Former WBA welterweight champion Yuri Nuzhnenko (30-1-1, 14 KOs) continues his preparations for upcoming meeting with the EBU 147lbs champion and WBA #15 Matthew Hatton (39-4-2, 15 KOs) of Manchester on July 16 at Bolton Arena in Bolton, England. Despite his business Nuzhnenko, 34, took some time to speak with both Boxnews.com.ua and BoxingScene.com about his future challenge.
BoxingScene: What can you tell us about Matthew Hatton?
Nuzhnenko: I saw several of Hatton’s fights. He is a good, educated boxer but there’s no way in the world he is better than the cream of my earlier opposition. I fought and defeated much better boxers than Matthew Hatton. And surely he is way worse than his famous brother Richard. I was told that he is a good guy but I’ll be forced either to knock him out or to transform his face into a bloody kisser and to kick his ass really bad; bad enough to convince not only his fans but local judges as well. I’m sure I’ll not be awarded a victory in case of a close fight.
BoxingScene: Which advantages does Matthew have in an upcoming showdown?
Nuzhnenko: Actually, I struggle to find a single advantage for him. Really, his only true strength is his partisan crowd and home cooking. But that’s an imaginary strength. I used to compete abroad and I was successful in doing so. It was me who outpointed Frederic Klose to become a world champion and that was on my opponent’s home turf. Actually, fighting abroad is good for me as I’m not an object of my fans’ emotions and passions and I’m not under additional pressure.
BoxingScene: How are your preparations going?
Nuzhnenko: Everything is fine, sir. Just as planned, indeed. On Monday I’m starting my sparring sessions. No I’ll not reveal their names. Consider it a part of my secret strategy (laughs).
BoxingScene: Do you want to make any statements for Matthew Hatton?
Nuzhnenko: Hatton has told recently in one of his latest interviews that he considered our fight as a stepping stone for his future challenge of my countryman Vyacheslav Senchenko, who is the WBA welterweight champion now. Allegedly, he is going to give me a boxing lesson and then to defeat another Ukrainian to become a world champion. Listen, Matthew. In order to speak about a stepping stone you must first make a step and not fall down. I hate to say it but I see you lying on the canvas with your nose broken and your blood dropping down.
BoxingScene: Speaking of Senchenko… How has that loss changed you?
Nuzhnenko: Well, that change was drastic. One moment I’m a world champion and the next moment I’m a former one (smiles). Speaking seriously, that loss was really disastrous. I was vastly disappointed and I struggled badly to put the setback behind. I haven’t been fully prepared for the fight in terms of mentality. That was my mistake. I have underestimated Senchenko’s stamina and I started to increase the tempo of a fight too late. But now I’ve become tougher and much angrier. And Matthew Hatton will feel my anger himself.