With the start of the World Series of Boxing Season IV just four weeks away, we talk to Donatas Piskun, the Ukraine Otamans’ Sports Director about the final squad selection and the teams’ objectives this year.
When will you be confirming your final boxing roster? Are you in discussions with boxers already?
The objective set by the President of the Ukrainian Boxing Federation and of the Ukraine Otamans is to win inthe next WSB season. We realize that well-coordinated and efficient selection of boxers is an important element in creating a strong and successful team.
We have an individual approach in the selection of each boxer in each category. The final boxing roster will be confirmed by the end of October. I hope we’ll manage to have the strongest Ukrainian boxers in our team.
Are there any boxers that you can already confirm for fans?
Yes, I can already confirm the Bantamweight (56 kg) Mykola Butsenko; who was a Silver Medalist in the last European Championship. I can also confirm that our Light Welterweight (64 kg) National Champion Vyacheslav Kyslytsyn will be on the team.
Are any of your boxers going to the World Championships?
Both Butsenko and Kyslytsyn will be competing at the AIBA World Championships in Kazakhstan.
How much rest will the boxers need following the World Championships to recover? Does an athlete start training again quite gently or can they start training at full power/speed etc. quite quickly?
During the World Championship the athletes will perform at their peak potential so they’ll certainly need some rest afterwards. Our coaches and doctors will define the recovery period needed for each boxer, individually. Some of them will have more time to recover than others. We have an individual and professional approach to each athlete.
Do you have a centralized or decentralized structure?
I consider training separately unacceptable for a team. The unity and harmony are the force of any team. Our team has a centralized structure, the boxers train at the training camp in Kiev. A nutritionist and a functional training coach will join our squad in this up-coming season.
If you have international boxers on the team – how do you coach them during matches and in the build-up – are there language barriers?
Last season our team was joined by Alexandre Riscan from Moldavia, who spoke Russian and English very well. He was the soul of the team and we didn’t have any language barriers. This season we might have more international boxers. I don’t think this will be problematic. We will hire interpreters if needed.
Who do you view as your main rivals in Group A (USA Knockouts, Argentina Condors, Italia Thunder, German Eagles, Algeria Desert Hawks) and why?
Every team is quite ambitious, our group is well structured and I think the battle will continue till the last gong. It will be especially interesting to meet the Algeria and the Argentina teams as these are new rivals for the Otamans.
At this early stage: if you had to pick just one match that could be decisive in determining your final group position, what (would it be and why?
In our group, we would choose the Italian boxing team, the Dolce & Gabbana, Italia Thunder. They have already been WSB Champions (2011-2012). Meeting them in the ring will be challenging and spectacular.