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Luan Krasniqi
Luan Krasniqi was born on 10 May 1971 as the youngest of eight children from Kosovo-Albanian parents. Enjoying a happy and active childhood, Luan grew up in Junik, where in 1987 he finished his primary and secondary school, before his family moved to Rottweil in Germany: "My childhood was good," recalls Luan. "But when I learned that we would be rejoining my father who had moved to Rottweil in 1970 I was overjoyed. I had dreamt about a move to the city and now it was coming true!" Luan graduated in Germany his A-Level and an education as a wholesaler. His boxing-career began at the local BSV Rottweil, where met Theo Kerekesch, a boxing trainer of high regard.

Spotting talent and kinship within each other, hard work developed Luan into a solid, well schooled heavyweight. Once Luan had been granted German citizenship, he entered the Multi-Nations Tournament in Liverpool (UK) and won the gold medal. He consolidated the success with a gold medal later that year at the German Championships, Berlin. 1995 saw Luan storming the World Championships, Berlin, by taking the silver medal - losing only to the vastly experienced Cuban great, Félix Savón. Luan ended the year on a roll, taking the Heavyweight Gold in the International Chemie Cup Tournament, Halle. After three years of triumphs at the Olympic Games he reached a semi-final bout with Félix Savón in Atlanta, 1996.

Luan, cut under the eye in his last bout, was forced to withdraw upon doctors advice. This left him unable to fight for an Olympic Gold Medal. He returned home with the Bronze medal, Germany's first heavyweight medal since 1976. Luan was understandably disappointed at losing his chance to avenge his previous loss to Savón. "I felt that I could have beaten him. He had out-pointed me the previous year but I had grown stronger and developed further since then. I am sure that the fight would have been close but I think that this time, I would have celebrated." However, Luan has many memories to savour from Atlanta - one of which was a meeting with his idol, Muhammad Ali. "Muhammad Ali was and still is an idol. Nobody can ever achieve what he achieved. Such a thing is a once in a lifetime phenomenon."

Luan Krasniqi

"To shine so long and so brightly, to define eras in history with the sheer force of his ability and personality and to be so well remembered is unique. Meeting him was an honour I shall never forget." Luan took his first steps to his own fame as he decided to become famous and to get in at Panix Promotions, where Lennox Lewis has his contract.

Luan won his first fight (with Harry Senior, 02.09.97) with half a point projection. In order to improve his training he was invited to Lennox Lewis in Big Bear Lake, where he was training for the fight against Gołota. Luan showed that he could resist the pressure of sparring with Lewis. Since then, he has been to Big Bear Lake three times.

During Lewis' training for the fights against Briggs, Mavrović and Holyfield he was one of his sparring partners. Luan overcame with success the first hurdles of his career as a "newcomer" in professional boxing. He boxed successfully for Panix Promotion 15 times and in 2000 after Lennox Lewis had terminated his contract, Luan decided to look for a new alternative. In February and April 2000 he built his connections with Universum Box-Promotion and fought a number of matches for them. In January 2001 he signed a three years long contract with Universum Box-Promotion.

The highlight of his career was the fight against Rene Monse, when he became European Champion. He was the first German European Champion after 29 years.

A half year later Krasniqi lost his belt in a fight against Przemysław Saleta. The man from Rottweil was prepared for eight rounds. But after an injury of Vitali Klitschko, his fight was pushed to the main event. So Krasniqi had just four weeks of preperation and had to risk his title. Mainly due to this lack of preparation, although leading by points, Krasniqi had a bout of weakness and had to stop at the beginning of round nine.

After this defeat he didn't let go and began to fight back to the top of the European rankings. Finally at the 14/02/04 he celebrated the victory over his stablemate Sinan Samil Sam and took "his" European Champion belt back home.
2005 brought Krasniqi to the top of the heavyweight competition after he knocked out highly-regarded Lance Whitaker and became a mandatory challenger for the WBO crown. The title boot against Lamon Brewster was a brutal slugfest. While clearly leading on all scorecards, Krasniqi went into the punch-exchange and got knocked down & out in round 9. It was a dissapointing loss to all German fans, since the resurrection of a new German heavyweight champion was highly anticipated to occur on Max Schmeling's 100th birthday
During all his career, Luan Krasniqi has had a loyal following of his Albanian compatriots from all over the world and has become an object of pride and sport hero for them.

 


       • Ali Pasha (1744 - 1822)
       • Zog
       • Ismail Kadare
       • Lek Dukagjini
       • Scanderbeg
       • Luan Krasniqi
       • Ismail Qemali
       • Mother Teresa


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