On December 15 Mateusz Masternak (28-0, 21 KOs) faces his toughest challenge to date.
Before Arthur Abraham´s first WBO Super Middleweight Title defense against Mehdi Bouadla, Masternak takes on Juho Haapoja from Finland. The two cruiserweights will fight it out for the vacant European crown.
The Pole heads into the title bout with some extra motivation. During the summer, his wife gave birth to a baby boy. "My life has changed quite drastically. Now I want to be even more successful," said the prodigy of Coach Andrzej Gmitruk.
However, Masternak knows that his Finnish opponent has a lot of experience. "There are no easy fights at this level. Haapoja already won the EU Championship and successfully defended it on two occasions. He is also physically very strong and constantly on the front foot." But over the last year, the Pole has been growing in experience himself. The fight in Nuremberg will be his fifth in 2012. "It is great that I have been fighting so much over the last twelve months. It gave me the chance to develop as a boxer. I am very happy with my situation within Team Sauerland and that I have gotten this far."
However, Juho Haapoja believes that he is in great shape ahead of the title clash. "My preparation is going on very well. My last fight took place in September and I have been back in training ever since. I am currently in London for sparring sessions in order to be at my best come December 15," said the Finn.
The 32-year-old fighter is convinced, that he will be ready when he finally meets Masternak inside the ring. "There is no question about his boxing abilities. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve which will cause him some troubles." Haapoja, who started off in boxing as a heavyweight, says that the spectators at the arena will have a lot of entertainment during the bout. "I always put a lot of pressure on my opponents. That won’t change during the next fight. From what I have seen, Masternak faces his opponents full on. Our two styles will create a real battle inside the ring."
Unsurprisingly, both fighters have a very different view on the outcome of the fight. "Unfortunately I do not have a magic eight ball. But I can guarantee that I am not travelling all the way to Germany to lose," said a confident Haapoja. Masternak has a similar view. "I don’t think about how a fight could end - all that matters is a victory. I will be the new Cruiserweight champion of Europe."
December 3, 2012