Exclusive Interview With Wladimir Klitschko
15.03.07 - By James Slater: The world is in agreement right now when it comes to who the best heavyweight is today. That man is ďDr. Steel Hammer,Ē Wladimir Klitschko. Fresh of his quick destruction of Ray Austin at the weekend, Wladimir very kindly gave this writer an interview over the phone from his headquarters in Germany. Here is what the thirty year old big man had to say.
Article posted on 15.03.2007
James Slater: Firstly, Wladimir, I want to thank you for speaking to me. Congratulations on the quick win on Saturday. Did you always think youíd get a quick KO?
Wladimir Klitschko: What happened, happened. I just felt very motivated after all the hot air that came from Austin. All the stuff about my chin, my balls, my heart. I was well prepared and looking forward very much to getting in the ring to make a short process with Austin. I never plan any round , when itís going to happen, I just look for the opportunity (to get the KO) and thatís what I do in every fight and when I see it I take it.
J.S: Your left hook was great. Why did you concentrate so much on the left and not use the right at all?
Wladimir Klitschko: Because the left worked on Austin (laughs) I didnít need to use my right hand.
J.S: Have you been working on the left hand with Emanuel Steward?
Wladimir Klitschko: You know what, not particularly. From each fight, and with each opponent it is every time different. It depends on position, of the opponent and by the movements he does and by his style. So the left hook was just there (in the Austin fight) I didnít even think about it. It depends on the night, if you see it, you throw it.
J.S: I must say, itís quite rare for a guy to win a heavyweight title fight with only one hand. Do you feel as though youíre at your peak now Wladimir?
Wladimir Klitschko: No, No, No. Thatís still very far away. I just want to tell you that, Iím not at my peak yet. Iím on my way, but thereís a lot of work to accomplish yet. Especially Iím looking forward to getting a unification fight. Last year I was working very hard on it (a unification) but thanks to Don King, who was throwing so much hot air, it never came. There are many politicians in the sport of boxing, so you have to get a deal. But I believe the most effective of all the other champions (at getting good negotiations) is Nikolai Valuev. He has two promoters. Itís not easy to handle two promoters, he has his German promoter and he has Don King, so it is a very difficult job. Anyway, I hope we can make the fight. Enough of talking,
letís get it!
J.S: Youíd be very confident going in with Valuev?
Wladimir Klitschko: Oh, yes. Iím looking forward to getting that fight. His height is not really a problem. Yes, heís an unorthodox fighter and heís the biggest dude in history! (laughs). Can you imagine how difficult it is finding sparring partners for a fight with him? Itís impossible. So that can be difficult. And itís also not going to be easy fighting him because of his body size. But there are other things that make such a big guy weak. I donít want to talk about those things because I want to use them in the ring. But I respect Valuev, he has never lost a fight. He is a champion and I do respect Nikolai for everything he has accomplished.
J.S: Do you think he is the toughest fight out there for you right now?
Wladimir Klitschko: Hmm, I canít tell you right now if heís the toughest guy or not. You only recognize that in the ring when you fight a guy. But I think Nikolai is one of the strongest men fighting. Heís unorthodox too, because he is undefeated. I definitely think he is more attractive (to fight) than the other champions.
J.S: Is there anyone else in particular youíd like to fight? I know Shannon Briggs has called you out.
Wladimir Klitschko: Pretty soon I will come up with a name. But I donít want toÖer Ö Well, letís put it this way, Iím looking forward to unifying the titles. If itís Valuev, Briggs or Maskaev, it doesnít matter to me who the champions are. But will I get it? ( a unification) Itís all about negotiations. But if thatís not the case weíll see whatís coming up next. I want to stay active, I donít want to take a long break and wait for the results of Valuevís next fight and Briggís next fight and what happens with Maskaev. It doesnít make sense for me to wait. I may take a chance, Iíll see whoís my next one (opponent).
J.S: So you want to fight again in the next three to four months?
Wladimir Klitschko: Yes, yes. Thatís what Iím looking forward to.
J.S: Can I just talk to you about your big Brother. Do you think Vitaliís decision to come back is a good one?
Wladimir Klitschko: Obviously, first of all itís important to me the health of my brother. He feels ready to fight now and heís healthy and thatís what Iím happy about. Of course, Vitali is the only one guy who I donít want to fight, this is my brother. Heís stronger than me (laughs). We will see how the negotiations go regarding the Maskaev fight. Hopefully the situation with (Sam) Peter will be finished soon and weíll have a result. But Iím happy about his comeback because we were talking so much about our dream of us both being heavyweight champion at the same time. Vitali is thirty-five now, he retired as champion, he didnít retire because he lost a fight. He feels healthy ad ready to fight again now, so if we have a chance to
accomplish our goal it makes me happy.
J.S: It would be great to see you both make history that way. When you two spar, who has the edge?
Wladimir Klitschko: Oh, listen. I was always behind. Iím five years younger so I didnít really have a chance (laughs). As I was saying, I donít ever want to fight my brother in the ring, itís the wrong place to find out whoís the stronger one (laughs). But definitely heís the stronger one.
J.S: Well, I really want to thank you for your time Wladimir. My last question though, is where would you like to be placed in history. Other than you both being champions at the same time, how would you like to be placed in history?
Wladimir Klitschko: Oh, thatís a big question. You know what, I donít really want to take such a heavy thought in my mind. I believe Iím not so far in my career at thirty years old. Iím just getting in my prime time after ten years of experience. I see a lot more now than before. Iíve never really thought about history. Thatís your work guys. I just worry about my performances,
anything else I have no time for it.
J.S: Thank you once again and I wish you the best with the rest of your career.
Wladimir Klitschko: Thank you very much and all the best to you. Bye now.
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