Alexander Povetkin: ďI donít care when people talk about a regular championship or a super championshipóa world champion is a world champion!Ē
by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - This weekís 139th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio (brought to you by CWH Promotions) featured an exclusive interview with undefeated heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin (21-0, 15 KOs) who is taking on former champion Ruslan Chagaev (27-1-1, 17 KOs) today for the vacant regular WBA title. The fight will be televised by Epix. Here is a complete transcript from that interview:
JENNA J: Well letís move to our second guest of this weekís show and heís also making his debut with ďOn the RopesĒ. He is the number two ranked contender in the WBA heavyweight division. We are joined for the very first time by Alexander Povetkin. Howís everything going today Alexander?
ALEXANDER POVETKIN: Iím feeling fine. Iím feeling pretty well and Iím motivated.
JENNA: Great! Well you have a very big fight coming up this weekend against Ruslan Chagaev for the vacant WBA regular heavyweight title. How do you feel about the matchup?
POVETKIN: Iím really, really happy that this fight is finally taking place and that I have the chance to fight for the world title. I am very motivated. I am really looking forward to Saturday, and yeah Iím excited about the fight!
JENNA: Your opponent Ruslan Chagaev is a former champion of this weight class. What do you think about his accomplishments that heís had in the ring?
POVETKIN: I think he had a great career so far. As you said already he has been a world champion in the professional boxing already. At the end of the day if you were to look at his record, he only lost one fight to Wladimir Klitschko and he was fighting very strong in that fight. He is a very experienced guy and he is willing to win again. I think he has had a great career so far.
JENNA: Okay well Alexander, you work with Teddy Atlas. He is your trainer and Teddy has trained and led a heavyweight to a title before. Iím curious about your working relationship with Teddy, and how itís been these years heading towards this title shot?
POVETKIN: My relationship with Teddy is going very well. We are working together now already for a long time, and we understand each other very good. For example, I always have a translator next to the ring who is helping me to understand Teddy, but I am getting better and better at understanding him without a translator. So yeah, heís working with his full heart on this and me, too. So itís going well.
JENNA: Now what has Teddy Atlas improved in you as a fighter, Alexander?
POVETKIN: I think the most important thing is that Iím much better at defense now. I can defend myself much better and Iím more relaxed during the fight. Iím not that stressed and thatís why Iím going much better through the fight. Iím not getting tired so quick, and also I think he helped me to throw my punches more exact. I can hit the right spots on my opponents now.
JENNA: Well Alexander, weíre also joined on the line by my Co-Host Geoff Ciani.
GEOFFREY CIANI: Hi Alexander. Itís a great pleasure to have you on the show.
POVETKIN: A big hello to all the listeners on the radio. I am very happy that you are interested in boxing and that you are listening to my interview. I am happy that so many people outside are interested in that. So I say hello to everybody and I really appreciate that you are interested in the sport, and I wish more young people would be involved in sports and boxing.
CIANI: I would like to ask you first if you could tell our fans out there a little bit about the experience when you won your Gold Medal in the Olympics?
POVETKIN: I think that the Olympic Games were perfect for me. Everything went so good and smooth. I won all the fights. Unfortunately in the final bout my opponent had pulled out. So it was not the best feeling to miss this final bout. I would have loved to have won that bout, but unfortunately it didnít take place. Anyway I won the Gold Medal and I feel good. Iím proud of it.
CIANI: Now how would winning a heavyweight world title in your upcoming fight against Chagaev compare to that experience of winning the Gold Medal?
POVETKIN: To be honest I cannot compare it now because Iím not a world champion yet. If I win on Saturday then you can ask me this question again and I can tell you exactly.
CIANI: Now when you look at the current heavyweight division, the two champions who are the best well known heavyweights in boxing right now are the two Klitschko brothers. Iím just wondering what your thoughts are on them as champions and the figureheads of the heavyweight division?
POVETKIN: I definitely think that the Klitschko brothers are the strongest boxers at this time. It doesnít matter if somebody is thinking they fight boring or something like that. I think they have very good technique and tactics. They won against everybody the last few years. You never know. If somebody says if they would fight, for example, a Lennox Lewis or a Mike Tyson they wouldnít win. I donít think so. You never know, and at the moment for me they are the strongest opponents and the strongest boxers in the heavyweight division.
JENNA: Well Alexander, speaking of the Klitschkos you were twice scheduled to face Wladimir Klitschko. Iím curious why those two fights never took place, and also what do you think about the criticisms people give you for not facing him at this point?
POVETKIN: Well just to summarize what happened, I mean the first time the bout against Wladimir was shut off I had a very seriously injury with my foot. It was very serious and I needed at least off a year to get well again. I had a lot of pain and was not able to do anything, so thatís why the first time the bout didnít take place. Then I also had a hand injury in between, but for the second fight it was just between my promoters and the Klitschko promoters. They couldnít find an agreement regarding the contract matter. So it had nothing to do with me so far. Actually Iím pretty sure I donít know all the details why it didnít take place and what the real reasons were for not finding an agreement with the contract matters.
JENNA: If you win the WBA regular belt, Wladimir Klitschko will be obligated to fight you at some point. How much would you still want to have that fight?
POVETKIN: I really would like to have the fight, of course! This is my aim and for this time Iím pretty sure that my manager and promoter and the promoter of Klitschko will find an agreement.
JENNA: Alright Alexander, letís talk about the one criticism that this upcoming fight has. Itís going to be for the regular WBA belt. Wladimir Klitschko recently beat David Haye to win the WBA belt and now the WBA has created this vacant belt. Do you feel you will truly be a champion winning this title in that fashion?
POVETKIN: To be honest I donít care when people talk about a regular championship or a super championshipóa world champion is a world champion! To become world champion I have to fight the best fighters in the world, so I mean if I win this title now I will fight the best people and I will improve myself and show everybody that Iím the best. So for me it doesnít matter if itís for the super championship or just the regular championship or whatever. For me itís a world championship, and this is what matters at the end.
CIANI: Changing things up a little bit Alexander, I wanted to get your views on the biggest star in boxing today Manny Pacquiao. What are your thoughts on him as a fighter on what he has accomplished in the sport?
POVETKIN: I never met Manny Pacquiao personally, but I saw a lot of his fights and I think he is a great boxer. I think Pacquiao is making exciting beautiful fights that you want to watch and you want to see. I mean he is a big star in boxing and he is just great.
CIANI: Iíd also like to know when you were coming up in the sport, who were some of the other boxers that you most admired and who are some of the boxers today that you most enjoy watching?
POVETKIN: When I was young I had a lot of boxers I liked, for example Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, and George Foreman. Of course these boxers are great and I loved watching them fight. Now days there are a lot of great boxers also, but there is no boxer I can tell you, yeah thatís my idol. Thatís what Iím looking for. I mean I like Manny Pacquiao for example.
JENNA: Alright Alexander, we have just a couple of more questions before we let you off the line. To get back to your fight with Ruslan Chagaev, what one thing does he do in the ring that you think can pose you your biggest threat?
POVETKIN: We watched a lot of Ruslanís fights and weíve gotten ourselves prepared to fight him. I think Iím prepared for everything he will do in the ring. Of course I donít know how ready he is and how well prepared he is, but I will not relax. I will try to work in everything t hat we have trained for, and of course he might bring some surprised but Iím sure I can deal with the surprises. The most important thing is that you do not relax because one punch could be a big surprise which might cost you, so I will take care and Iím prepared for everything.
JENNA: Alright what is your official prediction for your upcoming fight this Saturday?
POVETKIN: Iím ready to go through all twelve rounds, and as for the end we will see what happens Saturday in the ring.
JENNA: Well my final question revolves around your fans, Alexander. Is there anything you want to say to them?
POVETKIN: I want to wish a lot of luck and health and all the best to all the listeners and all my fans. I wish you a lot of strength and motivation to go forward and to do the things you want to do. I hope you will see my fight on TV on Saturday and I hope you will enjoy it, and I will do my best to show you a beautiful fight.
JENNA: Alright well Alexander, itís been a pleasure having you on the show and we wish you all the best of luck on Saturday night.
POVETKIN: Many, many thanks, and all the best of luck to you!
CIANI: Thank you! Good luck.
POVETKIN: You too, thank you very much and all the best for you!
For those interested in listening to the Alexander Povetkin interview in its entirety, it begins approximately forty-two minutes into the program.
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Article posted on 27.08.2011
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