By Alexey Sukachev
WBO #1 ranked cruiserweight Denis Lebedev (21-1, 16 KOs) continues his preparations for the upcoming collision with the former #1 pound for pound fighter in the world, Roy Jones Jr. (54-7, 41 KOs), which takes place on May 21 in Moscow. Lebedev, 31, trains hard for his battle with American boxing legend under the guidance of local ring icon and Hall-of-Famer (class of 2011) Kostya Tszyu. The best Russian prizefighter in history gave his opinion and shared his feelings about the coming “Battle of Two Empires” with R-Sport media agency.
“Roy is Roy. He has a stone-hard character, and he is still one of the greatest fighters in the world. I haven’t changed my attitude to Roy even after his latest losses. I still respect and like him as a fighter. That was one of the reasons for me to start my work with Denis. To beat Roy Jones is a hellacious challenge”, said Tszyu.
He then continued, “I’m around the same age as Roy, and one fact can not be denied. Roy is slower than in his prime. I had slowed down in the twilight of my career. Everyone does, and Roy is no exception to this rule. Power remains intact, while the speed just wanes away. That is because physiology can not be denied."
“My permanent task is to make Lebedev too awkward for Jones. He should surprise him with every turn, in each second of the contest. Denis should become unreadable for Roy; Jones shouldn’t know what he will do in every given moment of the fight. Denis has a nice power punch but Roy thinks he is too straightforward. That’s very nice. That means Jones underestimates his opponent; that is what my victims often did in their careers. And I like it. That should help us”.
“I’m not a coach. I was invited to help Lebedev to get prepared for a single fight. I need him to become a non-standard boxer. I need to improve his mental and physical conditions and to make him more versatile. I hope to achieve this goal in the shortest period of time. I see only two ways this fight can end. Either, Lebedev will knock Jones out. Or he will dominate the bout in a style, winning almost every round. There won’t be any questions – either by the judges or by Jones”
“As for sparring partners”, added Tszyu. “I fully trust Lebedev’s manager Vladimir Hryunov”.