It's been a long tough road
for Dimitri Sartison. 18 months ago, he was the WBA super middleweight
champion with possible big fights looming when disaster struck. Sartison
severely injured his cruciate ligament in his knee, leaving the Kazakhstani to
wonder if he'd ever box again. Thankfully, he has returned and, after two
rebuilding fights, he's back in line to contest for his former title against
Karoly Balzsay, who picked up the vacant title when Sartison was injured. The
32-year-old is currently 29-1 (18) and looking to get back what was formerly
his on 21st April in Schwerin, Germany when he meets Balzsay.
Anson Wainwright – You severely injured your
knee after facing Khoren Gevor and was out of action for 15 months. Can you
tell us about the injury?
Dimitri Sartison - I could not fight for six months; it
was my cruciate ligament. It was a really hard time for me. And I was operated on
two times, before the bout against [Arturs] Kulikauskis [in November 2011] and
AW - What are your thoughts on your comeback win against
Arturs Kulikauskis? How did you feel and did you feel you healed enough?
DS - It was a difficult bout for me but it was a long
time without a bout. It was a good bout. But I needed a new operation after
that bout ‘cause my knee was too unstable.
AW - On 21 April, you will be fighting Karoly
Balzsay for the WBA super middleweight title. What are your thoughts
on that fight?
DS – Obviously, Karoly is an excellent boxer who deserves
his WBA champion title. It will not be an easy fight but the training is going
extremely well and my confidence is growing day by day.
The super middleweight division has many top fighters, so what are your
thoughts on the division and the current champions, WBC/WBA “super” champion
Andre Ward, WBA “regular champion” Balzsay, the IBF’s Lucian Bute, the WBO’s
Robert Stieglitz and the top contenders like Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham, etc.?
DS - It is a really good division with a lot of first-class
boxers. It is a great challenge to test myself up with the greatest fighters in
boxing. I like Froch's style of boxing.
AW – What did you think of
Ward vs. Froch?
DS - It
was a really interesting bout, two different ways of boxing and tactics. Boxing
on the highest level, although the fight was sometimes really unclean but that
is normal if two good fighters meet each other in the ring.
AW - The most well-known
fighter you have fought so far is Mikkel Kessler back in 2008. He's the only
boxer to have beaten you. Can you tell us about that fight and what you learned
DS - I have learned so much from this
fight. The most important thing is that I knew days later that I am strong
enough to compete with the best fighters in the world. And there was some
sinister omen: It was my first bout over 12 rounds, far away - not the
You were born in Kazakhstan. Can you tell us about your early years growing up?
Did you have the typical, hard upbringing many boxers do and how did you became
interested in boxing?
DS - Sure, that is an argument but I wanted do some fighting
sports since I was a little boy. In my hometown, Gifhorn [in Germany], exists
only a boxing club, so I started boxing. And if you have nothing, you learn
very early to work hard for your goals. If you wanna reach something in your
life, you have to work hard for it. This is a valuable lesson since I was a
What was your amateur career like; what tournaments did you win? Did you face
any well-known current pros?
DS - I
have beaten Arthur Abraham. In 1998, I was second place at the Junior World
Championship and, in 2002, I won the German middleweight championship.
AW - Can you tell us a little about yourself as a person; what do you like to
do away from boxing? Do you have to a day job outside boxing?
DS - I am really
interested in any sports but most in games with a ball like football or
basketball. My passion are cars, fast cars. As a boy, I wanted to learn
mechanics for car. If I have time, I am a coach too but only for little kids
who start with boxing. I am very thankful that I am a full-time pro.
AW - What fighters did you look up to when you were younger and who do you like
to see fight today?
DS - Roy Jones Jr. and “Prince” Naseem Hamed.