Exclusive Interview: Ivaylo Gotzev

By Brad Cooney


Exclusive Interview: Ivaylo Gotzev

Boxingtalk just caught up with boxing manager Ivaylo Gotzev and discussed his two current prize fighters, Heavyweight Contender Samuel Peter, and current WBO Heavyweight Champion, Serguei Lyakhovich. Ivaylo updates on the current news of both fighters, and talks about possible fights with Wladimir Klitschko, and Hasim Rahman. Boxingtalk welcomes boxing manager Ivaylo Gotzev.

BT - First let me congratulate the entire Lyakhovich team on a job well done in capturing the WBO Heavyweight Championship.

IG - Thank you very much.

BT - How has life changed for you since working with Samuel Peter, and of course The Heavyweight Champ, Serguei Lyakhovich ?

IG - Well it's been wonderful lately, but this has been a work in progress. I have known Serguei since the Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta. I started working with him since 1998, so that's 8 years. Both kids, Peter and Lyakhovich have tremendous talent, and now are rising to the top.

BT - Serguei Lyakhovich has been under the radar for awhile, what was it that you seen in him back in 96 that grabbed your attention?

IG - It was the amazing talent that he showed back in 1996, he was only 20 yrs old, and I saw some real good qualities. I was lucky to be there and to see him fight, and I really loved the kid back then.

BT - What's in the cards for Serguei next, will you guys give Lamon Brewster a rematch?

IG - Well we have always said since day one that we will give Lamon a rematch, as soon as he gets healthy. In the mean time we are looking at other options, we are taking a mandatory fight in between. We also would look to unify the titles, we are looking at the big Russian, if he wants to step in and fight us, we welcome that.

BT - Sergei took the boxing world by storm by soundly beating Lamon Brewster, do you feel there will be any difficulties getting the networks to support Sergei's fights?

IG - Absolutely, let's put it this way, Sergei is an exciting fighter, he's good for boxing, and he's a great champion. The networks are already excited about him, and it's just a matter of time before they put some big fights together for him. Serguei is the complete package.

BT - Is Hasim Rahman someone you guys are looking at?

IG - 100 percent yes, we would love to fight Hasim Rahman, and that goes for both of my guys. I have Samuel Peter as well, and he's lining up for the WBC belt. Hopefully Rahman will win against Oleg Maskaev, and I believe he will. If that happens we are looking at the big fight with Rahman as well. I will keep my fingers crossed that Rahman wins, because he sells a fight well, he's the last American Heavyweight Champion.

BT - The IBF passed by Samuel Peter, instead ruling a mandatory between Sultan Ibragimov and John Ruiz, what are your thoughts on that?

IG - Well I believe this was a bad decision, whatever the rules and regulations are, they passed on a great fight by passing on Peter. It would have been a terrific fight, but no rush, I believe that Samuel Peter will be Champion by early spring next year. We have some big things coming up for Samuel, and maybe Sultan will come around in the fall, and we'll fight him then.

BT - Samuel just knocked out Julius Long in short order, do you have anything coming up for Samuel that you can talk about?

IG - We have big things coming down the stretch, we are looking for him to fight in July, and then again in late August or September. There is a lot of excitement coming up for Samuel, and we will let you guys know what it is in the next few weeks. This is going to be Sam's year, we have big things coming up for him.

BT - Samuel went 12 rounds with Wladimir Klitschko, and lost the decision. When you guys look back at the film of that fight, do you see the things that Samuel Peter can add to his game in order to improve for when the next opportunity comes ?

IG - Yes, this is the best experience we could have asked for. We are glad to have gone 12 rounds against Wladimir, and believe me, what you saw in Samuel in that fight, I would not even qualify as being 60 percent of what is coming next time Samuel fights. If Wladimir ever gets into the ring with Samuel again, you will see, because Peter didn't connect with one clear shot in that fight, and he still put Wladimir on the floor 3 times.

BT - Nobody questions Samuel Peter's power, that's for sure. Is there anything you would like to say in closing to the boxing fans?

IG - Look for an exciting year for Sam Peter, and Serguei Lyakhvovic. I promise I will keep them busy, and I will keep the boxing fans entertained out  there. We love Boxingtalk, and look forward to talking to you again.


Send questions and comments to: bradcooney@boxingtalk.com