Young and extremely gifted, Izuagbe ‘Izu’ Ugonoh is set to take the WSB by storm when he takes to the ring for the new Franchise Hussars Poland this season. When the competition gets under way in less than five weeks time, fans worldwide will be treated to something special when they see this man in action.
A superstar in the making, Ugonoh is all about skill, power and speed, a deadly combination at Heavyweight. Highly acclaimed in his native Poland, the orthodox powerhouse of Nigerian-descent is a huge addition to the WSB ranks. The 25-year-old’s presence in the competition is a real message of intent by the newcomers as they seek to qualify from Group A.
Having already begun a very promising career in the pro ranks, where he already boasts an unblemished seven wins no loss record with six KOs, the entertaining Ugonoh was keen to let us know how he felt joining the world’s premiere boxing team competition.
What are your thoughts on joining the Hussars Poland and competing in the WSB?
I am actually extremely excited, it is all completely new to me, a big unknown, an immense challenge, I am curious and nervous but all in a very positive way.
What do you think about the WSB league?
WSB it is a fantastic concept and the boxing is at a very high level, I watched some fights and I was really impressed with the quality of boxing. WSB as a whole will be great for Polish boxing, if the boxing stays at the high level it is now then there will be huge media attention and many fans will be coming to watch it.
You are a new and exciting prospect and there are very high expectations on your shoulders, how do you feel about this?
I see it as a very positive thing, that others believe in me, that they see my potential. I can deal with that pressure by keeping my feet firmly on the ground. For me the most important aspects are the conditions for my development, the environment and all the factors that support my work and my progress. We work all together for a common goal, when all the team works together then the success will come naturally.
You have a very interesting boxing career so far, you have been a professional boxer only four years but already with seven wins in seven fights. What makes you such a good boxer?
I believe in myself and I am a quick learner. I have full faith that I will continue progressing. The WSB will be fantastic for me as I will be going to head to head with some of the best in the business. I absorb the knowledge like a sponge.
Tell us about your passion for boxing.
My dream was always to go to the top in one of the oldest disciplines in the world. What better way than doing what you love every day. Boxing has also allowed me to develop as a human being and has opened many doors.
What do you like about boxing?
I just love the training and the process of preparation. There is a huge amount of focus and also huge emotional relief. I love all the parts of preparations, the running, fitness, working on speed, working with the bag and with the pads, the sparring. The final fight is just the summary of all that process.
You are not only an athlete with huge potential but you also have quite an interesting upbringing. Your parents are from Nigeria, you were born in Poland. Tell us a bit about your story.
Both my parents received scholarships at to come and study at Polish Universities. My father graduated from a Marine Academy as a Master Mariner and my mother graduated in Law. After that they settled in Gdansk, a major coastal city with a great marine history. I have five siblings. As a boy I was the only African at kindergarten but I always fitted in. I love this country and it is my home. I am proud to be Polish.
You graduated from the Sport Academy and apparently you are very interested in psychology. Is knowledge of psychology key to success?
Definitely, I am convinced about it. Psychology has a huge influence in all parts of life and especially in sports. I train my mind every single day, every day I chose my attitude and am very focused on getting in the right frame of mind. Your mind always has to be right, especially when you box. Every day I channel positive energy, I always focus on the positive side of life.
What are your personal expectations for this coming season?
This is will be a real test for me, a verification of my capabilities; I will know where I stand in boxing.