Troyanovsky - ‘The Eagle’ looks to land big against outsider
Danny Wayne Armstrong
Russian IBF & IBO light welterweight champion Eduard ‘The Eagle’ Troyanovsky (25-0, 22 KOs) defends his titles against unbeaten but unknown Namibian police officer and WBO Africa champion Julius Indongo (20-0, 10 KOs) on Saturday in Moscow.
The fight is on the undercard of the explosive all-Russian cruiserweight match-up between 'Iron' Murat Gassiev and Denis Lebedev at Moscow’s Khodynka Ice Palace.
Troyanovsky is making the third defence of the belts he snatched from feather-fisted Argentine Cesar Rene Cuenca in November 2015.
The most recent of those defences, also in Moscow, saw the Omsk-born former soldier destroy Japan’s Keita Obara in two rounds, knocking the challenger out of the ring before stopping him on his feet moments later.
Boxing Monthly spoke to Troya at the open training session for the Gassiev-Lebedev fight where he spoke about training in Thailand, dark horses, ratings, and his Russian boxing family of friends.
BM: Eduard hello, how are things?
ET: Yeah, good!
BM: First off, how do you rate your physical shape going into this fight? Where and how have you prepared for the fight?
ET: Great. The first part of my training I did in Thailand, the second part here in Moscow. It’s excellent in Thailand. The weather is, of course, warm and here in Russia it’s been cold, wet, grey, damp, depressing. There it’s great, warm and there’s good food - that’s why we went there.
BM: So that climate and environment is important for you for your preparations?
ET: It is very important just in general for athletes and for their preparations.
BM: How do you rate your opponent on 3 December, WBO Africa champ Julius Indongo? He’s an unbeaten fighter but nevertheless not so well known amongst boxing fans.
ET: I will say that precisely these dark horses they can flare up, so you can never underestimate them. He is really motivated to take my time with him back to Africa. Therefore I am coming into this fight with all seriousness and responsibility, these fighters are coming to fight and knock me out so I have to respect every single fighter.
BM: You finished your last fight with an extremely impressive knockout [against Obara]. Do you plan to finish your upcoming fight in the same way?
ET: You know I didn’t plan for that victory to turn out exactly the way it did. I wanted just to win and I’ll say the same: I want to win in this fight also. How it will unfold I don’t know but I want to win.
BM: You’re one of the team members of 'Mir Boksa' (World of Boxing), managed by promoter Andriy Ryabinsky and including Denis Lebedev. Tell us a little about the team and your teammates.
ET: Yes, I’m part of the Mir Boksa team, we already have fifteen or sixteen fighters if I’m not mistaken, I mix with a lot of them but I’m not particularly close to anyone. On this show and the one on 17 December [Povetkin vs Stiverne in Ekaterinburg] practically all of our guys will box. We have a good kind of family of friends.
BM: You are rated second in the world with Boxrec.com and fourth in Ring magazine’s world ratings at super lightweight, both are higher positions than [WBA beltholder] Ricky Burns for instance. What does that mean to you?
ET: I will say what positions these ratings give to me - an opportunity to fight the best. If they won’t give me a good offer, like, let’s say, to America or to England, then these ratings give me the opportunity to fight the best. Maybe with Ricky Burns, we speak a lot about him, but still you see it’s not yet worked out for us in terms of resolving that issue.
BM: So are these ratings important to you?
ET: Of course they are important. They’re important first and foremost for making the best out there see that I am close and that they can give me a good fight.
BM: Thank you for your time and good luck for Saturday night!
ET: Many thanks, I’ll see you there!