by Dmitriy Mikhalchuk
We offer your attention interview with Avtandil Khurtsidze (19-1-2, 12 ÊÎs), leading middleweight of «K2 East Promotions» promotional company. On November 20th in Cherkassy Sport Palace «Budivelnik» Khurtsidze will defend his WBA Inter-Continental middleweight belt in a clash against Kuvanych Toygonbaev (29-5, 18 KOs) from Uzbekistan. The fight will be the fourth Avtandil’s title defense.
- Did you manage to see Toygonbaev’s fights?
- Yes, I did – I saw four his fights: three in which he came out the winner and one in which he was defeated by Dmitry Pirog from Russia. Toygonbaev is a good fighter, strong and mature. It is obvious that he is quite experienced boxer, able to «decipher» his opponent and to foresee opponent’s actions as well as able to adjust easily to his rival’s style in the ring.
- What are the strongest sides of Toygonbaev’s boxing style and if you think he has some weak points, please, tell us about them?
- Strongest sides? Well, first of all he is able to box at a high speed, and then he throws a lot of punches. Secondly, he sees his opponent’s punches very well and, as a rule, he finds the right moment to counterattack. As far as his weak points are concerned, well, you should understand: I am not going to talk on this matter before the fight – I’d better reveal them in the ring.
- As we know Toygonbaev spent quite a long period of time in the USA. It was there where he had the most significant fights in his career and won his most glorious victories. But recently Kuvanych fights mainly in Russia and Uzbekistan. Do you see any difference between an «American edition» of Toygonbaev and the current one?
- I saw one his fight which was held in the US – I think it was against Andrey Tsurkan and also three subsequent bouts organized in Russia and Uzbekistan. To my mind, in his earlier, «American edition» Toygonbaev was stronger, more energetic and aggressive in comparison to late years.
- As far as I remember not long ago during your training for one of your fights you had some problems in finding sparring partners. I hope this time everything has gone smoothly? Tell us about your preparation for the fight against Toygonbaev.
- My training camp was perfect, I had two workouts daily. No problems with sparring partners – there were enough of them. They were real professionals and they made me work hard for which I am very grateful to them. I had a lot of sparring sessions during last month – about 150 rounds namely. I had five ten-rounders and five full 12-round distance fights. In addition to all that I had some shorter sparring sessions – six-rounders and eight-rounders. So I am completely ready for the bout and I am sure of success.
- Can you make some prediction: will there be a KO win or you will have to go the full distance?
- Well, let me decide in the ring in which way to win – by judges’ decision or by way of KO. I can't wait to step into the ring against Toygonbaev. I haven't seen him for a long time and I miss him (laughs). Seriously speaking I like to fight and to win but I hate long intervals between bouts. When I am standing idle I begin to miss the ring, to miss the heat of the fight.
- Felix Sturm (33-2-1, 14 ÊÎs) from Germany has been WBA world middleweight champion for two years and a half. You are WBA #4. When do you think you will fight Sturm? Do you feel you are prepared enough for a fight of such a level?
- Well, I can tell you for sure: not only feel I that I am ready for a fight against Sturm – I am sure I shall come out victorious. I would prefer fighting Sturm this coming Friday instead of Toygonbaev. I told my promoters many times that I am sure of myself and I asked them to organize such fight as soon as they find the possibility. If Felix Sturm chooses me for voluntary defense I am ready to fight him any time and any place. If he doesn’t not want to face me – well, in such a case two more fights and I will become mandatory challenger and then he will be obliged to fight against me.