Bernd Bönte commented on Mike Tyson’s fight for television for the first time in 1989, as did his famous duels against Evander Holyfield a few years later. He managed the Klitschko brothers and accompanied the younger, Vladimir, in one of the most dominant reigns in the history of the heavyweight division. So Bönte knows what it takes to be successful in sport, and since he was also a member of the supervisory board of Hamburger SV, he also knows what it takes to Not to be succesfull. Bernd Bönte says about the young boxer Peter Kadiru: “I believe that Peter has the potential to knock at the top.”
Bönte does not say this sentence quite freely, he works as a Kadirus Manager. However, he also combines this sentence with the request to the boxer to work “further disciplined and hard” on himself. Bönte says whether it will work out with a world championship fight or even a world title, “you never know, because the big fights are usually a tight box.”
Knock at the top. Big fights. Not so long ago, no one with a single boxing mind would have dared to say such a thing about a German heavyweight. But times have changed.
This Saturday, the Magdeburg SES team is organizing the first fight evening in Germany since the corona pandemic started with spectators. 1000 people can follow the events in the ring on the floating stage in Magdeburg. They will sit at a distance from each other, on the way to the square they have to wear a mask, which they can put down again. They won’t be chasing the biggest names in current boxing; Dominic Bösel, the SES light heavyweight world champion, will not compete, for example. But it will be seen how the heavyweight, which had sunk into insignificance in Germany, is gaining new strength.
The main fight will be contested by 27-year-old Agit Kabayel, who is already a European champion, who has won against well-known names like the former Klitschko opponent Dereck Chisora, who has an incredible fighting spirit. With the fight against the Greek Evgenios Lazaridis, Kabayel wants to position himself for a World Cup fight. Not everyone in the industry is yet convinced that he has the potential for absolute world leadership – Kabayel is still the heavyweight hope of the present. But the man for the future, many in the scene agree, that could be Peter Kadiru.
The 23-year-old from Hamburg climbs into the ring for the eighth time as a professional on Saturday, but after a short time it can be seen from his career how German price boxing has changed in recent years. For a long time, the motto here was to quickly drive young people to a spectacular-sounding battle record against nobodies, then add a few catchy stories, and the talent was soon to be the upcoming world champion. Kadiru, on the other hand, chooses a path that does not start breathtaking, but which has more substance for it. Kadiru was among the amateurs youth Olympic champion, he was European champion several times in youth. SES boss Ulf Steinforth and manager Bönte make sure that Kadiru only boxes against men who have a positive battle record – against opponents who have not given up, who still have this self-confidence, which makes boxers dangerous. Opponents who are serious trials. Kadirus’ originally planned opponent for Saturday was short-term, the new, Eugen Buchmüller, won 16 out of 21 fights. He is 16 years older, more experienced, has the eye of age – and yet he is the clear outsider against an athlete like Kadiru. But for him it’s not about winning anyway – it’s about how he wins.
“I still see myself in a phase in which I can learn a lot,” says Kadiru, “especially in the heavyweight division it’s not just about strength. It’s about recognizing situations – and then deciding whether strength is needed or rather a feint. ” Coach Christian Morales praises that Kadiru has a lot to offer, “he is agile, he has fast legs, he can hit hard”. Now he had to work on the “famous ring intelligence”. Morales wants Kadiru to fight, that he doesn’t tackle every lap at high speed, that he learns to calm his appearance. “I always want to see him give me an idea of how to solve a situation.”
With all of these skills, Morales says, “he’ll be ready if the big attack comes at some point.”
All of this sounds like a sensible, almost obvious path. But in the heavyweight division in particular, boxers have been oversold in the past few years, the surrounding area was much more spectacular than the athlete himself. But Kadiru says: “I know that the heavyweight is given special attention. Unfortunately, some of them also make it up by doing it do a big show, are loud. But I believe that I will be noticed even if I work calmly and disciplined on myself. Then a lot will be possible. “
And should he actually make it to the top, this new, calm, confident, but not overbearing tone would perhaps be an even greater legacy than any title won.