MAY 2021

Anything for victory

Murat Gassiev is a Russian boxer who, during his career, won two world champion belts in cruiserweight category according to the IBF and WBA versions. Murat shared his view on sports achievements with PromMoscow readers and future Spartakiad participants.
– You took up boxing at the age of 14. It's late enough for a sports career. Was it hard to get started?

– Before boxing, I played a little football and did judo. Somehow it didn't work out. Then my brother's friend took me to a boxing gym. This is where it all started. However the gym was not the best, some windows there did not even have glass.

– But you liked it, didn't you?

– Yes, I liked it very much. Although some people said it was too late; children usually start training at the age of 7 or 8 years. But in any case, the main thing is your will to achieve something.

– How did you feel after the first fight?

– The first fight was difficult and exciting for me. At that time I still did not understand what kind of sport it was, and how and what exactly I had to do. Because training and competing are completely different things. And training will never give you the experience of a real fight in real competitions. I was gaining experience with each fight. And in the end, I seem to have achieved something!

– Do you have any rituals or superstitions? How do you psych yourself up before the fight?

– There is only one superstition: if you don't train, you will lose. So you have to work, train, dedicate yourself completely to what you are doing, and do everything in your power.
– Who do you consider a strong rival now?

– As a rule, the best ones are those who own the world champion belts. These are main rivals, the most serious ones.

– How much training does a beginning boxer need?

– For a child, it is one 1.5-hour training session a day, some train for two hours. And professional athletes have two workouts a day, which take about seven hours.

– How do you feel about the Industrialists' Spartakiad?

– This is a very useful and good event. It's nice that people can participate for free. I think the Spartakiad has a great future: it will involve more sports and more people. I believe we need a healthy nation and healthy youth, because youth is our future. We should not spare any effort, time or money to make it possible for them to become worthy and good people.

– And what can you wish the boxers and other young people who will participate in the Spartakiad?

– I would like to wish all athletes to push themselves to the limit and do their best to win, to improve. If you don't succeed, this is no reason to give up, it will definitely work out next year.
Audience: 16+