Agit Kabayel primed for Evgenios Lazaridis: I would fight in a cellar if necessary
Former European heavyweight champion Agit Kabayel returns to action against Evgenios Lazaridis at Seebühne Elbauenpark in Magdeburg, Germany on Saturday.
Kabayel (19-0, 13 knockouts) is eager to test his skills after a 16-month hiatus from the ring.
“I am very happy after over 500 days of not fighting,” Kabayel told The Ring through Christof Hawercamp of SES Boxing. “I have been inactive because I had an injured shoulder last summer. There was a little delay waiting for an ESPN fight in the U.S., there was a delay in the working visa, then coronavirus came.
“It’s a great fight for me. [Lazaridis] is very tall (6-foot-6), he’s a good fighter with good boxing skills, and he has some good guys on his record. He is a tough guy for me after not fighting for so long. But to go back into the ring, I would fight in a cellar if necessary.”
The 27-year-old Kabayel had been due to face former heavyweight title challenger Mariusz Wach on March 28, only for that fight to fall through due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like many people, Kabayel admits to initially struggling with the restrictions brought on by the lockdown.
“When the fight was postponed, I was at home training in the garden,” he explained. “The first two weeks of lockdown, I was going from bed to the refrigerator. I was a little depressed.”
However, Kabayel, who has trained with his coach Sükrü Aksu in Dusseldorf for the past month, is feeling more optimistic and hopeful for the future.
“This fight on Saturday is the most important thing after the time off,” Kabayel stated. “To show my skills and let people know I am in the top 15 [in the world] and that I can get to the next step. Maybe get an eliminator for a world championship fight. To be a world champion, that has been my target since I started boxing.”
SES founder Ulf Steinforth is confident that his fighter will put on a show for the near 1000 people who are allowed to attend the event and position himself for something bigger.
“He is the best German heavyweight, he’s in the upper-class on the European scene,” said the promoter. “He was the European champion but vacated to make the step onto the world scene.
“Hopefully he has a good performance against Lazaridis so Top Rank and others watching can see what a good boxer Agit is. He’s fast on his feet, has his special physical strengths, he’s a real fighter, and we’re looking forward to seeing how things go. This fight is very important to show he is back on the scene, then we will look to see what is going on next.”
Lazaridis has been a professional since 2013. The Germany-based Greek won his first 11 bouts before dropping a close decision to Erkan Teper, and two fights later he was surprisingly stopped by Samuel Kadje in five. Since then the 32-year-old has won four fights to take his record to 16-2 (10 KOs).
Kabayel-Lazaridis will be televised on ESPN+ and is available in America, Canada and Latin America and on MDR in Germany. Check your local listings for start times.