Back on Top
Dejan Zavec became the new WBO Intercontinental Welterweight champion after beating Namibian, Bethuel Uushona, by unanimous decision in front of 4,000 ecstatic fans in Maribor, not far from Zavec’s hometown of Ptuj.
“Being back in Maribor is the best birthday present. I promise that I will do my best to return to the top,” said Zavec, 36, to the fans right after claiming the title. ”It might have looked easy but Uushona is a very unpredictable fighter. There were few clean punches and I had to be very patient for the whole 12 rounds,” Zavec later told reporters. The Namibian was knocked down in the 11th round but was soon back on his feet.
Zavec had a brilliant career until losing against Andre Berto last year. Until then, he had won 30 from 32 fights. In December 2009 he became the IBF world champion and defended the title three times. The highlight of his career was probably fighting in front of 12,000 people at the Stožice hall. This was followed by his first fight in the USA which Zavec had long been hoping for, but he lost due to an injury. Beating Uushona could signal the beginning of a new campaign for the top. ”My goal is to be world champion again. Anything else is not an option,” said Zavec, who has no retirement plans. “The more I practice, the more it seems that the laws of nature don’t really apply to me”, he said smiling. The timing of the next world championship fight is not yet known. “Psychologically, Dejan is back on his feet. He will probably have to defend the title once more and then we might fight for the world title again. I cannot tell you when but it should happen within a year”, said Zavec’s manager, Ulf Steinforth.