His fighting name "de Schmied" is a direct hit. Tobias Nixdorf is actually a blacksmith by profession, farrier, to be exact. He has been trained for four and a half years, has made the obligatory welding license, heats the iron at 900 degrees. "Not everyone can do that, it's extremely the bones." A statement that is immediately taken from him. And then he says in passing that his year means 365 working days for him.

On Thursday he had eight appointments in Frankfurt: shoeing horses, from farm to farm; Business trips of a self-employed person. Sounds like a man who is busy. Mistake, after work, the 28-year-old is a competitive athlete, a passionate boxer, "I need it!". If you listen to him, you can't avoid the assessment: he burns for his cause. He wants to box "the big names" in his weight class. It is the old and eternally topical story of someone who wants to fight his way to the top.

This Saturday, his opponent is Bojan Veljkovic, who will face him at the professional boxing evening in the Offenbach Stadthalle. He looks "like a bus driver," according to Nixdorf's assessment, because he doesn't come across as particularly athletic. Because Nixdorf hopes, indeed relies on "resistance" on the other side. To show the world that he is a middleweight who can be trusted. It is his third public appearance after debuting in 2019, the third chance for a boxer with a past as a Thai boxer in more than 200 fights.

Thai boxing as a "breadless art"

Even though it was adorned with a European Championship title in 2015, this martial art proved to be a "breadless art". Walter Sternad, who ran a gym in Liederbach, which was not given the name "hell" by chance, took the then 17-year-old under his wing. Sternad only allowed boxing to be considered a "true" martial art and his word still applies today. "Walter would have said" has been a saying since Sternad died five weeks ago.

Nixdorf has had to reorient itself. Away from the father-son relationship, towards Arber Bellegu, the trainer with an impressive vita as a martial artist and promoter. In the Kelkheim gym "Time out", the duo went through the last claw training before the emergency on Monday. A couple of times a "nice" from Bellegu can be heard in the middle of the percussion combinations, which sounds so convincing as if Nixdorf had delivered a masterpiece. In the end, an athlete struggling to breathe stammers "thank you" loud and clear. A praise of drudgery.

The mere appearance: The condition is enough for twelve rounds, but for the ninth of 13 duels in Offenbach, just four rounds are planned. This is the prelude to long fight evenings, at the end of which the star enters the scene at the supposed climax. In Offenbach, it is "Rocky" Luca Antonio Cinqueoncie who is at home there. Then it's about the Junior World Championship in the light heavyweight division of the IBO and IBF associations. The stage name ("No Mercy") of the opponent Joseph Maigwisya from Tanzania promises no mercy.

Before that, among others, prize boxers who have opted for borrowings from the animal world will appear: one enters the ring as "Cobra", one as "Bear from the Palatinate", another as "Doberman", followed by the "Lion from the Palatinate". Tobias Nixdorf, as the Hessian "de Schmied", is extremely down-to-earth. That's just the way he is, the fighter from Liederbach. At home he grew up with dogs, cats, lizards, iguanas and parrots, so it should be "something with animals" professionally.

So farrier, one of 3500 in this country, but on top of that also boxer? A hyperactive one. "I need this" is the lasting insight of the man, who looks ascetic with his 72.5 kilograms, spread over 183 centimeters. "He sometimes wants too much," says his coach. Heart and will are his basis, but the aggressiveness in the ring is strength and weakness at the same time. That's when he stops being a boxer. "He may be right," the addressee reacts after a short pause for thought.

In the "Time out", the eyes of the training group that trains the variant of the martial art K-1 there go again and again to the boxer, who gets his test on Sunday night. He can rely on his fans. 300 of them bought tickets for Offenbach from him. What happens there will be livestreamed via DAZN. At the last DAZN boxing broadcast, co-organizer Rainer Gottwald emphasizes it again and again, 20 million viewers worldwide were there. Millions! From this number emanates an unprecedented magic. For a few minutes, at best a quarter of an hour net, Tobias Nixdorf from Liederbach is part of the party as the blacksmith of his fortune.