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Nina Meinke talks to WBAN prior to Saturday's bout v Katie Taylor
by Michael O'Neill
photo: Courtesy/Berliner/Kurier
April 26, 2017

(APRIL 26)  On Saturday at the iconic Wembley Stadium home of English football, the main bout is of course the IBF World heavyweight title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and England’s pride and joy, Anthony Joshua so a 90,000 sell-out crowd will watch the show. The WBA and IBO straps also up for grabs.

One of the most intriguing bouts of the night is the Women’s clash between Ireland’s 2012 Olympic Gold medallist and five times AIBA World amateur champion, 30 years old, Katie Taylor and the young German, 23 years old Nina Meinke. We’ve written often about Katie over the years so today let’s concentrate on Nina.

This will be an eliminator for the WBA World Lightweight title on April 29 at Wembley Stadium Connected by EE, and live on Sky Sports Box Office. Here’s what you need to know about the German before Saturday’s fight, as Nina and Team Meinke kindly took ‘ time out’ to ‘talk’ to us:

Q: Nina – where were you born?

NM:“I was born and raised in Berlin-Spandau. For those not in the know, Spandau is a part of Berlin. But for us Spandauer, Berlin is a city near Spandau!

Q: Any of your family, boxers before you?

NM: “My father Christian - everybody calls him Chrille - is since schooldays one of the best friends of Sven Ottke. So boxing was always a part of my life - even before I put the gloves on for the first time.

And with Svennie, the only German Box-Weltmeister who retired undefeated, I had and have a wonderful friend, mentor and idol right from the start”.

Q: I understand a large ‘part ’ of your Education was in Yorkshire, Scarborough to be precise. How did that come about?

NM: “Once upon a time there were an English boy and a German girl. They met for the first time at a boxing ring in Yorkshire ‘cause the girl's school class was there on an excursion to England. Soon after the boy's boxing club visited Spandau. The boy and the girl became more than friends - and the girl asked her parents if she could finish her school education in England. We talk about a family that never shied away from adventures. So the girl followed her heart to a place full of wonderful people. But this is not a fairy-tale. The love went cold. My love for England and the English NEVER will!”

Q: What was your Amateur career like in Germany?

NM:“ It was good but not brilliant. I lost two finals at the German championships - but did I? It's over and that's good.

Q: So how and by whom were you asked to fight Katie?

NM & Team Meinke: “I'm sorry, but Team Meinke never talks about details of the boxing business. I hope you understand this!”

Q: Who’s your Head coach and will he/she be at Wembley?

NM: “ Because I'm not signed to one of the big boxing stables - wink, wink - I train with different coaches. I had the incredible pleasure to learn from the legendary Ulli Wegner. And Sven Ottke helped me a lot. He will be in my corner in Wembley! I just read this answer a second time and got Goosebumps. My heart goes out to everyone who helped me during my career”.

Q: I read that Katie is one of your favourite boxers. Is that so?

NM: “Difficult to answer now, because in a few days we will be trying to knock each other out. Katie is a great boxer who achieved the ultimate goal of every woman in amateur boxing. I followed her career. Let's see if I follow her too close for her comfort on Saturday.”

Q: Will this be your first fight as a pro outside of Germany?

NM: “Did Katie have fights as a pro outside of England? The event itself is an incredible dream coming true. But remember- I know big and noisy events because of Svennie. Plus: I had great years here in England. When the contracts were signed and the news went online I was surprised and absolutely happy by the amount of well-wishers from all over England. Super nice and super fair. Thank You, England!”

Q: Will any family members be in attendance?

NM: ”My father is my Manager - he will be there. Thanks Dad. For me you are already Manager of the year! My boyfriend Serdar Sahin - surprise, he is a boxer - will be there. He is my love, my rock, my motivator. Team Meinke is my extended family. But the signing of the contracts was way too late for friends to buy tickets. Some will come regardless. I know my English friends will find ways to watch me fighting. We often talked about me fighting in England someday. The dream becomes reality!

So there you have it. Some very honest answers from Nina who also been talking to the ‘Yorkshire Post’ to whom she explained :

“It took a while for me to decide whether to take the fight or not, and I decided that if I missed out I’d be disappointed and that it was too big an opportunity to miss out on. She is very powerful, offensive and throws a lot of shots. I watched a few of her fights and I know I don’t want to be standing in front of her for too long. She fought one of my sparring partners, Milena Koleva, in her last fight and that went to points. You never know in boxing, I am coming to put on a good show and we’ll see what happens”.

Katie Taylor meantime has been training in the United States with Ross Enamait as usual and has just arrived in England. She has taken ‘time out’ to discuss the fight with Johnny Watterson in ‘The Irish Times’. Remember, Watterson it was who penned :” Katie Taylor – My Olympic Dream” with the Bray woman. Here’s her view on Saturday’s bout.

“It’s a massive fight for me on a massive night of boxing,” said Taylor. “I’ve only been a professional for five months and already been lucky enough to box on some huge events but Wembley Stadium on the Joshua - Klitschko card is going to be something else again.

I’ve watched Meinke and she’s a very strong opponent. She’s unbeaten so it’s a step up for me and I’m sure she’ll be very confident. It’s obviously a massive opportunity for both of us being a world title eliminator and it’s my first scheduled 10 round fight so I’m relishing the challenge”.

The big night’s fights will be shown on TV and via Live Streaming in the United Kingdom & Ireland on “Sky Sports Box Office” and via ShowTime in the U.S. Other countries too. Promoter once again is Matchroom boxing whose Eddie Hearn had this to say about the Meinke v Taylor battle royal.

"This is a huge step up for Katie on a massive night of boxing.

No disrespect to her previous opponents but Meinke is on another level and has operated and been victorious on the big stage.

In just four fights, Katie has established herself as the most exciting female fighter on the planet but now we get the chance to see if she is ready for the World stage."

So there you have it the views of the two boxers and their teams as well as Matchroom. Should be a night to remember for both and may the best woman win on the night. We’ll bring you all the news from Wembley at the weekend.

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