Exclusive Interview With “The Stone Man,” Nicolai Firtha - “You’ll See Two heavyweights Trying To Knock Each Other’s Heads Off”

By James Slater: 32-year-old Nicolai Firtha, 20-8-1(8) will travel from Akron, Ohio to Belfast, Northern Ireland on September 17th, for a fight with unbeaten British champ Tyson Fury. Fury himself sees a risky fight ahead of him, while the experienced Firtha says he will be trying his best to get a win in the short notice fight.

Having recently taken new “regular” WBA heavyweight titlist Alexander Povetkin the distance, “The Stone Man” returned to winning ways this past August 13th, when he won a keep-busy decision over Ross Thompson.

Yesterday evening U.K time, Firtha was kind enough to take the time to answer the following questions for ESB - this despite the fact that his and his manager’s (Pat Nelson) cell phones have been “ringing off the hook” since the Fury fight was announced.

James Slater: First of all, Nicolai, what do you know about Tyson Fury?

Nicolai Firtha: Not too much. I've seen a few of his fights [on tape].

J.S: You have quite a bit of experience, do you see this fight as being your toughest in any way?

N.F: I always approach every bout as my toughest and most meaningful fight.

J.S: Seeing as the fight is in the U.K, will you be going for the KO victory, instead of a points win?

N.F: I never try to force a KO; if it's there, I'll take it. However, I am prepared if the bout must go the full 12 rounds.

J.S: And as you have just fought, you see no issue with the fight being of short notice?

N.F: No problem at all. I will be in shape. I will weigh approx 250-pounds for this fight.

J.S: Who would you say is the toughest man you have met so far - who gave you your hardest pro fight?

N.F: Franklin Lawrence (Lpts 6) It was a close, brutal, back and forth fight until the final bell. I wasn’t surprised that Lawrence later KO'd Lance Whitaker, Jason Estrada and Jason Gavern consecutively.

J.S: And who is the best all-round fighter you’ve faced thus far?

N.F: Alexander Povetkin.

J.S: Of your 20 wins, which was your best?

N.F: My (2nd-round TKO) win over Tony Grano. Grano was 17-1 at the time and recently coming off an early KO destruction over Travis Kauffman on Showtime. I dominated Grano until the bout was stopped, mercifully! in the 2nd-round. I won the WBA NABA Heavyweight Belt with that win.

J.S: How will you approach Fury, what tactics will you use?

N.F: As a rule, my team does not publicly discuss my game-plan until the post-fight press conference.I will let you know then.

J.S: Do you have a KO prediction for the fight?

N.F: I can only predict one thing 100 percent - that there will be two giant heavyweights trying to knock each other's heads off on September 17th in Belfast!

J.S: A win would be big for you, of course. Who would you like to fight afterwards if you beat Fury?

N.F: Robert Helenius or David Haye. Helenius because he has not yet faced anyone his size, and he has not fought any fighters who are in their prime. As far as the Hayemaker, the last time he faced a right hander my size, Haye proved to be very ordinary. If he wants to carry on fighting, a fight with the man who just beat Tyson Fury would make perfect sense for him.

Article posted on 06.09.2011

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