We offer your attention an interview with Vyacheslav Uzelkov (22-0-0, 14 ÊÎs), WBA Inter-Continental light heavyweight champion and mandatory challenger for world light heavyweight championship. Uzelkov fights under banners of «K2 East Promotions». On the eve of Gabriel Campillo vs. Beibut Shumenov rematch Uzelkov, the best Ukrainian light heavyweight shared with us his opinion about the upcoming bout and fighters and spoke about his plans for the future.
At the moment Vyacheslav Uzelkov is the official contender for the championship belt which was claimed in Campillo vs. Shumenov bout so, most probably, it will be him who will face Shumenov in the next title fight for WBA light heavyweight championship.
- So, Vyacheslav, who will come out victorious in Gabriel Campillo vs. Beibut Shumenov rematch? Have you made your choice of the winner?
- First of all, I would not call it «a rematch» – it is rather a «playoff», another chance for Shumenov because I am sure that Campillo was the better man in the ring in their first bout. Frankly speaking I did not see any of Shumenov’s fights and I do not know much about him so I am not going to give any precise fight pick. However, I knew Campillo’s style quite well. I fought him in Kyiv in 2007 and watched his fights later, after our bout. He is a very good boxer who has a classic style, intent on winning. He has good speed and skills although he lacks punching power. So I think that Campillo will get judges’ nod, especially taking into consideration that he won the first bout in Kazakhstan.
- Whom out of two would you like to face in a title fight?
- To be candid with you it does not matter at all. The most important thing is that I shall get my chance i.e. I have to face the winner. And I will never lose my chance.
-Who will you support out of two?
- Well, frankly speaking I am not much of a fan of either. But as far as human emotions are concerned I am a fan of Campillo. He went a hard way toward the title. He won and he lost and won again. Campillo is a legal champion so to say. As far as Shumenov is concerned he is a kind of upstart – he came from nowhere and he gets his second title bout in a row. Probably he is a good and strong boxer; however, he did not prove his right for a title fight so far, to say nothing of his new chance which was given to him by WBA.
- We remember that in 2007 in Kyiv you kayoed Campillo in round 6. Do you think it could give you any advantage if you were to face him in the ring?
- Let us first wait for the outcome of the Gabriel Campillo vs. Beibut Shumenov fight. If Campillo wins we shall face each other in the squared circle again. In such a case I will utilize my experience which I got in our bout in 2007 but I think he already learned a lesson from that loss. After that he boxed regularly with strong opponents. And, what is most important, he won fights! He got a lot of experience in the ring. So if I have to face him he would be a completely new fighter. However, I myself did not waste time as well – I won all my fights since then.
- Out of you two who do you think got more experience?
- Who knows – God only knows. I am sure of one thing: we both have improved a lot since 2007.
- At the moment Campillo is the most heralded fighter whom you managed to defeat in the squared circle. Can you say that the fight against him was the most difficult one?
- No, it was not. It was not simple – that is true. The clash against Alejandro Lakatos in 2008 was much harder, for example. Campillo possesses classic style and it was not difficult to understand him and forecast his plans in the ring (which I eventually managed to do) but Lakatos had an awkward style, dirty one, a kind of street fight style. And it was harder to fight him.
- You have the status of mandatory challenger for world light heavyweight championship for quite a long time. When do you plan to face the winner of Gabriel Campillo vs. Beibut Shumenov title clash?
- You had better ask my manager Alexander Krasyuk about that. As far as I am concerned I should like to step into the ring as soon as possible. I am waiting for this fight impatiently.
- Recently there were rumors on the Internet that Argentinean Hugo Hernan Garay (32-4-0, 17 ÊÎs) and American Chris Henry (24-2-0, 19 ÊÎs) will fight for the interim version of WBA light heavyweight title. Don’t you think you may face the winner of that fight instead of the regular world champion?
- Well, I do not know anything about that so why should I worry? I am not interested in any «interim» belts – I want to fight for regular world champion title and my opponent will be determined in Gabriel Campillo vs. Beibut Shumenov bout. I earned my right for the title fight honestly which was confirmed by WBA itself. I want to become champion of the world.
- OK, let change the subject. As we know you and your team-mate from «K2 East Promotions» Dmitrij Nikulin (20-0-0, 6 ÊÎs), WBO European light middleweight champion soon are leaving for Argentina where you will take part in a Ukrainian version of world famous extreme show «Wipeout» («The Battle of Ukrainian Cities»). The contest will be held in February and then Ukrainian fans will watch it at «Inter» TV channel at the beginning of March. But when do you plan to come back to the boxing gym?
- I never quit training and continue to keep shape. I plan to train in Argentina – as far as I know they have all necessary sports facilities at the hotel where we plan to stay. And after I am back to Ukraine first thing I will do is to resume my normal training.
-Thank you very much. Good luck, champ.
- Thanks a lot.