Having won a silver medal of the World Youth Championship in 2008 he embarked on his adult– and rather successful– life. Truly, thus far, Daniyar has won the most meaningful trophies in Asia. Now as the captain of the Kazakhstan National Team he is busy preparing for the October world championship in Almaty where he will do his best to expand the geography of his victories.
ONE BLOW, SORE THROAT, REMINISCENCES – Rather a standard question. How are you? How do you feel? – I feel good, feel like fighting. Not only do I but the whole team does. – What do you expect from the World Championship in Almaty?
– After the Olympic Games where I lost in the quarterfinal I want to prove that there is a reason why I am the strongest in my weight in Asia. Now the challenge is to conquer the world. – At the 2010 Asian Games you set a record as you missed only one blow throughout the whole tournament. – This has been one of the best tournaments in my carrier by now. I was well geared up for the Asian Games and fared rather well. The blow I missed was in the final. However, that it hit the target was doubtful. I guess that the judges counted that blow for that Indian competitor out of pity for him (he laughs). –Let’s talk in turns about successful matches and not very successful ones. In particular, about the world championship in Baku in 2011. According to the official line, you caught a cold before the start and were defeated by Hungarian Gyula Káté due to the fever you had when boxing. – At that time did I have not only a cold but also septic angina. With it, I managed to fight three bouts winning two out of them. But that was my mistake that I caught a cold before such crucial competitions. I should have given more care to my business and my body as I knew perfectly well that when you reach the peak of the form, you could fall ill easily. Anyway, when it’s gone it’s gone. –All the same you did get in the ring? – I did, I had enough strength to stick out for three bouts. I had 38.5, but before I went into the ring I was given an anti-febrile drug but the temperature bounced back after each combat. I knew that it is harmful to have a strain, especially for the heart. But I could not but box– or else nobody could represent the country in this weight. – Remember the quarterfinal of the Olympic Games? – I have to. Even if I don’t they will remind me. – What did you lack in to win then? – I should have been organising the fight in a different way. I should have moved more, caused the competitor to fall through and counterattacked him. Instead I remained slightly inactive. Although I felt during the sparring that I was delivering more clean bouts. Sometimes the Italian opened up and I hit him so that his head was about to tear off his body. Mangiacapre hit mostly the gloves for defence. And these hits were counted for no reason at all. But again, it is my fault since I gave reasons the judges to do so. However I do not think that I lost that bout. – Neither did I. – Since my hand was not raised it means I should have worked more in the ring and beat more. «AFTER THE KNOCKOUT I GOT UP THINKING: HOW DID I END UP ON THE FLOOR – What does one feel when he has done his best for the victory but lost to the decision of the judges?
– Initially it was upsetting. But then it passed away. I learned my lesson and analyzed my mistakes. I do not blame my defeat on the judges. I look the problems within. – This year you have won the Asian Championship in Jordan. – I was very impressed with that tournament, not even because I won it. But because of how our entire team performed. Seven gold medals and one silver medal is a super-result. – Many reproach that the main roster of the national team went to Jordan rather than to Kazan where the summer Student Games took place. – A decision where we would compete was made by the head coach of the National Team Myrzagali AITZHANOV. And he did right making this choice as our appearance in the Asian Championship had some bearing on our positions in the AIBA world ratings. Our performance at the Student Games was not counted. A good rating position guarantees a decent drawing outcome and no meets with strong boxers at the start of a tournament. – What sparring at the Asian championship do you remember best of all? – The second one when I met the previous champion of Asia. He was an experienced boxer and a two-time participant of the Olympic Games. It was an uneasy competitive combat. Whilst I had some strength left after the fight I was completely worn out as my competitor set a very high pace. Most importantly, I hit the target many times and missed less. – What was the hardest blow that you missed in your carrier? – In 2008 after the World Championship among the youth we went to ‘the tournament of four’ in Lvov. In the second sparring bout our team fought against the Ukrainians. For that sparring, the hosts in my weight put forward a guy who wasn’t seen being weighed. That boxer was a very sturdy one and apparently heavier than me. Initially I did not feel the power of his punches and kept on boxing the way I like leading the score 3:1 and then I decided to deliver him an uppercut on his body. At this moment, I got opened up and he caught me out and delivered a right side thrust (after the pause) sending me in a knockdown. I got up and was ready to carry on the sparring bout but our coaches decided differently. I was awfully mad at them. – So you have never got opened up again? – I try not to. But it does not always work. – Serik Sapiyev told us that after he missed the hardest blow he felt as if a white shroud covered up his eyes. But then it was gone. – At that time I could not make it out what I was doing on the floor. I just got up thinking how I ended up on the floor? – Yerzhan Musafinov explained why he was glad with a win inside distance ‘It is like running one kilometre instead of a 10 km cross country race.’ – Wining inside distance is always pleasing as you preserve your strength and do not show all of your cards to the competitors and hold up some tricks for further combats. Sometimes too early victories are harmful.
– Why? – One may fail to flush one’s lungs with air or waste too much strength for such a win. Hence, a reasonable approach should be applied to everything. Even to victories. – Now you compete in the weight of up to 69 kg. Did you have to stay off many things when you were boxing in the lightweight? – I had to. I had to keep on the diet and put restrictions on drinking water. And I saw very often water in my dreams. After the competitions I could afford anything: fatty food and sweets. But I try to discipline myself. If I put on more than three kilos it would be difficult for myself. That is why my norm is to put on not more than 1.5 kg! ‘THE GREATEST AWARDS IS WHEN YOU STAND ON THE VICTORY ROSTRUM’ – You have been in the boxing for many a year. Haven’t you got tired with endless training camps and tournaments? – I would lie if I said that I am not tired with training camps. From time to time I feel morally exhausted. But you can have a rest! Then you may get back to work. One more thing. At the top ... Wait a minute! The most exciting moment is when the judge raises your hand after the final fight. And then so many emotions befall you: the sensation of victory, relaxation, tiredness and happiness. You could hardly express it in words. This should be lived through. –After the final bout of the Olympic Games Serik Sapiyev gave a vehement roar. Have you ever had any wish to do the same? – I have not. But I have never climbed so high as Serik. I hope that I can achieve something serious and I do not know how I would react after the victory. But I will make up something for sure! – 2012 Olympic champion Cuban Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo will compete in the weight of up to 69 kg. – I know. In this category there are many strong boxers. Sotolongo is one of the best. There are other serious guys from Russia: Besputin or Zamkovoy will also participate. – Who was the hardest competitor to fight against in your carrier? – Sotolongo will likely be the most serious. But thus far the hardest bouts have been with Russian Besputin. By the way, they did come out very interesting. We met twice: in Russia and in Kazakhstan. He defeated me on his territory but I defeated him at home. But we both believe that when we gave in the judges held us down (he smiles). Although I defeated him sending him in a knockdown. – The pro-boxing has a rating of the best boxer regardless of the category. Should the same exist in the amateur boxing, whom would you put in the first place? – If Serik Sapiyev had chosen to stay in the sport I would put him. I would put Lomachenko in the second place although he has already joined professionals. Why in the second place? Because in London it was Serik whom was awarded the Barker Trophy. Which means he is the best.
– Imagine that Sapiyev would have stayed in the sport after the Olympic Games. Then… – There would have been several strong boxers in the weight of up to 69 kg. One of them would have been an Olympic champion (he laughs). And then Serik would have participated in the world championship in Almaty. – If you had been offered to be shot in a commercial then… – As a sportsman, I would choose a commercial for a healthy lifestyle. Well, or for the promotion of some wholesome food – Myrzagali AITZHANOV said that not all the number-one members of the national team agreed to participate in a new AIBA–AIPB project. Including you. – Right. Because it seems to me that my style is what does not make me suit to that project. My realm is amateur boxing. SILVA, TRICKS, A CAGE – Have you ever had any desire to turn pro? – When I watch Golovkin boxing then this idea pops up in my mind. I wish I would try to reach the same level as he did. But I would think about this after 2016 only. Until then I will have other plans to do. Moreover, I need to prove my right all along to compete in the national team and participate in tournaments. This means that I need to be always ready and keep fit. – Recently a video appeared on the Internet showing you dancing. – This video was shot in 2011. I was playing about and a friend of mine took and shot me doing so. Then I posted out this footage at one of the social networks and took it out a week later. But some people appeared to save this video and then spread it out. But I reacted quite calmly. A sportsman should be able to move and dance well. So it is ok. – Some famous fighters tried their hand in the ballroom dancing before they did the marshal arts. – In principle, it can be explained. Dancing allows you to move well and be supple. Like Anderson Silva from UFC, for example. Truly, the last time he was hit the hardest and had a beautiful fall! (Silva was knocked down by American Chris Weidman. – Author.) – Did you ever try to keep your hands behind the back before any bout the way Roy Jones did it? – In my childhood I did many things in the ring! I tried out whatever I watched in the video with renowned fighters. With the age and blows missed the desire to do such tricks has worn out. – I am surprised. Not so many boxers in Kazakhstan watch UFC. – I am truly eager to watch it. I like John Johns, a good boxer Dos Santos has. But I stopped loving Silva after that defeat.
– Did you ever have a desire to fight in a cage as the rules for combined marshal arts stipulate? – No-no-no! It is quite a different type of sport and I do not like to disgrace myself. It is better to do what you like and can. For me it is boxing. and I want to excel in it. Leonid Yuriyev, Megapolis