Croatian heavyweight Filip Hrgovic (10-0, 8 KOs) is beginning to make a name for himself in the division. After three wins in 2019 he rounded off the year in Saudi Arabia, as part of the Ruiz-Joshua II undercard, dismantling two-time world title challenger Eric Molina in less than three rounds.
The Sauerland-promoted 27-year-old is now inside the top ten of three of the four governing bodies and in 2020 will look to establish himself as a credible contender to the those at the top. Boxing Scene caught up with him recently to talk about his career and the rest of the heavyweight division.
Boxing Scene: How would you describe your experience fighting in Saudi Arabia and how would you describe your performance against Molina?
Filip Hrgovic: It was a very good experience for me. It was an event like I’ve never boxed before and I’m glad I was part of that and I think I put a very good performance and I sent a message to the whole world.
BoxingScene.com: Did you get a feeling Molina wanted out as soon as you put the pressure on? Why do you think that was?
FH: From the first punch that landed on his body, and when he felt my power, I had a feeling he wanted to quit and that he didn’t want to fight. I think that is because I have big power in both hands and he felt it and I had a big desire to win.
BoxingScene.com: Did you see Povetkin v Hunter and Joshua v Ruiz? What were your thoughts on those fights and what was your reaction to Ruiz saying he didn’t train hard enough and that he partied too much?
FH: I saw all the fights from the undercard and main event. I think it’s a pity for Ruiz that he didn’t train well because it changed his life and he should do different but it is what it is. He put in solid performance but of course if he was better prepared he would do much better. All undercard fights were good. I think Povetkin should win in that fight. I think it was 7-5 in rounds againt Hunter but it was a very good fight.
BoxingScene.com: You have reached ten fights in your professional career now. How do you assess your progress so far and what have been the positives and negatives?
FH: I’m very satisfied with my progress. My matchmaking was perfect for first ten fights. I think I have very good opponents when you compare that to first ten fights of current world champions. That’s why I’m so good in rankings. I’m very satisfied and my team did a very good job.
BoxingScene.com: What is your assessment of the heavyweight division? Is it wide open, are we in a period of great fighters and great champions or is there a lack of quality?
FH: I think it is a very good time for the heavyweight division. It’s alive, people are interested, there is a lot of charismatic fighters, a lot of good fighters, lot of good champions and a lot of good prospects and I think in the next few years people will see great fights. I think it’s one of the best eras in heavyweight history.
BoxingScene.com: What are the differences between training in Miami and Croatia. What do you like and dislike about both?
FH: In Croatia I usually just do warm up and physical preparation with my conditioning coach. And in Miami we do main part with Pedro Diaz. And I like both but sometimes it’s hard for me to be eight to ten weeks in Miami because I miss home. I would like in future to spend more time in Zagreb.
BoxingScene.com: You have said you can be a world champion in your next few fights. Who would you ideally like to fight next? One name.
FH: I would like to fight Dereck Chisora or Alexander Povetkin or I dunno, someone like that who is a big name and who is in big fights, has big wins and someone who the whole world will see when I beat him.
BoxingScene.com: Have you watched much of Deontay Wilder? Can his power carry him on as a champion? Do you believe you could take his notorious power?
FH: I sparred with him in 2014 in David Haye camp. I think he’s dangerous, he’s very strong mentally, he has big desire but he has a lot of flaws technically and I think I’m more complete fighter than him. And I think I will find a way to deal with his power and I believe that I can beat him in the future.
BoxingScene.com: What has been your thoughts on Tyson Fury’s comeback since he returned to boxing?
FH: I think Tyson Fury is a very good boxer, very slick and is for sure one of the best. It is very hard to box with him because he is long and has good movement and good defence, he has fast hands but I think he’s mentally is not stable. We see that he change trainer, that he went to the wrestling, wanted to go to UFC, and I think he’s just not stable person and that he’s not mentally so strong but I like his style of boxing and he achieved some great things but like I said he is not a stable person. Hopefully one day Fury, Wilder or Joshua will become undisputed champion and I will face undisputed champion.
BoxingScene.com: You spoke of your desire to fight Dereck Chisora or Dillian Whyte in U.K. It looks to me like you present a threat of high risk and low reward to them so how can you make fights like these happen? Sauerland already said they find it hard to get opponents for you.
FH: It’s a hard time for my promoters to make good fights for me because of that reason what you mentioned but I think with time and with wins and my record going up it will be easier, and with time I’ll become more famous and it’ll be easier but it is a hard job for me, for promoter and my team but we believe in my capabilities that I can become not only great boxer but can become great future star in boxing. We’re working hard on that.