The ‘Gypsy King’ is finally returning to the ring this weekend against Sefer Seferi, live and exclusive on BT Sport, following almost a three-year hiatus.
So ahead of the eagerly awaited return of the former Lineal heavyweight champion BBN dug up some interesting facts about the visiting fighter he will oppose from Switzerland – Sefer Seferi:
1 Born on March 5th 1979 in Gostivar, Macedonia, Sefer is currently 39-years-old
2 Despite being born in Macedonia and presently residing in Switzerland, he classes his nationality as Albanian
3 Seferi’s family were forced to flee to Switzerland to escape the war in Yugoslavia, now known as Serbia and Montenegro
4 Sefer’s older brother Nuri, 41, is also a successful boxer, having won the WBO European cruiserweight title in 2010, which he held for over four-and-a-half years until dethroned by future world champion Krzysztof Glowacki in 2015.
5 Sefer and Nuri were both honoured by Gostivar’s Mayor Rufi Osmani in December 2011, becoming honorary citizens of their hometown
6 His alias is ‘The Real Deal’, exactly the same as Evander Holyfield, who many rate as the greatest cruiserweight in boxing history
7 Sefer and Nuri both took up boxing to integrate into the new country they called home when they first moved to Switzerland as refugees. They initially trained as wrestlers, following in the footsteps of their grandad who was once a professional wrestler. They trained under the guidance of Sandor Konya at a local gym in Burgdorf and with legendary Swiss martial artist and kickboxer Andy Hug as well.
8 As an amateur, he won 37 from 40 amateur bouts and was a three-time Swiss heavyweight champion
9 Sefer’s debut was at cruiserweight in May 2007 in the tourist town of Kirchberg in Switzerland. The 28-year-old debutant knocked out Slovakian Anton Lascek in the fourth-round
10 He went on to reach 21 fights unbeaten with an impressive 19 knockouts until his perfect record was ruined by Manuel Charr in September 2017 in Germany when stepping up to heavyweight for the first time. Seferi missed out on the WBA International heavyweight title that was on the line when he lost via unanimous decision to Charr, who went on to win the WBA World heavyweight title in his next fight, which he defends for the first time against Fres Oquendo this September.
11 His last five opponents’ records combined equals: 147-61-3
12 The Albanian has competed in Switzerland; Macedonia; Kosovo; Austria; and Germany, but his forthcoming fight with Fury will be his first in the UK
13 Sefer has won just one title in the pro ranks – the fringe WBF Inter-Continental cruiserweight title, which he won in his 11th bout via a second-round stoppage in 2010. He regained the very same title almost six years later in 2016 with another second-round stoppage and defended it one year on with a fifth-round KO.
14 In preparation for this fight, he has sparred rounds with IBF, WBC and WBO Youth cruiserweight titlist Agron Dzila (24-1-1) and former David Haye victim Arnold Gjergjaj (30-2). Sefer has referred to his upcoming opponent, Tyson Fury, as his ‘idol’ and also called him ‘a bear’ and ‘a boxing legend of the 21st century’.
15 Seferi and his brother are both managed by Erol Ceylan, who also has Christian Hammer on his books, who Fury defeated in February 2015 at the O2 Arena in London to retain his WBO International heavyweight title
Nickname: The Real Deal
Height: 5ft 11in
KO Ratio: 88%
Nickname: The Gypsy King
Height: 6ft 9in
KO Ratio: 72%