Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Interview with Luan Krasniqi after his victory over Whitaker

Last Saturday, May 28, former European heavyweight champion Luan Krasniqi, 28-1-1 (25), scored the most important win of his professional career. At Schleyerhalle of Stuttgart the 34-year-old German knocked out American giant Lance Whitaker with a right cross to the temple in round 6. Luan was this the biggest win of your career?

Luan Krasiniqi: I would rate this victory the highest of my career. The toughest victory remains my win over Sinan Samil Sam. But from now on every win is important. Yes, I would say that I scored my biggest victory on Saturday.

Whitaker was never knocked down before but you knocked him out sudden and clean. Does your knockout power have to do with your technique?

I believe there are several things that enabled me to knock out Lance Whitaker. Together with my coach Torsten Schmitz I worked on the technique of my punches. I used to have the bad habbit of leaning forward with my upper body while throwing punches. My punches were always sudden and explosive. But ultimately there was never real power in them. The reason was a wrong positioning of my upper body and the non optimal use of my leggs. By knocking out Whitaker I impressively displayed how I optimized my technique.

You looked more mobile and agile in the ring then ever before. Whitaker had a hard time to land a single punch. Did you work on your defense and footwork?

While preparing for the fight my weight went up to about 107 kg or 108 kg. When I worked hard and moved a lot during the sparring period I lost a lot of weight and came down to 102 kg. I was surprised about this myself. I profit from my light weight. It increased my mobility. As I weighed less things were easier for me.

Now you earned a world title shot at the WBO. When will it happen?

To negotiate things is the job of my management Universum. I’m just responsible for the athletic part. I will continue to train and I wait for my chance. Perhaps the contest will take place on September 28 on the 100th birthday of Max Schmeling. But it doesn’t matter to me when it will happen. The sooner the better.

What kind of boxer is WBO champ Lamon Brewster in comparison to Whitaker?

I always thought that Whitaker is stronger than Lamon Brewster. But Whitaker is an old hat and from now on I’ll be busy with Brewster. In 1993 Brewster and I fought in the amateurs in an international competition between Germany and the US, in the heavyweight division under 90 kg. I won on points. I know him. He attacks stormy and he has a good jab. He is clearly smaller than me. I didn’t have this personal experience with Whitaker which is why I studied his videos. His fights sometimes looked quite impressive. I will now sit down together with my coach Torsten Schmitz and work out the strategy how to defeat Brewster.

Can you imagine to score a spectacular knockout over Brewster like you did over Whitaker?

For this battle, I will also go in in top shape and I certainly will not speculate on a knockout. If I can, naturally, I will go for the KO, but I will be prepared to go twelve. It will be a terrific fight. I do not make other promises.

Do you take vacation time now?

Yes. I want to relax and go somewhere to get some sun. After three or four weeks I will resume light training.

You meet your tooth doctor today. Did Whitaker knock out a filling?

Oh no. The doctor just continues a root treatment. During my sparring period I realized trouble with my molars. The problem was treated temporarily and now my doctor will make it final.

I hope tooth pain didn’t spoil your biggest victory on Saturday?

During the fight I don’t feel pain from injuries because my adrenaline level is so high. During the fight a bomb could go off next to me, I wouldn’t mind.

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