Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Radosevic looks to put Montenegro on boxing map
Predrag Radosevic says he’s fighting for more than a crack at the IBF middleweight title when he faces former three-time beltholder Felix Sturm on Saturday in Germany. The undefeated prospect wants to represent his native Montenegro to the boxing world.
In the early 1990s the former Yugoslavia split into six countries, the smallest by a considerable way was Montenegro (the 2011 census reported a population of 625,266), an enclave in south Eastern Europe which has only been separated from Serbia since 2006. It’s not known as a sporting hub but on Saturday one of its native sons, Predrag Radosevic, will be contesting an IBF middleweight title eliminator against far more experienced Felix Sturm at the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany.
“I’m aware of his achievements, but this is boxing and everybody has weak points,” he said. “He is 34; I’m 28. He had much harder fights and the big question is how much he has left. This is for me fight of my life, but for Sturm it’s the same. Coming off two loses, back to back, he knows if he loses this one it may be the end to his boxing career. He has much more to lose than me.”
The 2006 “Montenegro Sportsman of the Year” feels his strengths are much the same as his country in general though acknowledges he’ll need to use his brain as well as his fists to win this bout.
“Montenegro people in general are known as a people with huge heart,” he told RingTV.com. “One just has to look into the history of our country. I’m dedicated and determined, but a big heart will not be enough to beat Sturm and this is why we are working with my trainer Hartmut Schroder on strategy.”
Outside of Montenegro, very little is known about Radosevic. Last year the government took it upon themselves to contact Yugoslavian-born promoter Branco Milenkovic, who has lived in Johannesburg, South Africa for 25 years from where he operates his promotional empire, to see if he could help advance Radosevic’s career.
Milenkovic is internationally known having been involved in 65 IBF title fights in the past six years. Currently, he works with several fighters including current IBF flyweight titleholder Moruti Mthalane, as well as former junior middleweight title holder Jeffrey Mathebula, among others.
Milenkovic was all too happy to help. Radosevic doesn’t remember much of the conflict that occurred in his homeland in the early ‘90s.
“I was still young and didn’t understand many things,” he said before interestingly adding that he believes the move to independence weakened the country in more than one way.
“Something I understood very well later,” he said, “was the fact that as united Yugoslavia we were stronger not only as a country but as a sport nation as well.”
“I used to love boxing as a child,” Radosevic said. “My father, who was working on a ship, once brought me boxing gloves as a present and I think this is how it started.”
“Prior to starting boxing I used to play soccer for five years,” he said. “The reason I left soccer for boxing, was that in boxing if you are better than your opponent you will go further, unlike in soccer where you will get a place on the team not based on your ability but on that how well connected your father is.”
“Same as for myself, for Montenegro this is the historic event and it is huge excitement and expectations,” he said. “Without doubt it will put the country on the world boxing map.”
Photos / Branco Sports