By James Slater: Last night in Cherkasy, Ukraine, unbeaten big man Alexander Ustinov improved to 25-0(19) with a dominant 12-round points win over fellow Russian Denis Bakhtov, 33-6(23) going in. The 34-year-old giant, who stands 6’7.5” and tips-in at just below 300-pounds, is of the belief that he is now ready for a shot at the world title.
With wins to his name over the likes of Michael Sprott, Monte Barrett, Paolo Vidoz and now Bakhtov, Utsinov has proven he can fight. The former kick-boxer was kind enough to speak with me this weekend.
Here is what Alexander had to say (via his translator) Alexander Krassyuk):
James Slater: Do you look for a KO when you fight? You won on points last night.
Alexander Ustinov: I had a very good camp for the fight. I never look for a quick KO, though. If I see a possibility to finish a fight early, I always try to do it. But for me, it’s no shame to have won on points. I’m going to win the world title, and I know that to do this I must continue the hard work with my team.
J.S: What would you say is your biggest pro win to date?
A.U: My biggest win will come in the future, when I become the world champion! I always consider each win as a step up along the way to a title shot and wining it.
J.S: You boxed in America back in February of 2008 (a 1st-round win over Earl Ladsen). Do you have plans to fight there again?
A.U: I’m not self-promoted, so you’ll have to ask my promoters. But yes, I would appreciate the chance to fight in the U.S.A again. It would be great experience for me.
J.S: Was it hard to convert from kick-boxing to boxing?
A.U: No, I cannot say it was so hard. There are many fighters who came to pro boxing from other [combat] sports. Both the WBC king, Vitali Klitschko, and the (regular) WBA champion, Alexander Povetkin, they both started off as kick-boxers.
J.S: When do you want a title shot?
A.U: I’m ready now for a title shot. If my promoters give me this chance I will undoubtedly accept it.
J.S: And is it the Klitschkos who you’d most like to fight?
A.U: You must have stolen this question off a Russian web site that has just interviewed me (laughs). Because they also asked me if I’d like to fight against my bosses. But joking aside, Wladimir and Vitali are my promoters, so it depends on them. My dream is to become the world heavyweight champion, so there is no other way besides a fight with one of the Klitschko brothers. I would be proud to meet them in the ring. I hope they give me that chance.
J.S: Do you feel it will be you size that will give you a great chance against the two brothers?
A.U: There are many huge guys in boxing, but not all of them are good enough. There are bigger guys than me, Nikolai Valuev and Julius Long, who I KO’d in one-round, for example, but being big doesn’t always mean that a guy is strong. A Russian proverb says: ‘for every strong guy you can always find another who is stronger.’
J.S: Do you feel as though you are at your peak now at age 34?
A.U: Definitely not! My physical abilities and my technical skills will certainly be improved in the future. The sky is the limit for me. I make progress from one fight to another. I realize there is no way up the stairs without constant improvement. For instance, the Klitschko brothers; who are role models for me: they are both dominant world champions, and their fights are flawless and their skills are marvelous, but they still try to get better and better. They know there is no limit to perfection. I am the same way.