By Alexey Sukachev and Christian Yula
Christian Yula, a long-time St. Petersburg’s reporter and a part of the city boxing commission, met Kostya Tszyu to speak with the 2011 IBHOF entrant about the current state of the game, Kostya’s conclusions of 2012 and the future plans of his protégés. Tszyu has trained reigning WBA champions Alexander Povetkin, Denis Lebedev and Khabib Allakhverdiev during this year.
- Whose performance was the brightest in 2012 in your mind?
- I know what you want to hear from me, and I shan’t be eccentric. I name Juan Manuel Marquez as the brightest performer of 2012. He fought a wonderful fight [against Pacquiao], and he scored a very well-earned victory.
- Was that result fair?
- Indeed it was.
- Roman Karmazin said in one of his recent interviews, that Manny Pacquiao is tired of prizefighting, that he is ready to go, and that he would retire because he has nothing to prove, which would be good both for him and for boxing. Otherwise, he said, Pacquiao could end like Roy Jones, suffering painful and heavy defeats from the hands of mostly ordinary fighters. Do you agree?
- I’m not as sure as Roman Karmazin. I don’t know. I met Roy Jones in Moscow during the recent event, and he still plans to continue his professional career. I disagree with Roman on Pacquiao’s future. I don’t think Manny has tired of boxing and that he should retire for good. I think, something important is happening in his life but it’s hidden from the strangers. I don’t think he has said his final word in boxing.
- Do you think the Pinoy Wonder was the disappointment of the year?
- For me his losses weren’t that disappointing. I find them natural and logical, as I’ve already said. I have never been friends with Marquez or with Pacquiao, so I can’t say Filipino’s loss is all that disappointing or heartbreaking for me. The biggest disappointment is the fact fans were unable to get what they wanted in 2012 – a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
- Which fight was the best in 2012?
- I want to point out the latest fights of my charges. For me, Alexander Povetkin’s crushing win over Hasim Rahman, and one-punch knockout of Santander Silgado by Denis Lebedev were the brightest and best moments of 2012. What they have done for me, their trainer, is the most important. It’s a good start for our pre-planned, systematic work in future.
- Kostya, have you seen a real prospect in 2012, a truly special fighter to look after?
- I have found one. Saul Alvarez is the name, though he is not a prospect anymore but a champion. He looked very good against my old buddy Shane Mosley. Alvarez is a promising and hungry young fighter. If he continues that way, a very bright future will await him.
- As a coach, what do you want most of the coming year?
- Once again I’ll tell you what you want to hear from me. The fight I want the most is the fight everyone in Russian and Ukraine wants to see. I mean a battle between Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin. Despite all possible problems and struggles, I hope this fight will take place the next year.