Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m a 22 year old Russian born professional boxer – I’m currently the undisputed, undefeated 11-0 middleweight champion of New Zealand.
How did you get into boxing?
I started boxing because I was bullied a little in school and used to get into a lot of street fights. I had no drive or passion and very little confidence and needed something to get me up in the morning.
What would you like to achieve in the sport/your ultimate goal?
To be a world champion, and to leave a legacy and a name for people to remember. My goal is to be an icon, like the Concorde or a legend like Achilles.
What advice would you give to aspiring boxers?
You need to be dedicated to boxing, you need to give it your all. Take your time and enjoy your own journey. Everyone is different and they have their own path so enjoy yours. And Believe.
What do you enjoy doing outside of boxing?
I have a 6 month old son, and a beautiful fiancé. I love spending time with them and seeing my boy grow. I’m also a qualified engineer and I enjoy working in that industry. But other than that I love aviation. My dad works on the Westpac chopper, and I want to fly choppers one day.
Most memorable moments?
Pro debut, winning NZ title, fighting on my 21st birthday, getting engaged and meeting my son for the first time.
What have been your biggest challenges and how have you overcome them?
I used to have terrible mood swings, dealing with childhood issues, as I was adopted. Took a lot of time and effort into backing myself and believing I’m good enough to be the best version of me.
I used to also smoke five packs of cigarettes a week, and dropping that habit was very hard.
Who is your favourite boxer and why?
Historically, Muhammad Ali is my favourite because he stood for what he believed in. But I’m my own favourite fighter.
How would your family and friends describe you?
Family and friends mean the world to me. I’m a full on character and hard to deal with at times. When I want something I’m very tunnel vision and learning to listen to them has been a big thing for me.
My fiancé takes a lot of the credit for keeping me grounded. So they’d view me as full on.
If you could invite three people to dinner (here or no longer here with us), who would it be and why?
My Grandad cause he passed on a few years back – that’s pretty much it. Tydyn and Ursh as well. There’s a saying don’t meet your heroes haha
If you could get anyone to play you in a movie, who would it be?
A young Matt Damon from Good Will Hunting.
Aspirations/plans for the future?
Continue the ride I’m on of self belief. And to be Middleweight of the earth.
Photo credit: supplied