Two titles on the line and a local boy boxing at the o2 World. The o2 World Berlin will turn into a huge boxing venue on August 25 and the audience will not only be looking forward to two international title bouts (Robert Stieglitz vs. Arthur Abraham for the WBO-Belt and Jack Culcay vs. Frederic Serre for the WBA Intercontinental Championship) but also the homecoming of Dustin Dirks. The German is a light heavyweight hopeful and will be facing Sandro Siproshvili (25-13, 12 KOs).
Dirks boasts a perfect record. He stepped into the ring on 24 occasions and was victorious 24 times – 18 of these victories coming prematurely. His latest success came in a fight against former European champion Thomas Ulrich on May 5 in Erfurt. Once again, the Berlin native won by KO and received a lot of praise from the international press. “I wasn’t really aware of that,” said Dirks. “Obviously I am happy to receive recognition for what I do. A lot of people know Thomas Ulrich from his days at the top. Therefore, most people didn’t expect such a one-sided affair.”
But Dirks keeps his feet firm on the ground. “You shouldn’t overestimate that fight. Thomas Ulrich wasn’t able to perform as well as he did during his prime. Nevertheless, it was an important victory for my standing in the game. Ulrich is still a ‘big’ name in the world of boxing.” On August 25 Dirks will step into the ring as the favourite to win. “The record of Siproshvili looks good, but so far, every time he fought against a big name boxer he didn’t perform that well. I saw his last fight against Karo Murat, which he lost. But I know that I shouldn’t underestimate him. He throws a mean hock and seems to be jumping at his opposition. My footwork will have to be spot on. So I know what I have to work on during my preparations.”
The young German is definitely excited about fighting in Berlin. “It is amazing to be fighting in my hometown in front of my home crowd,” said the 23-year-old. “The fact that the fight will take place at the o2 World makes it even more special. I have been to the arena on various occasions, but always as a spectator. This time I will be there to box.” The local lad is currently ranked at number seven in the latest WBO ranking and could improve his position even further, should he continue his impressive run of victories. “That is my goal. But there is still a lot of work to do. I won’t stop until I am right up there with the best and become world champion.”
Photo: Photo Wende