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22 JULY 2017

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Nielsen After Gym Wars With Khattab: "We are still good friends


Mikkel Nielsen (1-0, 1 KO) has undergone tough preparations ahead of his second professional contest on January 21 at the Struer Energi Park where he goes up against Leri Tedeev (4-1, 1 KO) in a six-round super welterweight clash.

The former three-time national amateur champion has been sparring with stable mate Abdul Khattab, and admits the two professional fighters have been able to remain friends despite a series of gruelling sessions inside the ring.

"It’s cool to spar with Abdul," says Nielsen. ‘’He is a very tough guy. He puts a lot of pressure on me, and that helps me to work on some aspects I need to improve on such as my movement, footwork and fighting on the back foot. It’s nice to work on that rather than just being the one that goes forward all the time.

‘’It’s not always possible to go in the ring and throw wild punches at each other and remain good friends afterwards, but Abdul and I are still good friends, or at least we pretend to be. We’ve had some really tough sparring and he’s really helped me. It can be good to find out the hard way what works and what doesn’t.

‘’Sometimes you need something extra in training, and it doesn’t matter if a sparring session develops into a street fight. Abdul and I have had some real wars, which is good. Usually I have a very clean style, but when you’re in a fight, then it’s real, and it’s good to get as much experience as possible in the gym.’’

The 27 year-old made his debut in September following a successful amateur career, and claimed a second–round knockout victory over the experienced Belarusian Andrei Dolhozhyieu. Despite making his professional bow, Nielsen reveals there were no nerves when he entered the ting.

"I actually had a little stomach ache when I went into the ring, but it was not because I was nervous. It was because I had laughed so much the night before the fight. We have a lot of fun in my team,” said Nielsen, who fun loving attitude inside and outside the ring has earned him the nickname Pjatrøv (Funny Bones).

Before his second fight he has been working with his coach Joey Gamache, the former two-time World Champion, who has been helping him transition to the professional game.

‘’I can feel myself improving,’’ he says. ‘’Joey and I have been looking to improve my work rate and jab, and it’s working. I’ve never thrown so many jabs, before I was just concentrating on power shots, so my boxing is becoming more varied.’’

“I can’t wait to fight again. It’s been a long build-up, but finally the battle is just around the corner. I promise a fight with a lot of action and I’m also looking forward to showing my new boxing shorts.’’

Nielsen meets Tedeev as part of an action-packed show on January 21 in Struer, which also features the return of super middleweight star Patrick Nielsen against Beibi Berrocal, a WBC Youth World Super Bantamweight title clash between Dina Thorslund and Xenia Jorneac, and Abdul Khattab versus ‘The Dane Slayer’ Arman Torosyan.




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