Last May 13, WBC super middleweight champion Markus Beyer defended his title against Sakio Bika in Zwickau (Germany). The fight was highly anticipated, the 4,000 tickets available were sold fast and the public expected a big performance by the champion. Theoretically, it should have been a routine defense for Beyer who had too much experience over his opponent. Beyer’s record comprised 34 wins (13 KOs) and just 2 losses. He had won the WBC super middleweight title three times and had defeated top-ranked opposition like Richie Woodhall, Eric Lucas, Denny Green (twice) and Cristian Sanavia. On the other hand, Sakio Bika had just 22 battles in his record (20-1-1, with 13 KOs) and had fought only at a regional level becoming New South Wales, Australian and OPBF middleweight champion. If you don’t know, OPBF means Oriental & Pacific Boxing Federation. Bika was born in Cameroon (Africa), but lives and fights in Australia where he is considered a big star. Anyway, the fight against Beyer was stopped after four rounds due to a cut under Beyer’s right eye caused by an accidental headbutt. The judges had it 40-36 (in favor of Beyer), and twice 38-38. The official decision was a technical draw. In short, the fight meant nothing for Beyer and Bika. It’s impossible to say who would have won. It’s also hard to predict if there will be a rematch since the only one who could care about it is Sakio Bika. The fans didn’t sell-out the building because of the fight, they just wanted to see their idol in action. Markus is a big star in his own country since the years when he competed among amateurs. He became German champion in 1993 and 1995, in the 156-pound division. He also won the bronze medal at the 1995 world championships held in Berlin (Germany) and the silver medal during the 1996 European championships that took place in Velje (Denmark). Back then, amateur boxing was popular and the fans packed the arenas. Probably, that’s because the rounds lasted three minutes and scoring machines weren’t invented yet. Whatever the reason, Markus Beyer was an amateur star and had the whole country behind him when he competed in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta where he made it to the quarterfinals losing to Jermakan Ibrahimov. When Beyer turned professional, his fans believed that he was good enough to make it and he didn’t disappoint them. After winning the WBC belt three times, Beyer could fight the other champions of the major sanctioning bodies for the undisputed world super middleweight title. That’s what I asked him in Kienbaum (Germany), at the huge facility where all the boxers under contract with Sauerland Event use to train.
Markus, in our previous interview you said that you would welcome a fight against IBF/WBO champion Joe Calzaghe (who is having problems finding opponents). Are you still of the same opinion?
Yes, I am. So many boxers are scared of Joe Calzaghe because of the way he humiliated Jeff Lacy, but Lacy’s style was perfect for him and styles make fights. Joe is a great fighter, he knows everything about offense and defense. We would put up a great battle.
Joe Calzaghe said that WBA champion Mikkel Kessler is the best of the super middleweights, but he is underrated. What’s your opinion about Kessler?
I don’t know why Joe Calzaghe considers him the best in our division, but Kessler is an excellent fighter. He shouldn’t be underrated because he won the WBA world title and is still undefeated. I would like to fight him too.
Would you fight Calzaghe and Kessler in their countries?
Of course. I wouldn’t be impressed by 20,000 people rooting for my opponent. Maybe, in Calzaghe’s case the attendance would be even bigger.
Cristian Sanavia wants a third match against you. He said that you KOed him only because he didn’t pay attention for one second.
That’s exactly why he lost: he was winning on points and danced around the ring not paying enough attention. He shouldn’t have! Anyway, I’m not thinking about a new match against him.
There are a few stories about your nickname. Is that true that they call you Boom Boom because you resemble Ray Mancini?
No, it was Michael Buffer’s idea. He was hired to present a card in Germany and introduced me as Markus “Boom Boom” Beyer. The next day, an important German newspaper wrote “Boom Boom” Beyer in capital letters and the nickname stuck. Who knows, maybe Michael Buffer thought that I resemble Ray Mancini.
You had a great amateur career. Who was your toughest opponent?
Francisc Vastag. He was from Romania and dominated the 156-pound division for a few years. In 1993, he became world champion in Tampere (Finland). In 1995, he won his second world title in Berlin (Germany). In 1996, he won the gold medal at the European championships organized in Velje (Denmark). I lost three major fights against him, but I gained revenge during the 1996 Olympic Games beating him in the first match of the tournament.
Do you think that an amateur career is essential to make it in the professional ranks?
Yes, it is. Of course, there are exceptions: some boxers are so talented that they just need a good trainer to build a successful pro career.
Born in Erlabrunn (Germany) on April 28, 1971
Nickname: Boom Boom
1993 and 1995 German Champion (156 lbs)
1995 World Championships – Berlin (Germany) – Bronze Medal (156 lbs)
1996 European Championships – Velje (Denmark) – Silver Medal (156 lbs)
Debut: in 1996
Record: 34 wins (13 KOs), 2 losses and 1 draw.
Trainer: Ulli Wegner
Manager: Sauerland Event
Super Middleweight Titles
IBF intercontinental champion
WBC international champion
WBC world champion
1st reign from October 23, 1999 to May 6, 2000
2nd reign from April 5, 2003 to June 5, 2004
3rd reign since October 9, 2004