Thomas Hansvoll expects Tim-Robin Lihaug (15-1, 8 KOs) to upset the odds and score a career-defining win over former two-weight World Champion Arthur Abraham (44-5, 29 KOs) on July 16 at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin,Germany.
The Norwegian duo have been hard at work preparing for the WBO International title fight, and although Lihaug enters the bout as an underdog, Hansvoll is confident the 23 year-old has what it takes to beat an ageing Abraham, who he believes has ‘lost his hunger’.
‘’Abraham is a legend in the sport, but I think he has lost his hunger,’’ says Hansvoll. ‘’I’ve watched all his fights so I know a lot about him, and I’ve been a boxer too so I can tell when a fighter is a little tired of the whole thing, and I think that is the case with Abraham. He has been there and done that, and he’s not so interested anymore.
‘’I don’t want to say anything bad about him because I respect him as a fighter, and he was a hero of mine, even when I was fighting, but when you get older and you’ve made a lot of money, it can be hard to find the motivation. You can see that in his last two fights against Gilberto Ramirez and Martin Murray. He doesn’t have the same hunger anymore, and it’s sad to see.
‘’Tim, on the other hand, is a young up and coming fighter, and I believe the time is right for him. He knows this is his big chance and he knows he has nothing to lose. All the pressure will be on Abraham, as people don’t expect so much from Tim, but we know what he is capable of and we’re very confident he can win.’’
Hansvoll, a thirty-two-fight veteran and former World title challenger, says he intends to draw on his own experience inside the squared circle to guide his fighter to victory.
‘’I started boxing when I was ten years old, and I was fortunate to have a good amateur career and a good professional career,’’ he explains. ‘’I went to Paris to challenge Bruno Girad for the WBA World title in 2002, and I was the underdog when I beat Ole Klemetsen in 2001. I’ve been in similar situations to Tim, and I will use all this experience to help him.’’
The WBO International Championship fight between Tim-Robin Lihaug and Arthur Abraham will provide chief support for Tyron Zeuge’s WBA World Super Middleweight title challenge against Giovanni De Carolis.