26-year-old Bahram Muzaffer has had an impressive rise to the top after taking up boxing at a very late stage. The talented Turkish orthodox fighter proved his worth last season with the Istanbul Bosphorus as he recorded three wins from his four bouts in the competition. After winning the AIBA European Olympic Qualifying Event Trabzon 2012, he was rewarded with a place at London 2012 and although his experience of the biggest show on earth was brief, his talent was recognised by the new WSB Franchise German Eagles who recruited him this month to add firepower to their ranks.
Highly motivated, with an exceptional work ethic and with a full season’s experience under his belt, many expect the hard-hitting Muzaffer to really make an impact for his new team. A big star in his native Turkey, having already participated at three AIBA World Boxing Championships in his distinguished career, Muzaffer is solid as a rock and relishes the pro-style format of the WSB. We enjoyed interviewing him earlier this year (read more) so we just had to put a few questions to the Eagles newest addition.
What are your thoughts on joining the German Eagles?
I am delighted to be part of this strong team; it will be a big opportunity for me to continue my development. I will probably go and live in Leipzig, and train there. I currently live in Bursa, Turkey, a city in north western of Turkey, but a move to Germany would be good, I know there is a huge Turkish population there so it would be a home from home. It is a fantastic challenge for me.
Tell us a little about yourself and the sport you love.
My father was a boxer, and influenced me to take up the sport. He was a great role model for me. We grew up in Azerbaijan and Russia where there is a strong boxing influence so it has always been around. I love this sport; it has defined me as a person. Although I take it very seriously, I think it is very important to keep sense of humour about things.
You were impressive last year; you overpowered three out of four opponents, what are your goals for the upcoming WSB season?
I want to win; I really want to give my best. Winning with style is the objective. I am still developing as an athlete but have learnt a lot in the past year, I am ready to face anyone now.
This year was particularly important for you because you qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games, tell us about your experience.
I was feeling very low after the Olympics, my time in London was disappointing, I did not perform when it mattered, I went there to win, and I lost my first bout, I was devastated. I returned home deflated. I had to refocus and with the help of my coach, family and friends, I have come back mentally stronger. I have upped my levels of intensity and am training harder than ever.
Tell us about your training regime since the Games.
I train hard five days a week then rest for two. Normally Monday to Friday I am at the gym, with sessions in the morning and in the afternoon. I like to mix it up and keep the body guessing. I give it my all in training but, over the two days’ rest, I allow my body to recover and grow.
Has boxing taught you something about life?
I think that sport teaches you to be precise, even in the little things. Boxing is a state of mind, you have to constantly give your all, it teaches you a lot.
Do you have any specific diet tips, what is yours like?
I do have some specific rules when it comes to food; I just ensure that I eat a well balanced diet. I take vitamins but not that many supplements. I believe you should listen to your body so each and everyone has different requirements when it comes to food.
What is the food that you love but can’t eat?
If you want to be a top level athlete, you have to stay away from fatty foods. I do, although very rarely, allow myself a little treat and have a ‘döner kebap’.
Is there a boxer that your admire?
Mohammed Ali was always my favourite, he is by far the most charismatic and technical fighter that ever was.
You are very good technically, is there any area that you still want to improve on?
With the German Eagles, I want to continue working on perfecting my technique. I worked hard on the physical part of my training and want to hone my skills even more now. Apart from that it is work as usual, train hard and be focused.
The German Eagles begin their campaign in Group B away to the reigning champions Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan on Saturday 17th November.