The country of Belgium has been well known for years for producing talent in soccer. Boxing has taken a backseat for the most part. There have been contenders over the years but few have made significant advances toward competing for a world championship. This drought may be coming to an end for the country by way of world ranked and current European champion Yves Ngabu. He is unbeaten at 19-0, 14 KOs and has a crowd-pleasing style.
Ngabu will get his opportunity to show his class when he squares off against world ranked Micki Nielsen (25-1, 15 KOs) of Denmark on February 16 at the Sporthal Schiervelde in Roeselare, Belgium. A U.S. network has actually inquired with Team Ngabu about airing the bout.
Nielsen is a stern test for Ngabu who will have the support of the locals behind him. Knowing the magnitude of this fight, Ngabu is training in the United Kingdom to get maximum preparation. A win for Ngabu puts him a step closer to a world title opportunity and hopes of becoming Belgium’s first world champion.
Belgium is more known for soccer. What led you to boxing?
When I was 15 years old, a friend took me to boxing training and I immediately knew that it was something I wanted to continue to do. The trainer even told me that I was talented so I kept on training.
What was the extent of your amateur career?
Before I started boxing I was playing soccer like many young guys in Belgium do. For a long period, boxing was my second passion. Once I knew that I could be successful in boxing, it became my first passion. As an amateur, I had only 36 fights, 31 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses.
Where are you training for your current fight and with whom are you training?
I have started training camp in Sheffield at the Brendan Ingle gym. My trainer is Dominic Ingle, trainer of many high profile fighters.
Why did you decide train away for home for this fight?
In order to become the best, you have to train with the best. The UK has a very professional boxing climate with lots of elite fighters. In our gym, I am surrounded with Billy Joe Saunders, Kid Galahad, Liam Williams, Jason Quigley, Jake Ball just to name a few. This is the place where I belong and I am confident that Dominic can bring my game to the next level.
What do you know about your opponent Mickey Nielsen?
I know Nielsen very good. He is someone I wanted to fight for quite some time ago. He is a good fighter and I respect him but in order to become world champion I need to pass by him, which I will do!
Giving your styles what type of fight should fans expect?
The fight is a must-win fight for both of us so fireworks guaranteed. I know Nielsen will bring his best game and so will I. The fans can expect a hard, action-packed fight.
The fight venue is reportedly minutes from your home. What kind of crowd are you expecting to come out and support you?
I love fighting in my hometown, Roeselare. I just love that place and I am extremely proud to fight in front of my family, friends and many fans.
Any pressure fighting at home?
For now, I am only focussed on Nielsen and come fight night it will be just me and him in the ring. To me, that’s all that matters. I don’t feel any pressure to fight at home. In the ring, it’s only me and my opponent.
What are your thoughts on the current top fighters at cruiserweight?
In the cruiserweight division, the P4P champ is Usyk. He is above all other guys, to be honest. I have watched many of his fights and even went to see him fight in Manchester vs Tony Bellew. He is a phenomenal fighter! Next guys in line are, Gassiev, Briedis, Dorticos, and Tabiti. Tabiti I recently sparred when I visited Las Vegas in order to prepare for Noel Gevor, another fight that was canceled. It’s a division with lots of tough and high profile fighters and soon the people will remember my name as well.
‘How would you describe your style of fighting?
I am a fighter who likes to come forward and put pressure but I possess much more tools. With my new trainer, I am sure that we will be able to sharpen all those tools. Once the fight is over you can decide what type of fighter I am.
A victory over Nielsen would put you closer to a world championship opportunity. What would it mean to yourself and Belgium if you were to become their first male world champion?
Words can not even describe my feelings only thinking about me fighting for a world title in Belgium. Thats my ultimate dream. Right now my focus is 100% on Nielsen. This is the only fight I am focussed on. All the rest is for later.