Undefeated Heavyweight Prospect Neven Pajkic Speaks Out On His Boxing and Acting Careers, Challenge From "Razor" Ruddock, Verbal War With Tyson Fury, and Much More!!
By Exclusive Interview by Charles C. White: Kindly taking time out of his busy schedule, 16-0 (5 knockouts) Canadian heavyweight fighter Neven "No Surrender" Pajkic had the following answers to my questions.
Article posted on 24.06.2011
CW: How are you doing today Neven?
NP: Today I woke up, I looked down, no tag on my toe. I say to myself "thank you Lord." I go down, return Charles' e-mail.
CW: Going back to the beginning, how did you first get into boxing?
NP: One day back in 2001 I felt dangerous and walked into a local boxing gym to whoop someone, only to get my ass handed to me by a light heavyweight.
Thought to myself "damn looks way easier" after almost dying of fatigue after 2 rounds, I decided to take it more seriously, realizing this is real man's sport.
CW: Did you have much of an amateur career?
NP: I had very limited amateur with only 10 fights and some exhibitions. I did win all my fights and won Ringside Tournament in 2004.
CW: Which fighters did you admire most as a kid?
NP: Everyone loved Mike Tyson. I thought this guy is out of this world, he was smaller than everybody else but he was just destroying
everyone. I remember first time against Spinks there was 6 hours time difference so my father and I watched it all night till 5 a.m. and Tyson comes out and murders Spinks
in minutes. Wow, I thought he so great maybe one day I can be like that man.
CW: Your story is unique in that you came to Canada from the city of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996. Sarajevo is known worldwide for being the city that was the victim of a tragic seige. In fact, it was the longest seige of a capitol city in history, lasting from April of 1992 to February of 1996 during the Bosnian War. You were a teenager at the time of the seige. What can you tell us about that seige and your experiences of it? Were you in the city during those years?
NP: I rather wouldn't comment on this topic, Charles. Thank you.
CW: For those who have not seen you fight yet, how would you best describe your style? I have heard many describe it as a somewhat awkward, cagey style. Is this a fair and accurate assessment?
NP: I don't know really how to describe it. Sometimes I feel like boxing, sometimes I wanna brawl, sometimes I wanna think I am Roy Jones and wanna make the guy miss (smiles). Depends which guy shows up, no plan, just do as I feel like in the moment.
CW: Who are you currently trained by?
NP: Peter Wylie of Cabbagetown Boxing Club.
CW: What does a typical day in training camp look like for you?
NP: Wake up, I think "damn I wish I was rich so I don't have to do all this shit" (smiles). I got to admit I like to spar and fight, I eat healthy, get the work in outside the ring so inside of the ropes get easier.
CW: You are 16-0 (5 ko's) and have faced some tough guys in Nicolai Firtha, Jason Gavern, Raphael Butler, Andreas Sidon, and most recently Johnnie White. What did you take away from these fights that will help you when you eventually reach the top 10 of the division?
NP: Well I am more seasoned fighter now, I know how to weather the storm and it is good thing knowing I beat some of these guys who are good fighters. It wasn't easy at times but at the end one who wants it more get it. Sometimes you gotta give more than 100%.
CW: You are the only man to defeat (twice) Polish prospect Grzegorz Kielsa. In the process, you earned the Canadian Heavyweight Title. How did it feel to win a title that has such a rich history behind it?
NP: Greg was hard fight and my favorite win so far. Feels good because NO ONE thought I will win that. I was 8-1 underdog.
CW: Any upcoming fights of yours that the readers should know about?
NP: Nothing solid, they are talking about few possibilities. Nothing on paper.
CW: Former heavyweight contender Donovan "Razor" Ruddock created some buzz a while back by announcing a comeback and calling you out to a fight for your Canadian Heavyweight Title, which he once held. Is this fight still a possibility?
NP: I didn't ask for it, him and his people did want me. I don't back down from no man. They made a lot of talk of this happening this Fall and let me tell you they promised
real showdown but so far they are silent, so let's see what is gonna be.
CW: Would you even be interested in challenging Ruddock in his first comeback fight?
NP: I know they scouted me and they thiink I am beatable and I might be but not for him. He was great fighter in his prime but it's time for new blood and this lion is
not going anywhere.
CW: Not too long ago, you had a verbal war going on with undefeated British heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury. Apparently Fury was supposed to fight you and then backed out. Would you care to comment on that whole episode?
NP: Yeah, little fag is a son of 1,000 fathers. Big mouth that I will shut once and for all if he beats Chisora, which I truly doubt. Derek is solid fighter, good power, good head movement, calm kind of guy who will destroy Fury. If Fury beats Chisora I will fight him. Hopefully he won't be running away 'cuz he came to me. Unfortunately Fury will lose so unless they pay really good money I can only beat him up on the street for my pleasure. Even better, we can organize MMA bout between us, reason being that is the only place I would be allowed to hit him while he is down.
CW: So a fight with Fury is something that still really interests you then?
NP: After he loses to Chisora if the money is right. If by some miracle he beats Chisora anytime, anywhere.
CW: A fellow Canadian citizen of yours is Tye Fields. Has the prospect of a bout with Fields been considered?
NP: There was some talks about it but Tye and his people and my management couldn't agree on some terms. We are definitely open for that possibility in near future.
CW: Who else is on your radar at the moment Neven?
NP: At this very moment...lunch (smiles).
CW: About how long before we see you in with the top 10 contenders?
NP: 2012, a few months before the world ends (smiles).
CW: Another interesting thing about you is that you have actually played small roles in quite a few movies and television shows over the years, including Against The Ropes, A History of Violence, and The Border. How did you get into acting and land these roles?
NP: Let me put it this way, these roles don't call for theatrical qualities (smiles). I have never kissed a girl on set, I play Russian thug, Mexican thug, few small boxing parts whenever they need ugly face they call Psycho-Pajko. I do my own stunts and that is pretty much it.
CW: Is acting something that interests you for after your boxing career?
NP: I am dreamer and often I fantasize and daydream all the time. I also feel like I never grew up. When I look in a mirror I see this serious man looking at me and what I see there and what's in my head doesn't really match. The best fantasy movie is definitely Avatar. You know, it would be my dream come true if I could be part of Avatar 2, so I will try hard to get in there. Lots of fighters go big screen, it is fun experience, good money.
CW: If you could fight any heavyweight in history, who would it be and why?
NP: You know I really don't know. I have never thought of these guys like that. I sort of always admired them and
in the way to want to fight them just never crossed my mind.
CW: I'd like to get your opinions on a couple of upcoming heavyweight title fights. First, how do you see David Haye vs. Wladimir Klitschko panning out?
NP: Well you got to hand it to Haye. He will make some serious money and only credible guy he beat is Barrett and he was past his prime. To get the shot at Wlad
is pretty brilliant marketing. Wladimir WILL absolutely, positively punish David Haye for all the trash talk. I don't know if all this cash he (Haye) will make will
be worth the beating he is gonna have to endure. Let's face it; Wladimir will pick him apart with jab and toward end of fight seal the deal. Gentleman, actions speak way louder than words.
CW: How about Tomasz Adamek vs. Vitali Klitschko?
NP: Vitali by brutal KO.
CW: Thank you for your time Neven. Any final message to the readers, or perhaps to fellow heavyweights?
NP: Be real, just truth...
Note: This author wishes to thank Pajkic's manager Bill McDonald for the interview and for being so accommodating.
For questions and comments, to schedule an interview, or to just chat about boxing, Charles White can be reached at email@example.com or 360-333-5911.
previous article: Judah training camp quotes; Jones vs. Munoz on Saturday; GB Boxing at the European Championships
next article: David Rodriguez vs Owen Beck on “Go Fight Live” Tonight!!