By Alexey Sukachev
After suffering hard losses in 2009-2010 Russian cruiserweight and former amateur star Alexander Alekseev (23-2-1, 20 KOs) is slowly regaining his confidence. In February, Alekseev took the EBU title with a convincing decision over Enad Licina (21-3). Then in May, in a close fight, he barely got past former world champion Firat Arslan (32-5-1) with a slightly disputed draw. Now Alekseev is getting ready for his second defense this year against vastly unproven Swiss boxer Agron Dzila (15-1, 11 KOs) on Sep 28.
He also discussed what went wrong with the proposed fall rematch with Arslan.
“I reviewed a couple of tapes of Dzila, and he seemed to be an educated boxer, a good fighter. He is a good and aggressive kid”, said Alekseev to the media in his native Samara, Russia. “He likes to march forward and to grind his opponents. We shall surely compose a plan to prevent him from taking control of the fight. Soon, we shall choose a strategy and the tactics for this fight. I’m training hard for the fight and I won’t look past Dzila”.
Alekseev also discussed difficulties with making the Arslan rematch, which had been rumored for this November.
“In May I boxed him in his home turf, in his hometown. This time I wanted to defend my belt against him on my home turf, which would be fair. I offered him Hamburg but he refused to fight there. Then we offered him a spot in Samara or Moscow but again he declined this offer. I don’t get it. Firat is one to hunt me; it’s his due to run after Alekseev, not mine [to run after him]. I’m a champion, and he is just a challenger for the title”.
Arslan backed away from Alekseev and accepted the opportunity to challenge WBO champion Marco Huck on November 3 at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.