By Alexey Potapov
Former world title challenger and European champion Yuri Barashian (25-4, 17 KOs) is set to challenge WBO light heavyweight champion Zsolt Erdei (29-0, 17 KOs) at the Bordelandhalle, in Magdeburg, Germany. A few days before the fight, the Ukrainian boxer has given an exclusive interview to Fightnews.com.
Hello, Yuri! How do you feel?
Hello, Alex! I feel very well.
Everyone is celebrating New Year’s Day and Christmas. You’re preparing for a fight on January 10th and have probably have lost the holidays?
Yes, but for me on January 10th I fight for the rank of the world champion. That’s all I think of.
You didn’t even drink some champagne?
No, not any alcohol! All is very serious.
Many experts have been surprised that after you the lost championship fight against Hugo Hernan Garay, the following fight you again will fight for a world title. You expected such a succession of events?
No, I too have been surprised. They offered me a fight against Erdei and I decided to run the risk and I agreed. After all, to become the world champion is what each boxer wants. Me too. On November 22nd I should have boxed, but that fight fell through. I don’t know why. So I’m glad that one more possibility to become the world champion was presented to me.
The your last fight against Hugo Hernan Garay you feel you had not lost deservedly?
Yes, the decision was an injustice. But I perfectly understood that in Argentina it would be impossible to extract a victory on points. Therefore I was focused on a victory by a knockout. I managed to shake Garay sometimes, but on his side there was even a referee of the fight who two times failed to credit me with a true knockdown and allowed him time to recover. But I have already forgotten that fight. Now I think only about Zsolt Erdei. I wish to be rehabilitated.
But Hugo Hernan Garay has changed. He fought well in his last bout against Juergen Braehmer in Germany. Personally I very attentively observed that fight. And to my surprise recognized that the Argentinean champion did not fight untidily.
He fought well, but Juergen Braehmer is not the strongest boxer though his promoter brought him a championship fight. It was clear that Garay is stronger.
Do you hope for a rematch with Garay?
Yes, I want it. We need to fight not in Argentina but in a neutral territory with objective refereeing. But now I need to beat Erdei.
What do you know about Zsolt Erdei?
He’s very strong boxer, has not lost any fights, had a good amateur career, bronze medalist of the Olympic games. Very strong opponent. It’ll be a good fight. I think that against me he will operate as always – in defensive/aggressive style. I am ready for it. I have thoroughly studied him and I have prepared some gifts for him for Christmas.
You are focused on getting a win by knockout or you think you can win a decision?
It would be desirable that officiating was fair. I will not rush at once on him in the first round. I have specific tactics which I will execute in the ring. But I will use any possibility.
How was your preparation for the fight?
I prepared in Ukraine. In the city of Kharkiv. I have already been in the training process for a long time. At first I should leave in a ring on October, 18th, then on November, 22nd. I hope that on January, 10th I will fight all the same. As a whole I am happy with the preparation. All is good.
Is it possible to say that this will be the defining fight in your career?
No, for me each fight is important.
Thanks for the interview
And thank you. Taking an opportunity, I wish to say to readers of Fightnews.com Happy New Year and Christmas.