Interview with ANDREI KULEBIN by Serge TREFEU (2011)
Serge TREFEU: Hello Andrei, thank you for grant me this interview. Where you were born, in your district the gyms of Thai boxing were many when you were adolescent?
ANDREI KULEBIN: I born in Germany (Noishtrelts) in the family of Soviet Union soldier. When I was 1,5 years old my family come back to Belarus. We live in small Town Gatovo near Minsk. There was not any sport Gyms there. When I was 8 my father brings me in Minsk Taekwondo gym. When I was 12 I come to Muay Thai Gym of My Coach Evgeni “Kick Fighter” because I see that Muay Thai was much stronger.
Towards what age you began the boxing?
So I start Muay Thai from 12.
Why to have chosen the Thai boxing?
It was most popular combat sport in Belarus. All know Alexei Pekarchik, Dmitry Shakuta, Vasily shish and Alexei Ignashov
How you discovered this sport?
My father brings me in most famous gym in Belarus…
Speak us about your very first gym, what was your trainer?
My Coach was owner of the Kick Fighter Gym, president of Belarus kickboxing and Muay Thai federation Evgeni Dobrotvorski
Do you remember of your very first fights, what is that you won them?
Yes my first fight was with Parviz Iskenderov, I won it by KO with knee. Then I won Belarus Children Championships in 38kg weight category. There were 3 hard fights. My first pro fight was in 42kg in Russian City Kaliningrad, I won there.
When you began Muay Thai this sport was well known in Belarus?
Yes it was very popular because of first big professional tournaments: Belarus-USA, Belarus-Thailand…
And today how goes Muay Thai in Belarus?
Today Muay Thai in Belarus N°1 in combat sports and in first 5 in all!
Who were the Byelorussian champions when you began your career, do there are champions who influenced you for the continuation of your career?
Yes my favourite fighters were from My Gym, Pekarchik, Shish, and Shakuta. They just won their first world titles!
You fought enormously in amateurism, more than 100 fights I believe, from what age you are crossed professional?
I start professional fights in 15 years old
What big difference there is for you between the amateur fights and the fights a professional?
Yes it big difference. Another atmosphere of tournaments, longer fights and rounds, less equipment’s. This was 2 different sports but I still like them both…
You gained several times the amateur world championships; in which year?
My first World amateur championships in WAKO in 2001, Next was IAMTF in 2003 (win Jabar Askerov). In Thailand IAMTF: 2004, 2005, 2006, IAMTF & IFMA-2007, In Ukraine WAKO 2003!
What is your best memory in World Championship Amateur?
In Chiang Mai in 2004 that was on open area. Was very difficult to fight in finals against a Thai
Against what opponents you gained your first championships of Europe?
My first fights in small weight divisions and I don’t remember my opponents
You gained an impressive number of titles, you can say to me against whom and in which year?
2002 in Poland against Alexei Talantov WKN European title. 2004 in Minsk against Lopes WKN World, 2005 against Jalal Echaouchi WKN World, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 in I-1 Hong Kong (WMC world), WMC Muay Thai against drugs against Shriven (Thai), WMC World Champion in Jamaica I win Mosab Amrani, Big-8 2009 WKN World Champion win in final Nopparat, 2009 in Manchester KO against Michael Dicks WMC World Champion, Dynamite World ThaiboxingChampion 2010 in Sheffield I win Imran Khan
You gained important tournaments like WMC I-1 and the WKN Grand Prix with into final a victory over the champions Santichai for the WMC I-1 and Nopparat Keatkhamtorn for the WKN Grand Prix, which memory you have these fights against Santichai and Nopparat?
Was strong opponents and I study a lot from this fights
Did you know well I believe Nopparat because you already trained in his camp Keatkhamtorn, that not too difficult to fight against him after having trained the same camp?
Nopparat very strong in clinch and is difficult to win him in this distance so we choose other style. But in Keatkhamtorn gym I train with Nopparat only 1 time, other time I stay with other fighters
What do you think of your fights against these great champions whom you met, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee, Mosab Amrani, Rudolf Durica, start with Sudsakorn?
Good fighter, very relaxed, good feeling distance, good speed.
Against Mosab Amrani?
Classic Holland fighter, good punches, but not Thai school
Against Rudolf Durica?
Good clinch, very feet, strong fighter, strong all 5 rounds!
You have already fought against French champions, I believe against the champion Mehdi Zatout, that do you think of French fighters?
French fighters are good, I fought with 2 French fighters they have good techniques and spirit
Soon you are going to meet Fabio Pinca, it is at present the best French boxer, you know his boxing and of what think you of him? Do you have anything to say to him by means of this interview?
I know that he is good, so I will prepare good for this fight. I respect all my opponents…
How much you made of fight professional, how much victory and defeats?
About 50, lose 4 in adult age, and 2 fights I lose when was child
How much you have make of fight in Thailand?
In professional only 1 against Durica in 2005, in amateur many in world championships
In what year you went the first time in Thailand?
In 2001 in IAMTF world championships in Bangkok
Do you trained in several camps?
What difference you find between the trainings in Thailand and those in Belarus?
Among the best Thai in your category such as Orono Vor Petchpun, Thanongdeth Chengzimaiwgym, Kem Sitsongpinong, Numpon P.K.Sterio, Prakaysaeng Sit Or, whom you would most like to face?
Any fighter needs special preparation. When my coach and manager will make agreement for these fights I will start preparation. For now I don’t think about this
Do you have already fought in Holland, what do you think of Dutch fighters?
Now I never fight in Holland. They have most K-1 style not Muay Thai
There is an opponent in particular that you would like to meet today?
I have a lot in future 6 month so I think about them not about virtual opponent…
What is your best memory of boxing so far?
And the worst?
In Italy against Sudsakorn
Your hardest fight of your career it was against whom?
In Minsk with Nopparat (mentally) in Bangkok with Durica (physically)
Who is for you today after the Thailand the country the strongest in Thai boxing?
At present where you train and with which sparring partners?
Dmitry Valent, Andrei Kotsur, Maks Maruga, Pavel Revtovich and other fighters from my Gym “Kick fighter”
You train how many times a day?
Normally 2 or 1 depends of period of preparation
What are the techniques which you most like making on the boxing ring?
I like work different techniques, and I love Muay thai that there is many strong techniques
What are your strong points?
I train to be strong in all aspects of fight
Today you make a good living thanks to Muay Thai?
When are your next fights?
What are your projects for 2011?
Many: Pinca, World Champion, Europe Champion, Sudsakorn, Big-8, Thai fight…
You want to add anything?
I want say good luck to readers of the magazine
Thank you very much for this interview and CHOOKDEE
Kulebin is a great champion of the Byelorussian school, the fighters technically complete in Muay Thai because they have a great experience of amateur before crossing professional. Andrei gained everything amateurishly and his professional career is also extraordinary because he does not stop accumulating the world titles. He is soon going to meet Fabio Pinca, French N°1 of the category which is at present in great shape, a fight which will be certainly one of the shocks of year 2011!
Weight: 67 Kg
Number of fight: 165. Professional : 50. 44 Wins. 6 Losses Amateur: 115
Title: World champion WMC (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010). World Champion WKN (2004, 2005). Europe Champion WKN (2002). Winner Tournement Big 8 WKN (2009). World Champion Amateur WAKO (2001, 2003). World Champion Amateur IAMTF (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006). World Champion Amateur IFMA (2007)
Gym: Kick Fighter