Micki Nielsen won’t have many secrets when he fights Johnny Muller in the “Super Four” tournament at Emperors Palace next month.
The young Dane, just 23, is unbeaten and is the bookmakers’ favourite to win the inaugural title.
But canny trainer Harold Volbrecht, who has watched him from ringside, has spotted a few flaws.
“He isn’t a big puncher, but he’s very fit. When he starts off he’s a counter-puncher, like 90 percent of southpaws,” explained Volbrecht, himself a former left-handed fighter.
“When he needs to, he can put the pressure on to take chances, but that’s when Johnny can pounce. Nielsen makes mistakes and Johnny is conditioned to expose such mistakes. Also, Johnny is a bigger puncher; I believe he can beat him.”
In a curious twist, Roberto Bolonti, the other foreigner involved in the “Super Four”, will train at Volbrecht’s gym ahead of his fight with Kevin Lerena. Nielsen will be utilising Colin Nathan’s gym in Johannesburg.
Volbrecht concedes that Muller will have to alter a few things technically if he has designs on the cruiserweight trophy, particularly after slipping up against Lerena in April.
“Johnny was powder-puffing too much,” said Volbrecht. “It was a bad habit that should not have been, especially after sparring for years against Tommy Oosthuizen. He just stepped into Kevin’s left hand, and paid for it.”
Muller has received excellent sparring against unbeaten super-middleweight prospect Patrick Mukala and also Friston Kabamba, who features on the undercard.
“This is a big chance for Johnny to get back to business,” said Volbrecht. “He’s always up for a fight, but he needs to get himself into a position to win. Johnny can beat this guy, but he’ll have to be switched on all night. It’s really up to him.”