Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Predator to prowl Sweden

WBC champ Gerula will defend her title in Stockholm next month

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Olivia (The Predator) Gerula is on the prowl and ready to pounce on her next victim.

Gerula (13-10-2, 3KO), Winnipeg's WBC women's world super featherweight champion, announced Tuesday she will fight on Nov. 27 in Stockholm, Sweden in an eight-round bout against Frida (Golden Girl) Wallberg (8-0, 2KO) of Sweden.

It will be Gerula's third title fight in 11 months, as she defended her title in December 2009 in France and last July in Winnipeg, defeating American Brooke Dierdorff.

"I know she's fighting with the country behind her and trying to make her own legacy there, but this WBC title is mine and I don't think she's ever stepped into the ring with someone like me," Gerula said.

"I'm pretty excited about it. Sweden is some place I didn't think I'd be going. Boxing has just opened so many doors for me."

Wallberg is a native of Sweden who will compete in just her third fight after a five-year hiatus. It will be the third fight in two months for Wallberg, who had a 50-fight amateur career.

"I expect her to be extremely skilled," Gerula said, noting Wallberg's resumé includes several amateur titles. "She has been off and she's only had two fights since she's been back and they're putting her up for this title. I've heard from sources who don't think she's ready but I'm okay with that. If she feels she's ready, then let's do this."

The Gerula-Wallberg fight will be part of a 14-fight show called Rumble of the Kings. It will be an historic event of sorts since boxing was banned in Sweden for nearly 40 years until recently. The ban is only lifted for certain events and under strict regulations.

"It's only an eight-round fight, they won't allow a 10-round fight there," Gerula said. The eight rounds will be two minutes each and the female fighters will be required to wear 10-ounce gloves instead of eight-ounce mitts as a safety measure.

"I'm going to be doing more than just defending my title. I'm doing this in part to help push women's boxing forward, bring it to another country and open their eyes to see how fabulous it is."

Gerula has a rematch clause in her contract. If she needs a rematch, it would be a 10-round fight.

Gerula, who will be accompanied by her trainer Mark Collins, said fighting overseas is a thrill for her.

"Some people get sidetracked by being in a different country but I've been doing this a long time. In the last two years, I could pretty much join the (Harlem) Globetrotters, I've been everywhere," she said. "My job is the same, I enter that ring and I do what I do and it doesn't matter where in the world I am."

In July when she beat Dierdorff, it was in front of a large, partisan crowd which brought its own excitement and distractions.

"I looked at my last fight in Winnipeg and it was a different kind of fight for me, a lot more aggressive, even a lot more brawling tactics than skill," said Gerula, who has been back training intensely for a month. "I'm focusing on how I'm going to out-box this woman."

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 20, 2010 C5

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