Marat Jakiyev has been working as a boxing coach for almost 20 years, and the world class trainer was named the Head Coach of Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in 2014.
A winner of a number of international tournaments as a boxer, Jakiyev trained 2005 AIBA World Champion Erdos Dzhanabergenov and 2012 Olympic Games silver medalist Adilbek Niyazymbetov prior to his appointment with Astana Arlans.
His tenure as Head Coach has been very successful thus far, and he has masterminded the Franchise to win 15 of their 16 fixtures in Season V.
With Kazakhstan scheduled to meet Cuba Domadores this weekend in the WSB Finals, we caught up with Jakiyev to find out more about himself, his team, and the upcoming clash with Cuba.
First of all, congratulations on reaching the WSB Finals. What does such a magnificent success mean for the Kazakhstan Franchise?
Thank you. I think it is a result of a lot of hard work and a result of joined efforts from the national team coaches, our club coaches and our boxers.
Throughout the season there has been a lot of rotation in the Astana Arlans line-ups. What was the reason for this?
Because everybody has their unique know how and different tactics.
During the second leg of the semi-finals we saw the long awaited WSB debut of London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medalist and AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medalist Ivan Dychko. How impressed were you with his performance, and is he ready to compete in the Finals?
After the semi-final debut match for Dychko, I think he has the chance to show himself once more. As for his participation in the Final, he is the number one in the national team. Who else if not him?
Cuba Domadores won a pre-season clash against Astana Arlans in Kazakhstan. How has that result affected your preparation for the rematch in the Finals? Will the match be different this time?
It’s going to be a close match with exciting bouts. Cuba’s squad consists of many World Champions and Olympic gold medalists, but I think we can find an appropriate response.
How has the training of the team gone ahead of the Finals? Will we see any surprises in the line-ups?
We train according to our plans, and of course we want to win, that’s why we’re working hard. If we lose, then what are we doing in the Finals? We have to win.
Kazakhstan are hosting the Finals at home. How crucial will be the support of your fans be in terms of the overall result?
On one hand, it’s good to fight at home as the support of our spectators is important. On the other hand, we would not want to disappoint our fans. Either way, there will be excellent boxing on show.
One of the most highly anticipated matches in the Finals will be a clash between two of the best Heavyweight boxers in the world when Erislandy Savon and Vasilii Levit take to the ring. What we can expect from this contest?
You are right, it’s going to be one of the most interesting and exciting fights of the Finals. Savon is a good and experienced boxer, while Levit is in good physical condition. I can say nothing, let’s wait until the weekend to know the precise result!
Which Cuban boxers will be the most dangerous fighters to compete against in the Finals?
Well, we already know the Cuban lineup and it’s strong squad. I’d like to mention Robeisy Ramirez, Lazaro Alvarez, Yasnier Toledo, Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo, Julio Cesar De La Cruz and Erislandy Savon in particular. I mentioned these guys, because together they represent four World Champions and two Olympic Champions. It’s a real challenge, but we have to overcome it.
When did you start your career in boxing?
When I was 11-years-old.
What does boxing mean for you and your life?
Well, boxing is not only a job to make money, it’s my life. Most of the time we are in training camps, forgetting families. Boxing means a sense of existence for me, as I live and stay in the sport.
Which boxers from the past have inspired you the most? And which boxer that you have trained has given you the most pride?
There are many good boxers, and as a coach I think that the best boxers are the ones which respect their coaches, and keep relations with them. You should not forget your coach.
My boxer Yerdos Zhanabergenov became an AIBA World Champion in 2005, while other boxers like Adilbek Niyazymbetov, Berik Abdrakhmanov are well known, but they still have a long career ahead of them, and I believe that they will enjoy new achievements.
- World Series of Boxing – An interesting project where boxer can improve himself.
- Astana Arlans Kazakhstan – An interesting team to work with
- Cuba Domadores – A strong team consisting of the best Cuban boxers.
- WSB Finals – Exciting matches, and interesting fights between the best boxers
- Boxing is – A lifestyle
- My hero is – People who are deprived somehow, for example, disabled people who manage to keep a positive attitude to life and want to continue living despite any circumstances.
- My favourite food is – any delicious cuisine
- My favourite drink is – Shubat, camel milk.
- How I see my future – Actually I have not enough time to think about the future. There are too many things to think, to solve, and to do here and now.