Germany’s 70th anniversary of professional boxing with NYFights’ Jab Hook reporting ringside from this international boxing event presented by Petkovic Boxing Promotion.
Part 3: Main card predictions for the Ballhaus Forum, Munich
Tina Rupprecht 9(4)-0 vs Maricela Quintero 18(3)-4(2)-1 boxing in Rupprecht’s 2nd defense of her WBC World Female Minimum-weight Title, 10 rounds x 2 minutes/rd. (est. 21:20 CEST)
“Tiny” Tina is relaxed and happy that she is defending her world title only a hour by car from her Augsburg home. No big travel time, no hotel, sleeping in her own bed the nights before and after the bout is really nice. And the crowd will be almost hometown, with so many on her side in the audience.
She has had an excellent camp with great sparring and fine-tuning by her trainer and mentor Alexander Haan.
Tina’s debut was in 2013, and she started slowly with only 1 bout per year, also taking 2015 off. But Tina has fought 2-3/year since then. Winning her 1st , 2nd, and 3rd bouts by stoppage, she has won the rest of her bouts by unanimous decision.
“Tiny” Tina’s style is technically oriented, but she has a mean streak as well. She prefers to own the ring, moving her opponents around with good footwork, a steady jab and variable combination punching. Tina makes it a point to land hard shots on her opponents early in the bout as a greeting of sorts. Boxing is her strength, but an invitation to bang is not needed when Rupprecht is in the zone. Because of her build and size, mid-range to inside is her optimal distance. So “Tiny” has to work her way in and out, which her tight defense and head movement usually allow her to do.
In her 7th bout Tina Rupprecht fought Anne Sophie Da Costa for the interim WBC World Female Minimum-weight Title in December 2017. Da Costa moved forward and was crowding Tina sometimes, which led to lots of infighting and a cut for Anne Sophie via accidental head butt. Tina turned her. (Jab swears he did not make that up for the pun.) With cute bumps and side steps, Tina was slipping in hooks and uppercuts. And when she wanted to, Tina smartly mixed in some clinches. Winning almost every round with better accuracy and more punches, it was a nice warm up for the real title bout.
June 16, 2018 in Munich’s Ballhaus Forum “Tiny” Tina Rupprecht fought Yokasta Valle for the WBC World Title. The Costa Rican Valle had lost her bid for the WBO World Female Light Flyweight belt to Naoko Fujioka 6 months before in Tokyo. Yokasta had moved down from 108 lbs/49 kgs to 105 lbs/47.6 kgs for this next title shot of the WBC flavor.
Jab was watching ringside as the 1st bell rang for Rupprecht versus Valle. The bout was a tense affair with both women intent on not giving ground. Tina’s boxing allowed her to make points with the judges who like better accuracy and good activity, so she was able to get a round or two ahead. But Valle was having none of it and fought back hard forcing Tina to regroup in some rounds. Yokasta took at least four rounds in the bout, but Rupprecht was able secure a couple of later rounds, thereby winning the WBC strap. The judges scores were 98:95 and 97:94 twice, all in favor of “Tiny” Tina. Some saw it closer.
On April 6th, 2019 the latest contender will be Maricela Quintero, a veteran boxer from Coliacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. “La Baby” is 30 years old and debuted in 2008. She has fought almost exclusively in her hometown and has never boxed outside of Mexico. Quintero was away from boxing in 2014, and now it has again been over a year since her last bout.
Hay la herrumbre?
Quintero is the quintessential Mexican fighter, aggressive and so courageous that she doesn’t worry too much about defense. She is quick and athletic, likes to hook and uses footwork nicely. All that “hands up, chin down” stuff, that is not on the 1st page of a Mexican warrior’s script, female or male. Her lazy jab and neglect of straight punching could present an opportunity for Tina. Boxing from the back foot is not among “La Baby’s” skills, while grit and punch output are.
“La Baby” has held the Mexican Championship at female minimum-weight and has twice contended for the WBC World Female Light Flyweight Title, losing both bouts. She lost to Esmeralda Moreno in 2012 by decision. In 2013 Quintero was forced to retire in the 8thround by Ibeth Zamora Silva. So close, but yet so far as the belt slipped out of her hands two times in a row.
Will the third time be the charm? “La Baby” has a 7 fight win streak including 3 KOs. Quintero has not lost a fight in over five and a half years. Her opponents have been lower level female boxers of the variety mostly found on the Mexican club circuit. That means limited skills, but tough cookies.
Therefore, Tina Rupprecht is a big step up for her, on top of which Quintero will be boxing thousands of miles away from home for the 1st time. Add the Munich hometown crowd and the infamous German boxing officials to the scene and “La Baby” may be in for some tears before it’s all over.
Jab Hook’s keys to victory:
Establish the jab and work the body.
Back her up and keep her guessing.
Maintain a tight defense and pick your battles.
Hands up and chin down for once in your career.
Throw combinations and keep a high punch output.
Make it a war, set a trap and walk her into it.
Jab Hook happily picks the local lady, Miss “5 foot 2, eyes of blue…”, aka “Tiny” Tina Rupprecht to win the bout by unanimous decision in a tough bout against a game Mexican.
Serge Michel 8(6)-0 vs Ryan Ford 15(10)-4, light heavyweights boxing 12 rounds for a pretty green belt that is mostly important to the WBC. (est. 22:55 CEST)
Serge Michel was a decorated, international amateur. He won the coveted “Chemiepokal” in 2016 at light heavyweight. He boxed at the 2016 Rio Olympics in August and went professional that March. “The Bavarian Sniper” has earned a record of 8(6)-0 as a prospect at light heavyweight. But 30 year old prospects must also work toward contention some day. Serge has expressed his great hunger to do just that.
Serge is fighting 90 minutes by car from his hometown, so half of Trauenreut will be watching his 9th bout. He says he can handle the pressure and that they have had an excellent training camp in Augsburg with his new trainer Alexander Haan. Serge switched from long time stable mate and homie Waldemar Beck, who had trained him for years and teamed up with his Dad to cover his corner.
Of course his father Eduard Michel will also be in his corner for the bout this Saturday. Dad trained Serge his entire amateur career and has always been with him. Most Father & Son boxing teams are known to have their problems, so no surprise that Michels have had their share. However, it’s all in the past come April 6th.
“The Bavarian Sniper” has very good boxing skills, which reflect his years of training and accomplishments in the German school of the sport. His jab is long, versatile, quick, and a main weapon in his arsenal. With 75% knockouts, Serge can surely bang, though he rarely falls for provocation from his opponents in the ring. His favorite combination is a quick touching jab to the face, followed by a piston hard jab to the same spot, finishing off with a hard right over the top to the temple. Lights out!
Serge has won 4 of his last 5 by KO. He was hoping to take a step up in opposition on April 6th, but Igor Mikhalkin’s management impolitely declined the offer from Petkovic Promotions. A German derby with #3 Adam Deines vs #5 Serge Michel would have made tidal waves in Deutschland, a “nobody’s home” reaction put that wish on the shelf. So plan C, as in Canadian Ryan Ford, was put into place 5 weeks ago.
Though “The Real Deal” has mostly fought at home on the Canadian club circuit, he has become a consummate journeyman. Ford has boxed in Thailand, Singapore, Russia, and three times in Germany since 2018. Let’s take a hint from Ford’s nickname and get real about his boxing career. He started in MMA and he has only been an active, professional boxer for three and half years. Now 37 years old, he has fought from super middleweight to cruiser-weight. Ford has lost 4 of his last 5 bouts by 12 round decisions, winning 1 by KO.
But in all fairness, Ryan Ford has never been down or out. He is a natural athlete in excellent condition with enough steam on his shots to KO more than half of his opponents. Good reflexes, a great chin and more tattoos than boxing skills round out his profile.
Ford’s fighting style is one that is shy of jabs, but has ample hooks and long-distance power shots. Blocking punches is not his forte, but decent upper-body movement and an occasional high guard help. He tends to fight small and likes to dip low. “The Real Deal” prefers to move forward and create pressure. His build and size make him most effective in the short to mid-range, so Ford naturally prefers infighting.
Jab Hook’s keys to victory:
Fight long, box smart, have fun.
Be first and keep him guessing with feints.
Counter-punch at will, walk him into your 1-2.
Fight small, use a tight guard, launch sudden attacks to disrupt his rhythm.
Bob and weave past his jab, work the body every round.
Provoke, disrespect, and confront him into a brawl in the later rounds, when he is tired and you are not.
“The Sniper” will snipe and the “Deal” will fold. Jab is convinced this his local boy will prevail. The only question is how Serge Michel will win the bout. Hook predicts a unanimous decision over a game opponent who will make Serge look good. If the Michel-Haan corner are ambitious and willing to take a little more risk in order to achieve more, a late round TKO via referee stoppage might be possible.
Petar Milas 13(10)-0 vs Denis Bahktov 39(26)-14(6), heavyweights boxing in a 10 round prizefight. (est. 21:55 CEST)
..is a heavyweight from beautiful Split, Croatia on the north-eastern Adriatic sea. If had grown up in Ohio he might have been a college football standout at tight-end, not an offensive tackle. That’s the style of his build. He is big, but athletic, strong, but quick. Milas is 23yo and has been a professional boxer for over three years. Until Milas fought Kevin Johnson one year ago, he had mostly faced soft to ultra-soft opponents.
Against the wily veteran from New Jersey known as the “Kingpin”, he offered fans and pundits alike a very good measure of his level of talent and skills. Kevin Johnson is journeyman who has fought the best and a damn slick boxer, too. Milas dealt with him well and did not rush his work. However, in the 8th round a moment of distraction due to a jagged cut bleeding into his left eye cost the “Kingpin” the fight. Milas crashed a left hook across Johnson’s chin and dropped him, stopped him. Vitali Klitschko, Tyson Fury, Chisora and Pulev all failed to stop Johnson. Anthony Joshua did it in 2 rounds.
The only other decent guy that Petar Milas has fought followed only three months after the Johnson bout when he fought Francesco Pianeta in June 2018 at the Ballhaus Forum. He won a clear decision, but gave up at least 3-4 of the 10 rounds to the Italian-born Pianeta, who fought out of Germany for Petkovic. Two months later Tyson Fury won all 10 rounds from Pianeta according to referee Steve Gray in Belfast, N.Ireland.
How about this next rival for Petar Milas? Kind friends and companions, please believe Jab Hook when he says that the very best aspect of Denis Bahktov’s boxing legacy is his boxing label “Darth Vader”. Firstly it corresponds with his 39 years of age, and secondly Bahktov’s countenance holds a spooky resemblance to the Vader’s pulmonary mask. There is a famous Campbell’s soup painted by Andy Warhol, but a modicum of respect begs Jab to stop there.
“Darth Vader” could be dangerous, come on, he has KO’d over half his opponent and that is 26 guys. The Russian club fighter born in Kazakhstan has openly developed into a journeyman over his nearly 20 year career. But the tide goes out and a drought of wins has Bahktov losing 5 of his last 6 bouts, including a disqualification his last time out against Hussein Muhamed. In that bout he spit out his mouth-guard 4 times in the 1st round alone. More of the same nonsense and the referee had finally had enough in the 3rd round. Who “accidentally” loses their mouth-guard a dozen times?
Jab Hook cannot help but see a quick KO coming for the dark side “Vader” Bahktov. Brutal KO for the Croatian heavyweight Petar Milas in the 1st minute of the 1st round in Munich.
Coming up on Monday, April 8th, the final installment in this NYFights series.
Part 4: Epilogue for the Ballhaus Forum, Munich, April 6, 2019 by Jab Hook
“Jab Hook”, aka “Brooklyn” Joe Healy is a boxing writer, an expert commentator for DAZN.de, a professional cutman from the BOXWERK gym, and a licensed referee/judge in amateur boxing. A lifelong aficionado born in Brooklyn and living in Munich, “The Sweet Science” is his passion. Please feel free to contact him as Jab Hook on, FaceBook or https://www.linkedin.com/in/