By Alex “Oscar” Potapov
Photo: Global-Box Promotion
Unbeaten WBF middleweight titleholder Vitali Kopylenko (19-0, 10 KOs) spoke to Fightnews.com about his plans to return to the ring, a possible fight in Ukraine and more.
Vitali, in the summer you won a middleweight title in a fight against Vitor Sa. It seemed not the most difficult fight for you. What was it like in the ring?
For me this fight was the most important in my career. I fought against the former WBF champion, the champion of Portugal, for me this fight was a serious test and I am very happy that I won by a beautiful knockout the third round.
You began your career in Kiev, but for three years fought in Switzerland. Tell us about this experience.
It was a very necessary experience for me. I signed a contract with promoter Mikel Barra, and it helped me to develop my career. I left on new level, became stronger and better. Now I am ready for new victories.
Why return to Ukraine? Was there some reason you didn’t stay in Switzerland?
No, just that the contract ended and I made the decision to return to Ukraine. I am very happy that I can box again before my devoted fans and win new titles.
After Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, you are the third Ukrainian the world champion. Does it impose on you additional responsibility?
Yes, of course. Wladimir and Vitali are great champions. I am proud of that I am Ukrainian and I am in their company. It’s now very important to show everything I’m capable of.
Since your return you’ve had two fight in the Ukraine. Do you feel contrast in the development of professional boxing in Ukraine since you were here before?
Yes, I see the difference. The creation of new promotional companies, there are strong new boxers who are respected around the world. Amateur boxers from Ukraine are the best in the world! We won in the last World Cup and the Olympic Games London.
In 2011 you signed the contract with Oleg Bruskov and the company Global-Box Promotion. You are happy with work with that company?
I’m very happy. In the first fight I fought for a intercontinental title and in the following fight I became world champion. We have a young team of professionals, I’m sure, we will make many colorful nights of boxing.
You work with trainer Alexander Likhter and all can see your progress.
Yes I became much stronger, than I was earlier. I’ve worked with him since 2008. Likhter has helped me and tactically and psychologically.
Who will be your next opponent? I heard you may face legendary Luis Ramon Campas. How are the negotiations?
For me it would be an honor to step into the ring against Campas. He was a great champion and always fought against the strongest. It is an excellent chance to prove myself to America and I want to use it 100%.