Q & A With Oktay Urkal

13.12.05 - Interview by Per Ake Persson: 35-year old German welterweight Oktay Urkal, former EBU champ at 140 and 147 and a three time world title challenger at jr welter, is the official challenger for WBA champ Luis Collazo. I sat down with him December 9 in Berlin for a talk about the past, the present and the future..

Q: How does it look for the Collazo fight? Will it be January 28? How do you see the fight?

A: I donīt know, have no idea, you better talk to Don King or my manager about it. I can be ready January 28 if I have to, Iīm always in training, but I havenīt seen Collazo on video yet so I canīt say much about him.

Q: You were a good amateur, topflight, but do you feel you waited too long with turning pro?

A: I had 280 amateur fights, 253 wins, Olympic silver in 96, European champ the same year. No, the 96 Olympics were always my main goal and then to turn pro.

Q: When and why did you start with boxing?

A: It was my older brother who took me to the gym. I began boxing at ten. Both my older and younger brother were much more talented than I was and my father tried to talk me into playing football (soccer) instead but I enjoyed boxing too much and wouldnīt quit. Today, Iīm the only one in still in the game.

Q: You then signed with Universum, how did that come about?

A: The deal was handled by my agent Werner Lichtenberg, there was nothing more to it.

Q: In your first years as a pro you beat several good opponents, Baranov, Krivolapov etc, but against strong Frenchman Gabriel Mapouka (W12-S Oct 7, 00) you seemed to tire pretty fast, what happend?

A: I was dead on my feet after four rounds, I had simply underestimated him. When we fought again two years later I beat him clearly (W12-U, Sep 28, 02).

Q: You then fought Konstantin Tszyu, you put up a great fight but lost a split call, what do you say about Tszyu and the fight now?

A: Heīs a very good boxer, I lost but broke my jaw in the eighth round. I think Konstantin could still have handled Hatton if he hadnīt had problems making the weight.

Q: You then left Universum for Sauerland Event, why was that?

A: The contract expired, I wanted more money, they wouldnīt pay it so I left. That also meant I could return to my old trainer from the amateur days, Ulli Wegner and that was also important. Not that Fritz Sdunek did anything wrong, heīs a great trainer too and a good guy, just like Ulli. In training Fritz is especially good in picking special details to work on while Ulli is exellent in the tactical aspect of the game.

Q: How do you normally prepare for a big fight?

A: I train for about ten weeks, the trainer makes the plan and I follow it.

Q: You moved up to welter after the second fight against Vivian Harris, what does that mean to you?

A: It was something I had to do. I had a lot of problems with making the weight for the second fight against Harris. People who know me said I looked like I was at 140 during the training then but there were still several lbs to take off. I feel a lot better now.

Q: Vivian Harris, you lost to him twice in 04, what do you say about him?

A: A good fighter no doubt about that. I broke my nose in the first fight and that injury gave me a lot of problems during preparations for the second fight as well.

Q: What do you do outside of boxing?

A: Iīm with my family, Iīm married with two kids, and I like to spend time with my friends. I also meet with kids whoīve had problems with the police and try and get them to straighten out in a project called KICK.

Q: Life after boxing, how do you see that?

A: Well, I donīt really know, my family is very important to me, I might go into some small business with my brother and have my own company. If I lose my next fight retirement might come soon but if I win I plan to make a few defences before calling it quits.

Article posted on 13.12.2005

Bookmark and Share

previous article: HEARNS v ROLDAN - The night “The Hitman” made history

next article: Sherman “The Caribbean Tank” Williams Wins Again

If you detect any issues with the legality of this site, problems are always unintentional and will be corrected with notification.
The views and opinions of all writers expressed on do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Management.
Copyright © 2001- 2015 - Privacy Policy l Contact