(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
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
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
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
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.