By Teddy Stenmark: Professional boxing in Sweden is struggling, that is no exaggeration. In fact, there has not been a professional boxing card in Sweden since February of this year (20th to be exact) when Arctic Pro Box launched their first show way up north in the country (Luleå).
That event was by no means a success and it appears very unlikely that the team will have another go, I could be wrong, but I doubt that very much. With the restrictions to fights of only 12 minutes duration (4x3 minutes or 6x2) under the current rules ordered by the Swedish martial Arts delegation, it hasn’t been too easy to attract interest, and solid main-event (10 & 12 rounders) bouts hasn’t been allowed.
The short fights is slowly killing the sport, while ironically MMA on the other hand is flourishing (having sold out several events). Anders Holmberg of Pugnus Promotion has applied to the authorities to be able to stage longer fights for this fall (late September) and is at this moment awaiting their decision, a decision that could be crucial for the company´s survival. The boxing community is waiting eagerly, crossing their fingers for a positive verdict.
But, luckily there are people in Swedish pro-boxing that dare to take risks anyway and with loads of effort try to maintain some sort of activity after all. One such guy is professional lightweight Shadi Hamsho, who kicked off his own professional career in the US back in 2005, went 10-0 over there (undefeated) and was far from over with his career when he decided to return back home to Sweden. Frustrated by the lack of professional cards in Sweden he took matters into his own hands and started up a promotional firm and will now kickstart that company (Spotlight Promotions ) with a mixed card in Malmö, Sweden on September 10th.
There will be Kickboxing as well and some MMA alongside the proboxing but the main focus seem to be on the boxing. Hamsho will fight himself on the bill but there will also be a couple of interesting proboxing debuts, among them former Swedish international Teuta Cuni (lightweight) and ex Swedish super heavyweight champion, David Loy (23). Also on the card is former Olympian now based in Miami, supermiddleweight prospect, Badou Jack, 4-0-(3).
An interesting premiere on Swedish Soil by former World amateur champ Frida Wallberg who is making a welcomed return after having been away since 2005 , she used to belong to Team Palle in Denmark but is now with a new team and has started afresh after among other things giving birth to a baby. She is undefeated 6-0. The third female on this promotion is Anna “Donatella” Hultin who just like Hamsho started her career in the US (Las Vegas) but now is back in Sweden and training under the watchful eye of former WBO middleweight champion Armand Krajnc. It will be her third outing as a pro in Malmö.
Also keep a lookout for the very talented junior welterweight Erick Roth, 2-0, one of the most gifted fighters in Sweden at the moment. At light heavy/cruiser Gothenburg’s Tobias Alexandersson is making an interesting appearance after a surprising loss in Span in late April (his prodebut). Even though it for obvious reasons lacks a genuine main event I think Shadi Hamsho’s premiere promotion could turn out to be a pleasant night of action.
Spotlight Promotions website: http://www.spotlightpromotions.se/