|Interview with Oleg Maskaev: The Big "O" Getting ready for the Big Show
By Mike Casile, PBR (July 24, 2006)
As a fighter ages, it becomes harder to change the style he is accustomed to. For Oleg Maskaev, it was change, or be thrown out, like so many big punchers before him. He is undefeated in the last ten fights, and he is taking one more shot at the big time. It is do or die for the big puncher, and he plans on giving Rahman a boxing lesson.
CASILE: I've always seen you as a one dimensional fighter, you've always had the punch, but seemed to lack the defensive, or boxing skills to get you to the next level. You have won your last 10 fights, 8 by knockout. This is a great comeback. What did you do?
OLEG: Well, it’s new my team. They believe in me, they got behind me, they showed me what I am capable of. They
built a new Oleg. They changed my style. And this is me now.
CASILE: In your last fight against Sinan Sam, you seemed more fluid, and had better ring positioning. You didn’t look like you were going for the big knock out all the time. You must have changed your regimen to keep that pace.
OLEG: I worked hard with my trainer, we had a strategy, we knew Sam could take a punch, and he would not be easy to knock out. The best way to beat him, we thought was to be box him, and train accordingly.
CASILE: What’s your plan for Rahman?
OLEG: We have a set plan for Rahman. We are not going to show him what we did in the last fight. But I am not saying what our plan is. We know he will be ready, and so will we.
CASILE: Do you think you have the psychological edge over him, since you knocked him out?
OLEG: Well, I put that aside. I can take a lot of good things out of previous fights, but I can’t look back too much. I can’t just think this is going to be an easy fight, because I knocked him out last time. We are two different fighters now, and it is going to be an interesting fight.
CASILE: Are you a more careful fighter now, than before, because your older, and have children, and more to lose?
OLEG: It make me a better fighter, I have a lot on my shoulders, my family, my fans, my team. They depend on me, so I fight harder, and I won’t let them down.
CASILE: How is your weight? Do you fluctuate between fights?
OLEG: When you train for a few months, your weight goes down. Right now I am 240 lbs., and for the fight I will be 235lbs.
CASILE: Do you want to reply to some of things Rahman has said in the press?
OLEG: Whatever he says, that’s on him. I don’t want to reply back. I believe in the fight. The fight will show everything
CASILE: In March when the WBC said you were the mandatory challenger, were you licking your chops, thinking this is your “dare to be great” situation?
OLEG: I felt like I really have a chance. It is a great opportunity; it’s been coming to this for along time. I thank God, I have the opportunity to fight for the championship.
CASILE: What do you want your fans, other boxers, and the world to know that is the difference, between Oleg Maskaev today, and Oleg Maskaev 5 years ago.
OLEG: That I am a great fighter, but now I’m a good boxer. I always come to fight, and I always come to win.
CASILE: Good luck.
OLEG: Thank you Mike.
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