The minute's silence was not a good idea after all. The ring bell struck ten times in memory of boxing trainer Walter Sternad, who died a few weeks ago. The audience in the Offenbach town hall had risen from their seats. Sternad was the one to whom Tobias Nixdorf had once confided; the one who wanted to turn him, the martial artist from Liederbach, into a boxer who was supposed to "attack above".
They wanted to dedicate the victory over Bojan Veljkovic, the man from Serbia who had been signed at short notice, to "our Walter". A so-called build-up opponent for someone like Nixdorf in the early stages of the planned career. The 28-year-old had previously won two duels, victory number three was to serve as an application for appearances on an even larger scale. The statistics showed Veljkovic as a born loser: Out of 23 fights, he had won just two, his fight name "Destroyer" was probably a joke.
Nixdorf as if in a trance
Nixdorf was now in the spotlight. The large screen above the rope square showed a fighter who was obviously struggling to keep his composure, overwhelmed by memory, as if overwhelmed by the force of the moment. Holger Jung, his coach in the ring, had put his arm around Nixdorf's shoulder and felt "Tobias trembling" as the bell rang for the third time. It did seven more strokes, but it seemed to Jung as if it had been a hundred, a sheer eternity.
Then he suspected that the bond between him and his boxer was "broken", the athlete could no longer be reached. With the first chime of the gong, the "destroyer" rushed towards Nixdorf. After a body hit, he dropped his fists. A rookie mistake, which the Serb punished with a blow to the head. Nixdorf fell on the ring floor, was counted, got back on his feet, but he moved as if in a trance. The opponent followed up with a blow that created facts: knocked out after 50 seconds.
The story, which the ring announcer had saved for the interview after the fight, remained untold. Then the worldwide clientele would have learned via livestream that there was a farrier in the flesh boxing who had shod horses with horseshoes on Friday. After the severe concussion diagnosed by the ring doctor, a protective ban for the middleweight by the Federation of German Professional Boxers takes effect for several months. Nixdorf has been transported to the Sana Clinic in Offenbach. There followed the "full program" of examinations before he was allowed to go home. The dream of an appointment in the shop window of the World Wide Web turned into a nightmare in reality.
Apart from Nixdorf, the favourites win
What's next? An early rematch is being discussed. Nixdorf's case is cited as evidence of the common thesis that "anything can happen" in the ring. But this is not the norm. In Offenbach, the acting strategists, i.e. managers, matchmakers, officials of the professional associations and organizers, had worked out 13 pairings, in which all favorites except Nixdorf escaped unscathed. Frankfurt's super middleweight Serkay Cömert met higher standards in his victory over Poland's Robert Talarek, but above all Leon Bauer from Kandel in the Palatinate.
After a break of three years, he impressed in the fierce battle with the Colombian Hancel Gonzales for ten rounds. It was about the title of a junior world champion in the super middleweight division. Bauer classified his points victory as "pretty good" and at the same time left open a back door to the self-criticism it takes to become "the big boys" in his class.
Offenbach Junior World Champion Luca Antonio Cinqueoncie also wants to go there after defending his light heavyweight world championship belt. Sarah Bormann from Hanau and Yadira Bustillos from Las Vegas showed what work ethic should look like in the ring. After winning the points for the world championship crown in the minimum weight division, the Hanau native remains undefeated in the professional business, but she will continue to be there for her clientele for her career: Behind the sales counter of a baker in Nidderau. As a bread-and-butter profession. The boxing business yields too little.
The majority of the male colleagues at the Offenbach Boxing Night are no different. "What moves us here and in our everyday lives is comparatively unimportant," the organizer duo Rainer Gottwald and Michael Cinqueoncie, father of the junior champion, told the spectators on their way home. The makers had previously made a strong case for the support of the mobile hospice for children with cancer in Offenbach with their appeal for donations, referring to a struggle for survival that cannot be won. A lot of things are put into perspective.
At the auction of two gloves signed by all athletes, around 10,000 euros were raised. Supplemented by the colorful bills in the mobile donation boxes at the hall exit. So on this evening, a sport made sense, in which the question of meaning arose from case to case.