Q & A With Paolo Vidoz

25.01.06 - Inteerview by Per Ake Persson: EBU heavy champ Paolo Vidoz defends the title January 28 against Cengiz Koc in Berlin. I caught the champ at home in Gorizia just before he departed for Germany.

Q: You are fighting Cengiz Koc Jan 28, how do you see the fight?

A: I beat him the amateurs but the pros is a totally different game and I expect a very tough fight..

Q: Howīs your training been going?

A: Itīs been the usual disaster (laughs). I have my own gym in my home. My friend and trainer Sumbu Kalambay have been with for the last two weeks. Itīs been a normal training camp and Iīm in good shape.

Q: You have changed promoter right in the middle of all the training?

A: Itīs been very tiresome and problematic. For the last two or three months I have been to my lawyerīs office just about every day. I have however been advised by my lawyer not to comment on the matter to media.

Q: According to well spread rumors you donīt overdo it in the gym, some even say you are a bit lazy, whatīs your comment to this?

A: If I win this fight the miracle is completed (laughs)! Itīs difficult to prepare well in Italy, for instance sparring, I have one pro and one amateur to work out with. There are no other sparring available. They are doing a documentary about me now. Iīm probably the only champ to train in my home.

Q: I understand you went to Afghanistan late last year as part of a help project, how did that come about?

A: In 1998 I participated in an amateur tournament in Pakistan. There was a guy there from Afghanistan who wasnīt allowed to participate due to his big beard. Now seven years later I had the chance to bring some boxing equipment , gloves, shoes, headgears, etc, and I gave it to help set up a national team there. I want to fight in Kabul. I would like to do the rematch with Valuev at the national stadium there (laughs)! It was a good experience to go there and to be able to help some people.

Q: Where you a late starter or did you stay in the amateurs for a very long time?

A: Let me see, I think I began boxing in 1987 or so. My dream was always to win Olympic Gold but I had to settle for the bronze in 2000. I also participated in the 96 Olympics

Q: You have ex-World middle champ Sumbo Kalamabay as trainer, what does he mean to you?

A: He is very important and he is also my good friend. He and my wife are the most important people for me. My wife is also my manager.

Q: You first turned pro with Lou Di Bella in the US but then returned home, what happend?

A: The agreement was that if I lost a fight the contract could be terminated. I had a bad night, lost a fight and the contract was terminated. Now Iīm back in Gorizia, you know this is the region where Primo Carnera came from. Iīm now doing work for the Primo Carnera Foundation with Primoīs son and work with underprivileged children. I have one dream left and this is to win the World heavyweight title.

Q: That brings us to Nikolai Valuev I guess, you lost to him the first time, what happend?

A: Valuev? I took the fight on 16 days notice, I was supposed to fight Steffen Nielsen, the Dane, but that fight was cancelled on very short notice when he fell ill, my management at the time then got me Valuev. I broke my jaw in the third round and had problems with my hands. After the fight I had a four hour operation and they fixed my jaw with two titanium plates and thatīs how I got my new nickname, "Titanium Jaw".

Q: Letīs say you beat Koc, what will be the next step in your career?

A: I will try to take the EBU title as long way as is possible but first I must beat Koc and I have a very hard fight ahead of me. I know that the official challenger is Luan Krasniqi but that keeps changing.

Q: You are closing in on 36, what about life after boxing?

A: I got xxx for fighting Valuev and xxx for the Hoffmann fight. What can I say, at this rate I will have to keep fighting until Iīm 65 (laughs) in order to be able to pay my bills.
(note: Paolo mentioned some numbers here but I decided to leave them out)

Article posted on 25.01.2006

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