Anson Wainwright - You’re fresh off an impressive KO over Jason Pettaway on the Sergio Martinez-Matthew Macklin card at Madison Square Garden. Talk us through the fight, the stoppage and how happy you were with your performance.
Magomed Abdusalamov - Pettaway was a very tough opponent who came to fight. I was finally able to hurt him and stop him and I was very happy to have been showcased in Madison Square Garden on such an important show.
AW - What are your plans for the rest of 2012?
MA - I would like to remain busy but I leave that to my promotional company, Sampson Boxing. I fight Maurice Byarm in Las Vegas on July 6.
AW - So far, you’ve stopped all your opponents inside the distance. How far do you believe you are from fighting one of the other young heavyweights or even a contender?
MA - I am ready, willing and able to face any of today’s top rated contenders whenever they are put in front of me by my promoter.
AW - As well as your power, what can you tell us about your other strengths as a fighter? What areas of your game are you working on to improve?
MA - I can also box. I believe that the jab is the key to success. Fortunately, I have power but if the need arises, I have the wind and ability to also win on points.
AW - Can you tell us about your team?
MA - I have a first-rate team. My manager, Boris Grinberg, has already managed a heavyweight champion of the world [Sultan Ibragimov]. My promoter is Sampson Lewkowicz, who promotes several world champions. My trainer, Pablo Sarmiento, is also the trainer of Sergio Martinez and is on his way to becoming the game’s top trainer overall. I could not be happier with my team.
AW - You train at Sergio Martinez’s gym in Oxnard, CA. Can you tell us about this and what sort of influence he is on you?
MA - He has been a very positive influence on me, not only as an athlete but as a human being as well.
AW - How did you first come to meet your team and move to America?
MA - I had heard very positive things about both Boris and Sampson and it was a no-brainer about coming to America under their guidance.
AW - What was your amateur career like? What tournaments did you win? What current pros did you fight and how did they finish?
MA - I was the Russian National champion in 2005-06 and lost to Britain’s David Price in the 2008 European Olympic qualifier.
AW - Can you tell us about yourself as a person and what your interests and hobbies are away from boxing?
MA - I am a quiet, laidback person who lives the life of an athlete. I enjoy watching movies and sports.
AW - Who were your boxing heroes growing up?
MA - Mike Tyson, who was the dominant heavyweight of the era.
AW - What were your thoughts on what happened a few months back in Germany between Dereck Chisora and David Haye?
MA - I think it was totally tasteless and showed a total lack of class. It’s incidents like this that give our sport a bad image.
AW – Finally, do you have a message for the heavyweight division?
MA - I want to issue a warning to the heavyweight division. Be advised that “Mago” Magomed Abdusalamov is here to stay and I am not going anywhere for a while. Thank you.