Q&A: Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Photo by Janek Skarzynski / AFP-Getty Images
Krzysztof Wlodarczyk looks to make the seventh defense of his WBC cruiserweight title when he faces Russian contender Grigory Drozd on Saturday in Moscow.
It’s been a frustrating time for Wlodarczyk (49-2-1, 35 knockouts) who fights for the first time in 10-months.
“It is not my fault,” Wlodarczyk told RingTV.com through his manager Andrew Wasilewski. “Many of the top cruiserweights don’t want to fight me. I fought a few times in USA, twice in Italy, in Germany in Russia and in Australia.
“I was ready to go three times to Africa, once to France, once to New Zealand. I was ready to go anywhere in the world there is a good challenger. Where we can make good a good fight and where we can earn money.”
The battle-tested Polish fighter is keen to make an impression against Drozd, who he has respect for, which is more than can be said for his fellow champions Marco Huck and Yoan Pablo Hernandez.
“I do not treat the so-called stars from Germany seriously,” said the recently turned 33-year-old titleholder. “Huck lost two or three fights without going outside from Germany, Hernandez quit few times, for example against my friend from my group Pawel Kolodziej (pulling out of a fight earlier this year).”
“Clash of the Cruiserweights” is available in North America on Integrated Sports Media Pay-Per-View for live viewing at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 a.m. PT on both cable and satellite PPV via IN Demand, DISH and Vubiquity for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. For additional information please visit www.integratedSportsNet.com
Here’s what ‘Diablo’ had to say when RingTV.com caught up with him from his training base in Poland.
Anson Wainwright – What are your thoughts on fighting Drozd?
Krzysztof Wlodarczyk – I like this fight. I like the idea to travel and face the best opponents in the world. I’m not like (the) so called German champions who never travel but only fight under their promoter’s umbrella’s. That’s why German boxing which was so strong is dying now. I’m fed up about these strange verdicts in Germany. I saw the Hernandez-Arslan fight. For me it was another German decision (in favor of the more known fighter)… they robbed me too a lot of years ago.
AW – What do you feel Drozd’s strengths and weaknesses are?
KW – Grigory is (a) very strong fighter. It is one of reasons why I wanted to fight with him. For example I invited 10 times to the ring, Marco Huck and Pablo Hernandez, and they always quit… Grigory wants to fight me. Great respect for him. We are real warriors.
AW – You’ve fought and won in Moscow before, stopping Rakhim Chakhkiev last summer recovering from a knockdown and cut. That must give you confidence going into this fight knowing you’ve been there and won before?
KW – I’m not young and beginner fighter, (the boxing) ring is everywhere the same. I had the honor to talking a few times with probably the best man in boxing history, with WBC President Jose Sulaiman. I had honor to talk with his son Mauricio. I remember in Mexico City, Don Jose told to me that ring is the same everywhere and real warriors can fight and win everywhere. That’s true. Beautiful words about real sport.
AW – Tell us about your mindset. You have a never say die attitude inside the ring, which has seen you come back in fights that you were losing and ultimately win them.
KW – Nobody is perfect, everyone can have bad day… but I never give up, I always believe that I can win.
AW – Tell us about growing up in Warsaw and how you became interested in boxing.
KW – It was my dad you brought me to the sport. I met very quickly my promoter and friend Andrew Wasilewski. We work together for almost 15 years.
AW – The cruiserweight division is pretty stacked with talent. What are your thoughts on the division?
KW – It looks that Polish and Russians are the most strong. I do not treat the so called stars from Germany (Marco Huck and Yoan Pablo Hernandez) seriously. We have WBO No. 1 contender Krzysztof Glowacki in my team he is very strong. Lucas Janik is a world-class fighter too.
AW – What are your thoughts on the other champions: WBA beltholder Denis Lebedev, Hernandez (IBF/RING) and Huck (WBO)?
KW – I respect only Lebedev from this trio. I know personally Huck and Hernandez but do not respect them as champions because they should not be a champion. German TV pays a lot of money and they are like flowers under glass (protected), not like real champions.
AW – You’ve been WBC champion for over four years. How has becoming a world champion changed your life? Are you popular in Poland?
KW – Of course, I have a very interesting life. I love my profession. It is great when you do what you love. I’m very well recognized in Poland.
AW – A couple of years ago, it was reported that you were severely depressed. Can you tell us about that period of your life and how you overcame it?
KW – I’m sorry, it was my private situation.
AW – What is your life like away from boxing?
KW – I do a lot of charity work. I really like to help people who need help. I love cars and motorbikes. Unfortunately, my promoter (Wasilewski) forbids me to ride on motorbikes.
AW – Is there anything you would like to add?
KW – I want to have RUSADA doping tests, before and after the fight. I heard that these kinds of tests will be on my friend (Pawel) Kolodziej’s fight with (Denis) Lebedev fight on the same show. Boxing must be clean. Millions of Russian, Polish and fans from other countries want to see a great fight, two real warriors who are clean. That’s why I asked the Russian promoter, let them make me and Drozd (take the) anti-doping test before and after fight. Then we are sure that fight is honest. It is very important in sport. If (the) promoter wants to do it in (the) Kolodziej-Lebedev fight, let’s have in our fight too. It’s great idea.
AW – In closing do you have a message for Drozd ahead of your meeting?
KW – Yes, I’m coming to your country with great respect to you and all Russian fans, but of course I’m coming to win.