On Wednesday, RTL went to the Sportschule Hennef to speak to unbeaten WBA heavyweight champion (in recess) Ruslan “The White Tyson” Chagaev in advance of Saturday’s super fight against IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Ruslan, what does it mean for you to fight against triple champion Wladimir Klitschko so soon after the cancellation of the Valuev fight?
“The cancellation of the fight against Nikolai Valuev for me was a real shock. I was really broken up in Helsinki, it was a difficult time for me. But thank God, Wladimir Klitschko suddenly wanted to fight against me. That’s real luck for me. A chance like this comes only once in a lifetime.”
How do you feel about the the assertion that you are ill?
“I know I’m healthy and I don’t understand the Sauerland politics. But, now everything is good. “
How long did it take you to accept the offer from the Klitschko management?
“Actually, after the cancellation in Helsinki I wanted to take a holiday with my family and had already bought the tickets. The day before departure, I called my coach and told him that I’m flying out on holiday and he said okay. A half hour later he called back and said ‘Ruslan, I am sorry, but you must now fight against Wladimir Klitschko.’ I immediately and without hesitation agreed to it because this is a dream for me. And my family will arrive here on Friday. ”
How important is your family?
“My family is number one in my life. My wife is a real help for me. If I’m tired, she knows and she can motivate me. And my children Artur and Alan are my treasure and my great love. ”
Did you ever think about ending your career due to your Achilles tendon injury?
“You know, that was a very difficult time. The last two years were not normal. Again and again there were setbacks. But life has its ups and downs, and now it’s an ‘up,’ thank God.”
Is the short preparation for this fight difficult?
“No, because I had prepared so intensively for the fight against Valuev beforehand. After the cancellation, I had to forget about everything. Get rid of all the bad thoughts and think positive. I didn’t change my training plan. Nikolai is big and heavy, and is a righthander, as is Wladimir. So for me it’s not a big difference and therefore no problem for me. After the cancellation, I had a few days break, then came the offer and since then I’ve been on full throttle. Wladimir might be the world’s best boxer, he has two belts, but I have more motivation because I want to have three belts.”
Have you identified any weaknesses in Wladimir Klitschko?
“This we’ll see in the ring. Of course, there are advantages to being a big boxer, but it’s also a handicap. I am smaller, but I’m venomous. So he will have to make adjustments also.“
How are you going to approach the fight against Wladimir?
“Of course I have a few tactics, but they are top secret. 50% will be decided in the head, 50% by the body. ”
Do you think it’ll go twelve rounds?
“I’m prepared to go 12 rounds. But only God knows what will happen. ”
How do you deal with the idea of fighting in front of 60,000 spectators?
“It’s okay, I think it is not a problem for me to box before so many spectators. I think this will motivate me.”
What do you really think about Wladimir Klitschko?
“He is a good, friendly man and a good boxer. The ring is just business. “