Last November he experienced a bitter end of the closely watched fight with Dereck Chisora (20-4). A few months later, the best Czech heavyweight fighter Ondřej Pála (33-4) is going to face another rival from the British Islands, David Price (16-2), no matter that he competes for a German team with the Austrian Sauerland Event licence, David Price.
Approximately half the way through a seven-week-long training, the 29-year-old member of the Médea Boxing Team of Prague is quite content. “I feel perfect,” says a noticeably thinner Pála in an interview with Proxiboxing.cz. “Next week, tall guys are going to come for sparring, everything has been going smoothly so far,” adds his coach Jurij Krivoručko.
What else was mentioned during our interview in the gym where Pála has been getting ready last three months for his second big fight of his career?
Read the following lines to learn what Ondra Pála and Jurij Krivoručko have said on the following issues:
The term has been put off from April 29 until May 12.
Pála: “It is definitely an advantage to have two more weeks for training. On the other hand, the fishing season has already started (he is laughing). So I can’t devote myself to fishing a lot, but Price is more important, that’s clear.”
Price’s training partner is Kubrat Pulev, a Bulgarian star who is from the same boxing team.
Pála: “I think that Pulev needs to spar and the fact that his training partner is Price, is not important for him a lot. Pulev will be never boxing in the same way as I do, he has a different style, and he is also a bit taller than me. And I am not completely sure whether all this is helpful for Price. Personally, I don’t think so.”
Krivoručko: “I definitely agree. It is more like that Price is preparing Pulev, not that Pulev is preparing Price for Ondra. As it has been already said, it has both its advantages and disadvantages. Pulev is a great boxer and in case of devastating Price during the training sessions, it definitely won’t be helpful for Price’s psychical feelings. On the contrary, they can get even worse.”
How difficult is it to find sparring partners who are of the same physical type as Price?
Pála: “It is generally known how to fight with a taller boxer. We were practising in that way today. And together with Juri, we have agreed on the fact that the fight won’t be about sparring partners, but rather about the physical shape, psychical conditions, power and will. And to get these, I don’t need opponents who look like Price.”
Krivoručko: “As Ondra says, he will definitely have brisk sparring with taller guys, but that is not the most important. We aren’t going anywhere but we are going to invite a few of them to our place, to Médea.”
Price’s psyche, which was really devastated after being beaten by Thompson last year.
Pála: “Well, my psyche has been devastated, too. (he is laughing) No, seriously, it is definitely good to know that he isn’t completely mentally strong and this can be his biggest problem during the fight.”
How is he looking forward to another British boxer whose amateur record is fairly good and who was named the Prospect of the Year by ESPN.com in 2012?
Pála: “I don’t care who my opponent is. On the other hand, actually he is a not a big star. Without any doubts, he is an opponent of a high quality. But I have to deal with myself, there is no need to deal also with my opponent. I don’t think about it at all and I don’t care that he is another opponent from Britain.”
Does he think that it is a prestige that he was Price’s first choice and that he isn’t only a substitute?
Pála: “No, I do not think so. Paradoxically, I am in a worse position. He has chosen to fight with me to practise for other fights. However, it is true, that there is an opportunity that he could underestimate me.”
Krivoručko: “On the one hand it is advantage for us that Ondra may be underestimated, on the other hand, it is an important fight for Price to show that he is not down, and they will approach the fight accordingly.”
The fact that some fans consider him as being a “Journeyman” of his better rivals.
Pála: “I agree. Exactly. It is not easy to find a hundred thousands dollars?! (he is laughing) You can quote me: “Let all those fags put themselves on fire!“ I don’t care about them. We know why we do that.”
Why does he do it?
Pála: “I am a professional boxer, I want to achieve something. What would be better? To fight with someone like Mazykin and other similar ones to defend the title over and over again, or to face the top boxers of the world? I maybe get punched, but I know that my performance will be good. As you saw in London, if the hooks had been better, he would have been down. The fault I made was that I wasn’t fast enough to knock him out. It is an experience which I want to sell. Chisora could have lost, Price can lost. He has lost twice, he can lose for the third time!
How has he profited from the fight with Chisora?
Pála: “Now I know that I can actually face the middle top of heavyweight boxers, and that I must be in a better physical condition.”
Krivoručko: “The fight with Chisora was for a future profit. When you box with an opponent of a high quality and you lose and take only the positives from it, it can only help you.”
Weight and training.
Ondra: “I want to weigh about 105 or 107 kilogrammes at the time of the fight, now, after the training, my weight is 102.7 kilogrammes. My weight is definitely not invariable, and the truth is that I’ve lost some weight. For three weeks I have been on a special diet created by my fitness coach Arleta Krasouvá and I feel great! I think my condition has improved during last three weeks! I want to thank her a lot, she looks after me perfectly.”
Price’s ups and downs.
Krivoručko: “He is an experienced boxer, his amateur career was good and he has given good performances in high-level fights. He is fast, he is tall, which can be a big advantage, he can profit from his height. Downs? Psyche. He is not stabile.”
Pála: “He lost both the two fights because of his psyche. He just gave in.”
Impact of psyche on physical conditions in boxing
Pála: “Incredibly big. You can be ready for 130%, but without psyche, you can do nothing. It must have been his psyche which caused that he physically disappeared so early in the second fight. As I have already said, he gave it up in his head.”
Krivoručko: “Physical conditions and psyche are de facto connected through the umbilical cord. You can be conditionally 200% ready, but if something isn’t going well in the first rounds, you get broken and the physical condition disappears.”
Difference between training for eight or twelve rounds.
Pála: “I think there isn’t any. There are differences between six and ten rounds or six and twelve rounds, but eight or twelve rounds is not such a big difference. Well, I feel it this way. But that means nothing, because this fight will be finished by a knockout.”
What do you focus on while training?
Krivoručko: “There are some things we focus on, but I don’t want to talk about them. We will see. We know that Price’s biggest advantage is his direct. Ondra must be aware of it, but that’s not a secret. However, I don’t want to talk about other things a lot. The fans will see it on April 12.”
The fact that Sauerland isn’t such a bad boy as he used to be.
Pála: “We don’t think of this at all. I don’t care. A man must think of things which can be influenced by him and this doesn’t belong to this kind of things. As I have already said, I concentrate on myself and on my training, and I just don’t want to deal with other things. I never will. (Krivoručko agrees)