By Inna Lagun (Allboxing.ru) and Alexey Sukachev (Translation)
The time is ticking for the anticipated fight between former world champion Ruslan Chagaev (27-1-1, 17 KOs) and perennial heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin (21-0, 15 KOs) for†the vacant WBA "regular" title. The fight will be held on August 27 in Erfurt, Germany. Inna Lagun wasted no time†in speaking†with Chagaev†to know more about his preparations for one of the most important contests in his life.
- Ruslan, your preparations seem to be quite intensive. Do you have quality workmates to spar with?
- Yeah, there are three of them, and each resembles Alexander to a degree. Moreover, Timmy (Michael Timm) asks them to imitate some features of Povetkinís style.
- When did your sparring sessions begin and when will they end?
- This time I started to box with fellow workmates a bit earlier in order to make up for†the long lay-off. All in all, our sparring session will take about three weeks. Those are mandatory for a successful training camp, and you cannot avoid them. You can give up some other training procedures, if needed, but your camp will be unsatisfactory without rounds of combat training inside the ring. You can be a world champion in hitting the bag, easily getting perfect results with it over twenty rounds. Then, an actual fight looms, and two rounds later you are like a fish thrown out of water just because your camp lacked for some real test, given to you by your sparring partners.
- Is it possible to get ready†for a fight without a coach?
- It all depends on the certain person. Itís pretty difficult but I think itís possible.
- Boxers usually follow some nutritional procedures, consuming somewhat specific food. Are you looking at your weight at all?
- Iíll box at whatever weight Iím feeling†at my†best. I box better when I consume my usual meals, and my coach knows about it. Timmy has already burnt one of his fingers, so that my diet remains the same. Fighting as an amateur, I achieve my best results while eating Uzbek food. There was a period my weight went up all way to 215 pounds when my usual limit was just 200. I tried to get down back to 200, and I suffered several losses just because I was more concentrating on making a weight than on actual trainingÖ Itís not rational to change someoneís diet at once. It would be harmful. Uzbeks eat lots of meat, while fish and game isnít popular.
- Speaking about Uzbekistan, who are you? Are you Uzbek, Tatar or Chechen? Thereís a considerable fuss about it over the Web?
- Iím one hundred percent of Tatar blood. My father is Kazan Tatar and my mother is Uzbek Tatar. They have got acquainted in Russian but then the family has relocated to Andizhan, Uzbekistan.
- Tell us more about your healthÖ
- Iíve got you. Iím feeling good. My tests have come back, and everything is perfect! I have signed the contract.
- How much time has it taken you to study the agreement?
- Just a day, though a number of pages were three times its usual length when I signed with Universum. It looks like this is†the usual agreement, made by the Sauerland Event. When I fought Valuev, there were also over ten pages. Everything is meticulously defined including medicine. Usually, a standard examination takes its place once in a year. I took one in spring getting ready for a (canceled) fight with David Haye. Sauerland Event has asked me to pass it again but in the final version this item has been dropped.
- During†the presser, you†were reminded about an additional test ten days before the fight.
- This is what is called an over-safety test, and Sauerland Event insists on it. This is something new for me. Before a (canceled) Valuev fight, I passed the tests 15 days before the contest and 7 days before the contest.
- What is this test for? Is it necessary to detect you hepatitis antigen?
- Absolutely. Doctor Enert acknowledged me that the minimal risk starts at 1000 units, and my result is way below at 32. Antigen content gets slightly higher after the training, but the difference is neglecting. I donít care about it as my result is well below the limit. My level of antigen is constant, and itíll be defined by an independent laboratory. Iíll surely pass any tests.
- Sauerland Event is well-known for its antidrug policy. Will you and Alexander be obliged to pass WADA tests this time?
- No, thereís no such a point in the agreement.
- Is there any specification regarding gloves?
- Everything is permitted aside (Mexican) Everlast gloves.
- Are you content with your fee?
- Yep, the sum is okay but actually I havenít paid much attention to it. My first trainer told me one: ďDonít run after money but better run after titles. When titles come, money will follow right afterĒ. The most important motivation for me is to win the belt and to become a champion.
- Arenít you bothered with the fact that many consider this particular title to be a secondary one?
- I fully realize this is just a step up in class. Itís a big step but just a step. After the win I could and I should move further.
Tags: Ruslan Chagaev , Alexander Povetkin , Povetkin-Chagaev , Povetkin vs Chagaev