Friday 23 August 2013: Galati, Romania

Christian Hammer vs. Leif Larsen

Broadcaster: EuroSport (UK)
Time: 2:30PM ET / 11:30AM PT

WBO European heavyweight title
12 Rounds

Christian Hammer 13(9)-3 vs. Leif Larsen 17(14)-1

Hammer, whose real name is Cristian Ciocan, is a Romanian who trains and lives out of Germany. Despite back-to-back losses in 2010 to Mariusz Wach and Taras Bidenko, Hammer has rebounded with five straight wins — the best one being against Danny Williams.

Being 25-years-old, Hammer is young for a heavyweight. Even with losses, he’s very much a prospect. With this fight we’ll see if he’s hit the ceiling with his development or if his career can go much further.

Leif Larsen is mostly known for being one of the few Norwegians to have competed in the NFL. Since closing his career, Larsen switched to boxing where he compiled 17 straight wins. He lost his last fight to 2004 Olympic gold medallist and former world title challenger Odlanier Solis, but the scores were 117-111, 116-112, and 115-114.

Prediction: Larsen by UD

Vacant WBO Inter-Continental middleweight title
12 Rounds

Goekalp Oezekler 15(6)-1 vs. Istvan Szili 17(7)-0

Oezekler is another fighter who’s on a 5 fight winning streak since a loss. His lone loss, by KO8, was to Rafael Bejaran. In hindsight, Oezekler may have been rushed to quickly since he had yet to take on an opponent of such a high caliber. Since the loss, Oezekler has stepped up and beaten the likes of Gogi Knezevic, Moez Fhima, and Alber Ayrapetyan.

One thing I like about Oezekler is his busy style. He throws a lot of leather and does not give his opponents a chance to breathe.

Szili was once a highly decorated Hungarian amateur. He has quickly amassed an undefeated record against quality opponents, including victories over Daniel Urbanski, Sergei Melis, Dzmitry Lubachkin, and the previously undefeated Jetmir Kuqi.

With his compact frame, Szili excels at cutting off the ring and bringing pressure to his opponents. As such, this match-up should be highly entertaining.

Prediction: Szili by UD.

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