Robin Krasniqi: ‘Maybe Stefan Haertel is the better technician, but my physical condition is too powerful for him’
Veteran contender Robin Krasniqi will put his European super middleweight title on the line for the second time when he faces Stefan Häertel at the Stadthalle in Magdeburg, Germany on Saturday.
The pair were due to meet last November but Häertel had to pull out at late notice, leaving Krasniqi scrambling for a replacement and doubting his compatriot’s reasoning.
“I’m still focused – hopefully he’ll enter the ring here in Magdeburg,” Krasniqi (49-5, 17 knockouts) told The Ring through Christof Hawercamp of SES Boxing. “Last time, he quit because of stomach problems, or a flu, or…?
“After my preparation in the Bavarian Forest, I wanna fight, want to beat him.”
The 32-year-old Kosovo-born fighter expects the skills of Häertel to cause some problems early but, ultimately, he’ll solve them and be victorious.
“Maybe he is the better technician, but my physical condition is too powerful for him,” Krasniqi said. “I see my advantages in the pressure and after the first five to seven rounds [that will be telling].”
Häertel is a former amateur standout, who appeared at the 2011 World Championships and the London 2012 Olympics. Since making the transition into the pro ranks, the 31-year-old has won 17 of 18 fights. His only loss was at light heavyweight, when he dropped a decision to Adam Deines in a national title fight. He has won two fights since, taking his record to 17-1 (2 KOs).
Krasniqi has had two world title shots at light heavyweight, dropping a decision to Nathan Cleverly in 2013 before being stopped for the only time in his career by Juergen Braehmer in 2015. However, since then, the German transplant has rededicated himself, dropping down to super middleweight where he hopes to procure a third opportunity.
“It’s hard to go down in weight,” Krasniqi said. “But my strength is better, the fighters are my height and my physical condition (is better).
“I’m open to facing everyone. It’s my theme, ‘Never give up.’ I can’t wait for a third world title chance.”
SES founder Ulf Steinforth is optimistic that the winner will be close to a world title shot.
“Both fighters, Krasniqi and Häertel, are the top of the German and European rankings,” said the promoter. “SES boxing has stablemate duels in our strong divisions from super middleweight, light heavyweight, up to heavyweight.
“So in this super middleweight fight for the European title, the winner of this duel needs to be prepared for a world title shot soon – and it’s inescapably an SES fighter.”