In a move that will definitely spice up the competition, WSB is pleased to announce that one of the most imposing boxers in the world has just joined the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan Franchise in a coup that will send tremors through the Heavyweight division. Giant Ivan Dychko, who is 202cm, 6ft7½in tall, took the bronze medal at both the Olympic Games and at the AIBA World Boxing Championships as well as claiming silver at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, losing each time to the eventual winner.
He will now spearhead a formidable group in the heaviest weight class, linking up with WSB World Champion Filip Hrgovic and WSB Individual Championships finalist Ruslan Myrsatayev. With these three, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan now has the arsenal to rival any team in the competition.
We caught up with the promising orthodox fighter from Kazakhstan and put a few questions to WSB’s newest addition.
Tell us how you feel joining Astana Arlans Kazakhstan and competing in WSB
I am very happy to be able to box in WSB. I am here to win. The Astana Arlans Kazakhstan team is great and we have a good squad of boxers with an excellent head coach, which made the decision to join simple. There is no doubt we have a strong team and have a great chance of winning the competition. I know a lot of the other boxers and I am impressed with them all. It really fills you with confidence to be surrounding by such quality, I cannot wait to get started and fight for my team and my country.
You took bronze at the Olympic Games; tell us about your experience.
The Olympic Games themselves were an incredible experience, being surrounded by all these athletes, the biggest competition in the world, it is very surreal. Also you are representing your country and you know millions are watching you. I met some fantastic people in London and I will always remember my time there, it was unique. In terms of preparation for my bouts, I put myself in the zone, as I do for all my fights, blocked everything out, so at the time it felt like any other. I got the bronze medal and narrowly lost against the one who went on to win the gold so I am happy with my performance.
So you are focused on WSB now, tell us your thoughts on Group B
It is quite impressive if you look at all the teams in the Group, they are all really good. We have to face the reigning champions and the Ukrainians so it will be tough. But we are solid and do not fear anyone. It promises to be really entertaining for the fans.
You will be facing the likes of Clemente Russo and Oleksandr Usyk. How highly do you rate them?
You cannot argue with their quality, Usyk is an amazing power, he has real style, and Russo is unbeaten over two seasons I think but I know he is tired so I will beat him.
You are so tall so need good nutrition, do you have any recommendations?
I drink black tea with milk, like the English do, and eat a lot of rice, pork and potatoes, and because it’s cold in Kazakhstan in winter, we are used to eating Ice cream.
When did you begin boxing and tell us about your training regime
I took up boxing at 15 years old after it was recommended to me and I fell in love with the sport instantly, the training, the effort, being one-on-one in the ring. It is very special. Now I train every day, except Sundays. I always have one hour in the morning and three in the afternoon and so far it has worked for me.
You are 22, what are your long term plans?
I want to continue training hard and become a better boxer. I want to win WSB with my team and then after that I will concentrate on preparing myself for the AIBA World Championships Astana 2013 where I hope to take gold in my home country. It is very simple for me, I have no family or wife so my life is all about the boxing, my mother is very proud.
The Astana Arlans Kazakhstan begin their campaign in Group B away to the Ukraine Otamans on Friday 16th November.