’t matter if I win by KO or by decision, the main point is to come back to Madrid with my belt. I will do that for my son.”
When asked what he would like to say to the Finnish boxing fans who are coming to see the fight, El Tiburon (“The Shark”) advises them to stay alert:
“Do not blink: The Shark can bite at any time!”
Räsänen is also ready for the showdown. The challenger is aching to do some shark hunting.
“We’ll see what happens when ‘the shark’ gets into really deep waters. I don’t think he’ll be able to stand the pressure. I just can’t wait for the 17th December,” says Räsänen.
Hilario vs. Räsänen is part of the All In boxing event promoted by Dominus Boxing Group. The event will host three title fights: in addition to the EU title clash Edis Tatli will defend his EBU lightweight title against Manuel Lancia and Eva Wahlström will defend her WBC super featherweight world title against Anahi Esther Sanchez. Also in a heavyweight bout Robert Helenius will face the experienced Gonzalo Omar Basile.
The event will be televised by Viaplay.