At 20 years old, Croatian giant Filip Hrgovic can already call himself a winner. Since his introduction to the competition, the 198cm tall, 6ft6in, orthodox fighter has taken the WSB by storm, an integral part of the victorious Paris United team in the inaugural season, he then went on to claim the WSB Heavyweight belt after triumphing in Season II’s Individual Championships.
As a result, he was hot property with all the big teams chasing him at the end of last season. The lure of the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan was too much for the big Croatian to resist and he joined Sergiy Derevyanchenko on the impressive roster of last season’s semi-finalists.
With all the attributes of a true Heavyweight, Hrgovic has been talked about as one of the future greats and his development has been closely monitored by many worldwide, describing his potential as truly unique. His presence should now give the edge to Astana Arlans Kazakhstan as they seek glory on the ultimate stage.
We put a few questions to the 2012 WSB World Champion.
Tell us about your first impressions of your new team.
I was very touched by the hospitality when I arrived in Kazakhstan. There is a very friendly atmosphere in the team. All the guys are ready to fight for the trophy. We also have a fantastic coaching staff.
What is your frame of mind coming into your third season in WSB?
I will do my best for the team. I will work and train even harder than I ever have before. I know there will be huge competition in the Heavyweight category this season so it is vital that I am at my peak. I will also pay special attention to my preparation for fights; I will watch the bouts of my opponents and take into account all details.
What are the terms of the contract?
At the moment the contract is for Season III and depending on how well we do and how well I perform, it could be extended. I am just delighted to be here.
What are your long-term plans for your career?
As a professional boxer I want to develop my skills further, maximize my potential and reach the very top level. I want to be recognized for my power and skills. My priority right now though is Astana Arlans and nothing else. With the set-up we have I know we can have a successful season. I recently met 2003 AIBA World Champion and 2004 Olympic silver medallist Gennady Golovkin, who is an icon in Kazakhstan, and his advice was to focus on constant improvement.
Who is your idol?
Actually I do not have a specific idol. I watch with interest the old fights of Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and I always stay up to watch the Klitchko brothers. I analyse their bouts to learn.
If you could choose who to step into the ring with, who would it be?
I think that when I reach my prime that I could challenge the supremacy of the Klitchko brothers. Realistically though, when the day arrives, the Klitchkos will have well and truly retired.
Relive Hrgovic’s win at the 2012 WSB Individual Championships