One on One with Ivaylo Gotzev

By G. Leon


One on One with Ivaylo Gotzev

GL: Can you give us some thoughts on the WBO recently denying your protest regarding the immediate Briggs-Liakhovich rematch? "Obviously I'm very unhappy because we had a very legit cause for it. It has nothing to do with blaming any party in particular it has to do with a combination of the time keeper and referee extending the twelfth round seven seconds. I think it was up to the referee's judgement at the time and that's what it is. But the thing is, if the timing was done properly the referee might have made a different decision. There was another issue with the ropes being too saggy, but the ropes were too loose and Sergei basically sagged out with his own weight more than being punched through the ropes."

GL: Will there be further petitions filed on behalf of Team Liakhovich?

Ivaylo Gotzev: "We've got that in the works already and one of the things we're going to be looking at is getting Sergei enforced as the due mandatory to the winner of the Briggs-Ibragimov fight. That's one of the major points of our petition. We want him to fight right back for the title because we have some unfinished business with Shannon Briggs."

GL: In your opinion, do you think the WBO would have rejected your protest if a fighter who was not promoted by Golden Boy were the mandatory?

IG: "I think that Golden Boy definitely has had influence on the situation. A fighter with a 19-0-1 record who is coming off a controversial draw and should have lost that fight due to some knockdowns that weren't accounted for, it's obvious the guy is not deserving of the title shot. He was moved up to the #1 mandatory and I see no reason for that. The WBO needs to look at the way they're standing up for a fighter who was their champion and the way they're standing up for a fighter who is promoted by Golden Boy."

GL: Can you tell us about Samuel and how his training has been going?

IG: "We feel great about the rematch. Once the WBC ordered the rematch we took it right away, rather than protest it we wanted the same fight to show the fans how much better he's going to be against Toney this time around. Experience is going to pay big dividends this time and the experience of the first fight is going to go along way in this rematch."

GL: Have you been making sure that there's no way the WBC heavyweight champion can find a way to not face the winner of Peter-Toney II?

IG: "Absolutely. We're going on the record with that. We've been in touch with the WBC and we're making sure that there will be no confusion once we go through with this second go round mandatory. The champion will have to face the winner of this fight next and there will be no room for Makskaev to take another challenge or trying to cash him in with Holyfield. This mandatory is overdue and we're going to make sure he makes it."

GL: Although you feel Samuel won the first fight, does the style of Toney concern you more than most if not all of the heavyweight champions?

IG: "I got to tell you, if you take his mouth away I have nothing but respect for his skills and craftiness. He's one of my all-time favorite fighters to watch and we're going to make a statement agains the craftiest fighter out there. He's got some heart too because after taking some of the punches he took from Samuel, to be willing to take it again knowing he's going to be fighting a better Samuel next time, you have to respect that. I don't agree with his mouth and I think he's got the filthiest mouth in the business. He's going to make personal attacks against me but that's besides the point because he's fun to watch as far as his skills are concerned."

GL: Do you think the rematch will go twelve rounds?

IG: "All I can forsee right now is the rematch being more exciting than the first one. We're going in there concentrating on punching power or looking to knock him out. Samuel is taking himself to the next level and that's what I'm most excited about. I hear James Toney is doing the right thing too, I believe he's going to show up better and I think this is going to be a better fight."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

IG: "Look for an exciting year from my two heavyweights. It's only going to be a matter of time before Sergei has a title and Samuel Peter is going to take the WBC title in 2007 he will not be denied."


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