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Q&A with Russian Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin

Posted on by Grant Miller

Undefeated 2004 Olympic gold medal winner Alexander Povetkin (21-0, 15
KOs) faces the biggest challenge of his life on Saturday night when he
challenges Ruslan Chagaev (27-1-1, 17 KOs) for the vacant WBA
Heavyweight Title in Erfurt, Germany. Boxing-online.com has caught up
with the 31-year-old Russian.

Q: Alexander, the big day is almost here, how are you feeling?
AP: “Very good. I am looking forward to the fight and the crowd in Erfurt.”

Q: Is that because you only have the best of memories of Erfurt?
AP: “Yes. Four years ago, I defeated Chris Byrd over there. The support
from the crowd was fantastic. I will never forget that.”

Q: You will be facing Ruslan Chagaev. What do you think of him?
AP: “He is a great boxer and very experienced. He has won almost all of
his fights and has already been world champion. And he is a fair
sportsman. That is something I like. I have a lot of respect for him.”

Q: In today´s boxing world, it´s rather uncommon that somebody speaks
nicely of his opponent…
AP: “No, not at all. I think that´s the way it should be. And don´t
forget that Ruslan Chagaev handed Nikolai Valuev his first-ever loss. At
that time Valuev seemed to be superior. It shows that Chagaev has a big
heart and a lot of talent.”

Q: During the kick-off press conference, the journalists applauded when
your co-manager Vlad Hrunov spoke about the mutual respect you and
Chagaev shared for each other. What do you think about that?
AP: “I think that´s normal. After all, we are role models for a lot of
young people. The sporting aspects should always be more important than
business aspects.”

Q: But you will not exchange niceties when you meet in the ring?
AP: “No, of course we won´t. When we are in the ring, all that matters
is the victory. We are both very keen to win.”

Q: How do you rate your chances?
AP: “It will be a tough fight between two opponents on the same level. I
hope I will win. I have trained very hard. It will be an exciting fight
which could go the distance but could also end early. We both have the
power to knock each other out.”

Q: How has the preparation been going? You look very sharp.
AP: “I started with a lot of strength and conditioning training. In
mid-June I was in Redbank, New Jersey to start preparing for this fight.
I then did the sparring in my home city of Chekhov. Everything went
according to plan.”

Q: Is has not always been like that. You had the chance to fight
Wladimir Klitschko twice, but fight never materialized. What happened?
AP: “Before the first fight I tumbled over a tree root during the
preparation and had to pull out due to injury. The second time we could
not agree on the contracts. I also lost my father. That was a low of
which I had to get out of.”

Q: Do you rue the missed chances?
AP: “No, maybe it was meant to be like this. I have put it behind me and
only look ahead now. All that matters is the fight against Chagaev.”

Q: And then Klitschko? A victory would make you the champion, and with
Wladimir being the WBA`s Super Champion, he at some point will have to
face the regular champion…
AP: “I very much hope so. It would be my dream to fight against Wladimir
Klitschko. But first things first. I need to beat Chagaev before making
any future plans.”

The fight is live on German satellite station ARD for those of you with access here in the UK.

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