By Andrey Krikunov
Former WBA world light welterweight champion Andriy Kotelnik has stepped on the path of serious change. The Ukrainian left his promotional company Universum Box Promotion, and now he’s going to move up a division and plans to continue his boxing career in the United States. The boxer revealed his plans in an exclusive interview with BoxingScene.com.
- Andriy, what have you been up to since your loss to Amir Khan?
- Apart from the professional boxing I’m into different kinds of administrative work – I’m the president of a charity foundation and the vice-president of Lviv Boxing Federation. We organize various events. Besides, I have my business. And, of course, at the same time I continue to work in the gym.
- What are your plans for the future? Have you already chosen a new promoter?
- I plan to go to the USA. I had some offers, but they didn’t satisfy me completely. I hope that across the ocean I’ll be offered acceptable conditions.
- Have you decided to follow the example of other Ukrainian boxers, namely of Sergiy Dzinziruk and Wladimir Sidorenko?
- Everybody tries to scare us with America, they say that the ring out there is completely different…But the ring is the same everywhere – it’s canvas and ropes. I’m going to conquer America. Everything will depend on the offers they’ll make.
- You had an offer from England where you fought some memorable bouts, though several times you were denied victory there…
- I’m still considering the offer from the English party. Their terms aren’t exactly what I want, but we haven’t discarded that alternative completely. I have a certain status and name in England; I held almost all of my title fights in that country and became world champion there. I’m more famous in England than both in Germany and Ukraine. Though Ukraine is Ukraine, it’s my Motherland, and in Germany I also was rather popular.
- When will you step into the ring next time and what kind of opponent will you choose?
- I will have my next fight in 2-3 months. Everything depends on how soon I’ll have the clarity with my new promoter. It’s likely that first I’ll have a comeback bout, and then I’ll try to get an opportunity to fight for a title. As you know, I move up the division to the welterweight. So I’ll have to participate in a number 1-2 rating fight in the new division.
- Whom do you want to fight in the new division?
- I won’t tell it now, first I want to sign a contract and then I’ll think of specific bouts. I think that I will have some concrete offers.
- As for your previous division, did you expect that your ex-opponent Amir Khan would have such an easy victory over Dmitriy Salita who had talked a lot about fighting you?
- Salita? Yes, he talked a lot because that’s all he could do. As for their bout, I knew that Khan would win but didn’t expect it to be that fast.
- Can you give your prediction on Khan’s fight with Paul Malignaggi?
- I think that Khan will win.
- What went wrong in your bout with Khan, would you change anything if you had another chance with him?
- Khan chose better tactics, more suitable in that kind of fight. On the other hand, everything was done to make sure that I wouldn’t win. According to the scorecards one may think that Khan simply battered me in each round. If that bout had taken place in Ukraine or Germany, the scores would have been different. Khan won so convincingly because the bout was in England. My promoters had never taken a responsible stance on my career, if I succeed – good, if no – it was also okay for them. I became champion not because of my manager but because of my hard work and commitment. All my title bouts were fought in my opponents’ territory.