Vasili Jirov Interview: Jirov-Toney 2 is Headed For Moscow!
14.03.07 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: Ever since April 26, 2003, and ever since the final bell of the 12th round of the first bout between legendary fighter James Toney, and one of my personal favorite boxers, Vasili Jirov, I as well as many fans have been clamoring for a well deserved rematch. It wasn’t the score of the bout, the defeats and victories both men met with after the memorable first scrap, but rather that icy cold, Star Wars episode one Qui Gon vs Darth Maul separated by the force shield, we ain’t done with each other stare that neither James nor Vasili turned away from before they continued on with their boxing careers.
Article posted on 15.03.2007
As of today, it has come to our attention that round thirteen of this 2003 fight of the year, and one of the few bouts in recent history to earn the name “throwback,” might finally take place this September. Although negotiations have just gotten under way and much is still to be decided, the relevance is that even the prospect of the bout should still bear significance for the sport as well as boxing history.
The following is a quick interview I conducted with “Tiger” Jirov just a few hours ago regarding the potential brawl.
ESB: Hey Vasili! What’s new in your life?
Jirov: Hey! All’s well thanks. I’m on my way to Vegas to train with Thell Torrence. He lives there so I am constantly traveling there to train. 3 weeks there, then home, then back to Vegas.
ESB: Well, I won’t beat around the bush. I woke up today to see that which I am calling about. What do you know about your potential rematch against James Toney in Moscow?
Jirov: Right now, not a lot because the negotiations just got under way. My manager is talking with Toney and his people. So right now there is no real big or concrete news regarding the fight. The contracts aren’t signed but the process is under way.
ESB: Do you know anything about the fight being shown on American TV?
Jirov: Yeah, that is one of the main points that will be negotiated with a few different companies. Of course we are hoping to see it on PPV, HBO or Showtime, and are trying to find a company that will agree to air it.
ESB: Who will help with the PR in Russia?
Jirov: No we just started discussing that. My representatives have connections in Russia and Moscow and it would be better to call them. I’ll give you my lawyer’s and representative’s #, her name is Anna, and maybe you can find out a bit more about the details.
ESB: If the fight is agreed to and will happen in September, when do you plan to start the main portion of training, you know camp, sparring?
Jirov: Well I mean I am already training, I am driving to Vegas now, and the prep is constant so I have never even stopped training. So technically I have already started. We aren’t sparring seriously yet, but for instance, last week I was working with a few guys in the gym, but they were just helping it wasn’t full or real sparring. It might be better to speak to Thell cause he might give you more info regarding that. Right now not much is known except that the fight will probably happen. When exactly I am not sure but I am constantly training so I can be ready at a moment’s notice.
ESB: What do you weigh currently? Do you weigh yourself often?
Jirov: Yeah, I weigh exactly 200 pounds.
ESB: 200?! That is an excellent weight for you.
Jirov: Yeah, for right now it’s a good weight.
ESB: So, the fight will probably be in the heavyweight division? I doubt Toney can drop that much weight that it happens at Cruiser.
Jirov: Yeah, probably at Heavy cause it will be too hard for Toney to drop the weight.
ESB: Do you have a message for Toney?
Jirov: Well not much to say now. I am getting ready for the fight and I will do the work and that is it. I already fought him so I know who he is and all that is left is to finish the job and end his career.
ESB: (laughing) End his career?
Jirov: Well maybe not, I mean if he wants let him continue boxing.
ESB: (laughing) Understood. How are the kids, the wife? Did your kids start school already?
Jirov: They are all healthy and happy, thanks for asking. Yea my oldest, Jacob, 5, is starting pre-school, and my second, Nicholas will start next year. So time flies, the kids grow, so we just gotta live on and continue being fulfilled by the families we have.
ESB: I agree. Well, I will let you go then. I am very happy that this fight will happen. I woke up today and saw “Jirov Toney 2”and was very glad. So I am very happy for you.
Jirov: Yea we wanted this for a long time. We thought about it, and finally we got the opportunity, so I said, “Please, whenever, I will be ready.” Toney doesn’t have too many good options, and not many people will want to fight him. Yea he is a legend and all but he is still boxing and if he is still getting in the ring he still needs to be a fighter.
ESB: I agree. Listen again I am very happy that it is you in particular who will fight Toney, and I hope the bout takes place and that you win.
Jirov: Thank You, I really want this too. It will be interesting. Later.
I want to thank Vasili for giving us a brief rundown on this developing current event, and hopefully the fight does happen.
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