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16 APRIL 2014

 

Scandinavian Round Up: Christensen, Adanan Beaten


By Teddy Stenmark: Sweden picked up two medals at the European amateur championships in Liverpool, recently, in the shape of flyweight, Samuel N’tuve (silver) and featherweight, Bashir Hassan (bronze). Quite surprisingly as none of them had shown any indications beforehand of such capacity and for N’tuve, still a teenager it was more of a shock. The Swedish team’s best hope for a medal, middleweight, Olympian Naim Terbunja, disappointed and went out in his first match against a Russian. N’tuve’s silver was the best achievement of a Swede since 1991 when welterweight Roberto Welin won the European gold at that weight. Hassan’s bronze, the first of that sort since 2000 when heavyweight Andreas Gustafsson sneaked home a well deserved bronze. Sweden’s amateurs are on a bit of a roll at the moment.

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I travelled to Norrköping on the 21st of November to see the leftovers of a cancelled professional card that was supposed to have been staged at that town’s park “Borgen” on this particular date but it was scrapped when a couple of heavy sponsor’s pulled out. Two of the hometown guys (Stefan Schallengruber – light heavyweight and Cliff Soukka – junior middleweight) fights were rescued though by a local sponsor who stepped in at the last minute, and the bouts were thrown in as a special attraction on the first day of the Swedish youth championships that was held that weekend in Norrköping. Both Swedes were served Latvian opposition and did quite well, Schallengruber a strong power puncher with solid hooks and uppercuts started off a bit hesitant against Roman Shevchenko but came stronger as the fight progressed and slapped his man around rather violently on a few occasions in the later stages but failed to land something big. He won clearly though (3-0) on all judges card after four rounds. The same thing could be said about junior middle Cliff Soukka who possesses loads of talent and showed most of this against his cagey opponent, beforehand undefeated Ruslans Pojonishevs ( 2-0-1). Although Cliff Soukka was the man of the ring the entire fight (he won all rounds), Pojonishevs proved a tough cookie, and gave the local fighter a run for his money.

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Champion Promotions George Scott & Sören Niklasson the promoters of the Norrköping-card vowed to come back stronger on January 28th with the complete // full program. It remains to be seen if they can really put the show together this time, financially they haven’t been too stable.

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Former WBC bantamweight champion, Anita Christensen of Denmark is reportedly in the early stages pregnancy so don’t expect her to be back in the ring sometime soon, if she returns at all. She is 36 now and lost her title in Bröndbyhallen in June to Bulgarian Galina Koleva Ivanova. Will she have enough motivation for a return when the baby is born? I don’t think so, but I could be wrong.

Christensen’s Swedish colleague, super featherweight Frida Wallberg, 6-0, 1 KO has had a long layoff due to childbirth but is now considering a comeback in 2009. The talented Swede who hasn’t fought since 2005 has at least age on her side if her wishes to return should materialize. She is only 25.

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Swedish welterweight, Akilles Adanan had to digest the fact that he is no longer undefeated, as he lost a four round decision to Venezuelan prospect Jean Carlos Prada in Miami, Florida on the 18th of November, back to the drawing board for him, Adnan now 2-1.

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While professional boxing with it’s limitations (still just a twelve minute rule in Sweden) is struggling to survive with huge lack of interest from the fans. MMA is flourishing with a massive interest. I was ringside in Gothenburg in early November for “The Zone – Shockwave” and it was an excellent promotion with great fights. If you ever come across Swedish strike Alexander Gustafsson on a MMA-card somewhere in the world, take an extra look, he is a fascinating athlete, and for us boxing fans particularly interesting because of his extraordinary striking skills.

November 23, 2008


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