Photos by Sumio Yamada
RENE DETTWEILER vs MICHAEL SPROTT
Rene Dettweiler, the unbeaten German heavyweight, is one of several up-and-coming boxers facing their biggest tests this weekend.
In Dettweilers case, he meets Britains seasoned Michael Sprott for the vacant European title.
Dettweiler, 23, is a southpaw who has never faced anyone anywhere near as good as Sprott in winning 18 bouts in a row. This a real roll-of-the dice type of fight on the part Dettweilers promoter, Sauerland Event.
One reason the fight is being made is probably because Sprott was stopped in eight rounds by Ruslan Chagaev in his last fight, four months ago. Dettweilers backers are hoping that they have made the match at the right time.
Sprott, though, has seen it all before in a 10-year-career in which he has faced opposition such as Vladimir Virchis, Matt Skelton, Paolo Vidoz, Danny Williams (with Sprott winning the last fight of the three-fight series) and, of course, Chagaev. He won and lost against Timo Hoffmann and scored a surprise win in Germany last year when he outpointed the previously unbeaten Cengiz Koc.
Seven of Sprotts 10 losses have come inside the distance, including getting caught cold in the first round by dangerous Corrie Sanders, so he is not what you could call a durable fighter. He is an excellent technical boxer, though, with good hand speed, and in any case he is not meeting a big hitter in Dettweiler, who has stopped nine opponents in his 18 wins.
I have had the chance to see a few of Dettweilers fights on tape. He is a steady, diligent sort of boxer who moves in behind the southpaw right jab and looks to land the straight left through the middle, and every so often he might put together a one-two-three type of combination on the lines of jab, left hand, right hook. In other words, a basically sound boxer who is still one of those works in progress.
Dettweiler has never been past eight rounds and now he is boxing in a 12-rounder, but German fighters are always well-trained and Sprott took the fight on about a weeks notice. I think that Dettweilers freshness and ambition can take him to narrow win.