It's still a square ring bounded by four elastic ropes, in which you're challenged three times for three minutes without a break.

Still, something has changed for Assan and Ousainou Hansen.

The two 22-year-old Olympic boxers from TG 1875 Darmstadt are no longer considered attackers who challenge others.

Rather, they will be considered established themselves for the first time when they compete at the German elite championships in Rostock this Wednesday - and ideally stay until the finals in all weight classes take place on Saturday.

The new nimbus is due to the fact that four months ago both were able to assert themselves at the German elite championships for 2021 in Heidelberg.

And who should be surprised that the tournament victories in lightweight (Ousainou) and light welterweight (Hassan) were clocked only a few minutes in a row?

After all, perfectly synchronized periods of life have become the rule rather than the exception since identical twins were born at the same hour in Serrekunda, the most populous city in West African Gambia.

The long way to Egelsbach in the district of Offenbach, where at the age of nine they came into the care of a sports-loving security technician at Frankfurt Airport;

two years later the first boxing lessons in the local club;

then the move to Darmstadt and finally the move to Heidelberg to the federal base of the German Boxing Association (DBV): Hassan and Ousainou passed all these stages of a memorable journey together, including the school career, which they completed with the technical diploma.

Double immigration and integration can hardly be more exemplary.

Same look, same style

Who is Hassan, the few minutes older, and who is Ousainou, often not even their coaches could tell right away.

Especially since the style with which they collected national titles as juniors was also similar: two quicksilver movement artists who score and frustrate their opponents according to the classic motto of hit-and-move.

He just likes to box “cheeky”, Assan likes to say, and like his brother Andy Cruz, he cites Gómez as his role model – the three-time world champion and Olympic champion from Cuba, who is currently the measure of all things in lightweight.

It took some time until the almost equally heavy standard outriggers found the right weight classes for them.

They had declared early on that they would not compete against each other at the competitive level.

That's why Ousainou, who is two centimeters shorter, has meanwhile starved himself down to featherweight (up to 57 kilos), while Assan was able to pack on more muscles for lightweight (up to 63 kilos).

The association now has two additional hopeful athletes who are competing with older, established athletes for the starting places for Paris 2024.

What better could happen to him?

"These are two exciting career starts that we are keeping a close eye on," assures DBV sports director Michael Müller on request.

"Above-average talent" could undoubtedly be attested years ago.

Nevertheless, it apparently still took a change to the Heidelberg performance center and to DBV trainer Gunnar Berg for the twins to "get back on track", as Müller put it - after they had already been banned from all performance squads due to stagnating performance and sloppy performances at the boarding school .

Successful at the Cologne Cup

If there should be a reproach in that, it has meanwhile been overtaken.

"Both literally fought for survival afterwards," says an insider - and are now better than ever.

This could not only be observed in the rescheduled title fights in August, but also a month ago at the Cologne Cup, which featured top-class international players.

Assan won bronze, while Ouasinou, who used to be much less likely, even won the final fight against an experienced Asian champion from Mongolia.

The recent form and learning curve is set to be confirmed at the Rostock Championships, where the defending champions are suddenly the hunted.

In the meantime, however, they have reached a level at which the majority of their competitors in the ring can hardly be matched, let alone dominated.

On top of that, critical observers such as sports director Michael Müller now seem "absolutely clear-headed".

Even her repeatedly stated ambition to switch to the pro camp one day in the not too distant future hardly seems daring anymore.

That would be the second, double success story about particularly nimble twins who also succeed as champions - like the 32-year-old US professionals Jermall and Jermell Charlo, who currently hold the world titles in light middleweight and middleweight at the same time.

Except that it didn't start in Houston, Texas, but in a small Hessian town.