28.05.05 – By F.Weber - Boxing.de - Luan Krasniqi passed his most important test and scored the biggest win of his professional boxing career. In front of 5,000 enthusiastic fans at Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle of Stuttgart the 34-year-old heavyweight top-contender knocked out American Lance Whitaker in round six with a left cross to the head.
As the contest was declared as an official WBO eliminator, Krasniqi has now earned a world title shot at champion Lamon Brewster, a contest that will take place this year. Universum Box-Promotion already has an eye on the huge Color Line Arena of Hamburg and on September 28 as possible a date and site. September 28 was the birthday of German boxing hero Max Schmeling who passed away this year at age 99.
"I met Schmeling in 2002 and promised him to win the heavyweight world title for Germany", Krasniqi said after his biggest win so far. "Unfortunately I wasn't fast enough to accomplish this during his lifetime. Now I hope that I can challenge for the title later this year."
Expectations were high on Krasniqi when he entered the ring in front of his home croud in Stuttgart, a city close to his smaller hometown Rottweil, but he outboxed his ten centimeter taller and 13 kg heavier opponent Whitaker from the beginning and systematically worked out the chance for the knockout punch.
"I fought a very smart fight", Krasniqi said. "I used my feet and reflexes and I quickly moved in and out. I also used my jab all the time and listened to the commands of my coach Torsten Schmitz. Everything worked out well and this makes me so happy. Now I'm ready for the showdown and I want to fight Lamon Brewster for the world title."
"I trained very hard and my team gave me a lot of support. But it just showed that Luan was the better man tonight. I have no excuses", Whitaker admitted honestly.
Krasniqi won for the 28th time in a career that saw him losing only once with another fight resulting in draw. Earlier in his career Krasniqi already avenged his single loss to Przemyslaw Saleta in convincing manner.
His defeat to Krasniqi was the third loss for Lance “Mount” Whitaker who remained on the canvas flat on his back for almost a minute after the German knocked him out.
In the days preceeding the event the athmosphere was tense. Team Whitaker and their highly provocative speaker Steve “Crocodile” Fitch predicted on every possible location that the American would knock out the German in three rounds. At the official weigh-in on the previous day in Stuttgart the tension erupted into a riot on the podium. Krasniqi, however, handled all those psychological gibes very composed.
His upcoming opponent Lamon Brewster won the WBO belt on April 10, 2004, with an unexpected and sensational fifth round knockout over Wladimir Klitschko. Since then he defended his title twice: Against Australian Kali Meehan by a split decision and against Polish Andrew Golota with a first round knockout.
Should Krasniqi manage to defeat Brewster he would become the only heavyweight world champion from Germany beside Max Schmeling (1905 – 2005). The experts will probably give Krasniqi solid chances to succeed.