"RTL CELEBRITY BOXING 2002": Up to 7 million viewers were on the edge of their seats
It was the TV boxing event of the year: The BRAINPOOL production "RTL Promi-Boxen" ("RTL Celebrity Boxing") kept an audience of as many as 7 million sports enthusiasts ages 3 years and over glued to their television sets on Saturday evening, October 26. The average audience share was 5.28 million among viewers 3 years and up (a market share of 19.9%). In the target group of 14-49-year-olds, a whopping 27.3 % tuned in for the three matches (3.2 million viewers aged 14-49).
The atmosphere was bombastic on Saturday evening in the Cologne Coloneum, where every last seat had been sold. The 2000 boxing fans did not want to miss “RTL Celebrity Boxing 2002” under any circumstances. The audience greeted the first boxing match with thunderous applause: a middleweight match between Ralf Richter (a.k.a. "Hippie-Killer") and Joey Kelly (alias "Ironman"). The fight consisted of five rounds of 2 minutes each. By the end of the last round, a victor had been determined: "Ironman" Joey Kelly, who boxed wearing a green kilt, won by a close decision. “I went to the doctor at 4:00 that afternoon because I had severe stomach problems,” said Kelly, “so I’m that much more thrilled that I ended up winning the fight!”
The second fight, a heavyweight match between Claude-Oliver Rudolph ("Bad Boy") and Pierre Geisensetter ("Brown Sugar") finished early due to a technical knockout. Rudolph’s trainer, Dariusz Michalczewski, threw in the towel after 59 seconds in the fourth round: A victory for Geisensetter. Claude-Oliver Rudolph said later: "I’m feeling ok. I never thought that he could knock me out like that. He’s a good man!”
In contrast, the women’s match, between Michaela Schaffrath (a.k.a "Wild Thing") and Doro Pesch (alias "Metal-Queen), was very well-balanced. Despite Michaela Schaffrath’s advantage in training, the 1.60 meter tall powerhouse achieved only a narrow victory over her opponent, an enthusiastic Thai boxer. Schaffrath said afterwards: "I wanted to prove that women can also go into this kind of fight with a lot of power. And I also want to extend a big compliment to Doro for taking Samantha Fox’s place on such short notice." Commentator and former heavyweight boxer Axel Schulz summed up the event as follows: "All three matches were great advertising for the sport of boxing.”
RTL sports reporter Kai Ebel hosted the "RTL Celebrity Boxing 2002" telecast. The six boxers were introduced by legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer.