Dzinziruk: 'I have studied Martinez'
One of them is Sergio. The other goes by Sergei, although lately he prefers Serhyi. But on Saturday, there will be one Serge too many in the ring at Mohegan Sun, where only one can earn the right to be called undisputed middleweight champion of the world. Below, undefeated junior middleweight champ Serhyi Dzinziruk discusses his upcoming challenge for the middleweight title against Sergio Martinez of Argentina (HBO, 10:30 p.m. ET).
What can you tell me about your training for this fight? How long have you been training for it?
The training is going excellent. I trained for about eight weeks. But prior to that I was always in the gym, staying in shape and doing a little bit of sparring. I am excited and happy with the way things are going. I am looking forward to it.
This is going to be your debut at 160, do you have any concerns? How have you adapted to this new weight?
Not really. Don't forget, I am 6 feet tall and I have a big frame. And the weight, I feel more comfortable at this weight and much stronger too, so the weight will be a non-issue.
Are you planning to stay at 160 or are you dropping back to 154?
The plan is that, if I win the fight, I will have to make a decision about what to do, because then I would have two belts, at 154 and 160. It's a very similar situation that Martinez had. When he won the belt from Kelly Pavlik, he still had the 154 (pound title), so then he had to make a decision about vacating either the 154 or 160, and he decided to stay at 160. But at this point it's too early to decide which way we're going to go. We'll decide it after this fight.
Do you consider this to be the most difficult fight of your career?
Yes, absolutely. That question has been asked several times before. I consider this the highlight of my boxing career and it is the most important fight of my career.
Do you believe your boxing skills can make a difference in this fight?
I had over 300 fights as an amateur, but most importantly I am very athletic, just like Sergio. This is why this is going to be a great fight. We both have our past experience as athletes. Sergio was a soccer player, which is a great sport for your leg work, and I have a very good amateur background, so the fight should be really interesting.
What is the most difficult asset in Martinez's style?
I have studied Martinez for a long time. Since this fight started to be discussed, I studied his style. Sergio is a little bit awkward, he moves around a lot in the ring, and throws unexpected punches from different angles. And that's what great fighters do. They study and they come up with a good game plan to capitalize on what his opponent is doing wrong. I am very aware of what Sergio is doing wrong and I am ready for that.
How do you deal with the pressure having to make a good impression against such a highly regarded fighter in just your second appearance in the United States?
I believe I am the complete package as a fighter. Obviously, I am undefeated in 37 professional fights, and I defended my title seven times, and I fought all over the world, all over Europe, in England, in Poland. I am a fighter. When I am in the ring it doesn't matter what country I am in, it's all the same and I do the best that I can. I never tasted defeat, and I am going to try to keep it that way. I will show the American public what a great fighter I am. That's why I wanted to fight in the United States.
How do you envision the fight Saturday night?
Like I mentioned before, my training camp was great, I am in great shape, and I am preparing for 12 hard rounds of boxing. But if anything comes up before that, I will take advantage of it and try to end the fight early. But if that doesn't happen I am definitely ready to go 12 rounds.
Diego Morilla is a contributor to ESPNdeportes.com.