Interview with ARTEM LEVIN by Serge TREFEU (2011)
Serge TREFEU: Hello Artem, thank you for grant me this interview. You were born and you grew in which region of Russia?
ARTEM LEVIN: I was born and grew in Siberian town of Prokopyievsk
Towards what age you began the boxing?
I was fond of basketball since 6, but as for my brothers had been boxing, I knew I would become a boxer at 10. It was undisputable. And when I have reached the age of 10, the age a child can come to gym, I joined boxing team…
In your region the Thai Boxing was developed when you began?
Child you were rather a brawler or at all?
I’ve been an active boy, but not a bullyboy
How you discovered the boxing?
I’ve got two elder brothers, who had told me that I should be a boxer since I have been in the age of reason. Other options were not considered. I knew that it would be my future anyway.
Why you chose this sport?
I always liked boxing. When we had found a thai boxing gym occasionally, we have chosen this sport. It became clear that muay thay is a comprehensive discipline and it can be used on streets. It was love at first sight: various techniques, fighters’ staying power, ancient history, everything was charming
Speak us about your very first gym, what was your trainer?
Oleg Petrovski was my first coach. The gym is still the same (Kuzbass Muay Thai Gym). It’s the oldest one in this town. Mr. Vitaly Miller is my present coach. We are together during 12 years. He is the one who made me as I am now, whom with I gain new victories
Muay Thai is well known now in Russia what is that there are a lot of events in the country?
No, not many. At least, there are not as many as we would like
The Russians like the Thai boxing, they know well this sport today?
Muay thai is going to be Olympic discipline. So, muay thai is supposed to be popular and interesting sport. Russia is not an exception. And if we have an interest, there would be its fans and experts
When you began, do there were champions who you one influenced by their boxing for the continuation of your career?
The outstanding muay thai master Grigory Drozd has been an example. He came from my native Prokopyievsk. His achievements in the sport were incredible high at right that time. And I always have had sympathy for great champion Roy Jones Jr.
You fought a lot in amateurism which title you gained amateurishly?
I have no amateur records. I was competing much, and I guess there is a solid record. Main titles are 5-time World champion, 3-time European champion. My opponents are the strongest fighters in my weight, they are well-known all around the world
What memory you have in championship of Amateur world?
It’s rare thing to face all the best fighter at the same time and place. One can make a lot of useful contacts. Each competitor stands the test of hardness. World championships are understood as festival of sport. I bring many impressions from the events
Do you fights only in Muay Thai or sometimes also in the other disciplines as the Kickboxing or the K1 rule?
Muay thai is my discipline, but if I receive worth offers in K-1, I take them and show what I have in me. I’m a professional indeed
You began in which category the boxing and in which category you fights today?
First progress appeared at 67kg class, at current it is light heavyweight, i.e. 79 kg
In professional, what are the titles which you gained and against whom?
WMC Intercontinental title against Alexander Stetsurenko of Russia, EMF European title against Vitor Pereira of Portugal, Contender Asia 2 russian qualifier against Vitaly Gurkov of Belarus, It’s Showtime World title against Lhoucine Ouzgni of Marocco
In Professional how much you made of fight, how much victory and defeats?
39 wins (29 by KO), 10 by decision, 3 losses
You fought in Thailand, how much you have make of fight in Thailand?
I ran about 10 pro fights, and I didn’t recorded amateur fights
In what year you went the first time in Thailand?
In 2005 at World championship
In what camp you were trained?
At the largest thai World Muaythai Council Camp on Ko-Samui
What are the Thai champions whom you faced?
Yodsaenklai Fairtex (1 win, 1 lose), Surrasak Pakkhothakang (win), Tum Madsua (win), Nonthanon Por Pramuk (win), Nonsai Sirisuk (win), Asanai Peniran (win). And there is upcoming fight versus Kaoklai Kaennorasing
What do you think of Thai fighters?
The main peculiarity of thai fighters is that muay thai is the reason of life, it can’t be said about Europeans. Muay thai is nearly the one opportunity to make way in life, earn for living. Thus, it a hard thing to compete top thai fighters…
You faced twice the best Thai in 75 kg Yodsenklai, you once lose (By KO) and you once win against him (in points), what do you think of him?
I’d like it to happen, but as far as we are in different weight categories now, this is next to possible
You have made of great fight in front of champions as Dmitry Valent, Emil Zoraj, Dmitry Shakuta what think you of these opponents?
I respect all of my opponents in the ring. Each has become a step in my career, each has been worth of winning and gaining their titles
Amateurishly you met French boxers as Jonathan Camara, Sidibe Cheick, that do you think of French fighters?
French national team participates in international championships constantly. Fighters are of presentable level
Do you know French fighters?
Except those you’ve mentioned, I know Gregory Choplin, Jerome Le Banner
One of the best French in 77 kg is Gregory Choplin, would like you to meet him?
I fight with the best. I assume it can be
Would you like to come to fight in France?
Sure, I like travelling
In 2010 in Amsterdam you gained the championship of World It’s Show Time in 77 kg against the Dutch Ouzgni, how you found the atmosphere of the evenings in Holland and how think you of Dutch fighters?
Another school, another level. There was an excellent show, but I think Russian fighters can compete Dutch at their best
You are soon going to meet the Thai Kaoklai Kaennorasing for a championship of the World WBC, you know Kaoklai, he beat champions foreign to K1 Heavyweight, it’s a great champion, what will be your tactics of fight in front of him?
Team Kaoklai would be reading the interview. I’d rather keep this information not to get wrong impressions of the fight with its predictability…
What are the champions of Muay Thai of your category who are the best for you at present in the world?
In my opininon, thai best fighter become champions. They are on the top of rankings!
There is an opponent in particular that you would like to meet today?
No, I’m ready to fight anyone. I consider all offers
Your hardest fight of your career it was against whom?
Both fights versus Yodsaenklai were the hardest ones. Both physically and mentally. The first fight, because it happened to be the only loss by knockout, the second, because it was the versus the same opponent from whom I had got that loss in record. I have to win crucially. It was a hard earned win. I’ve been awarded Will-to-win spirit prize on National martial arts awards ceremony!
Who is for you today after the Thailand the country the strongest in Thai boxing?
It is obvious at World championships. Belorussian, Dutch, Ukrainian fighters
At present where you train and with which sparring partners?
At my place in Prokopyievsk. Sparring partners are numerous in Kuzbass team. National and European champions help me to prepare. It would be hard without their help, so far sparrings make me stronger and partners get experience and new skills. We learn from each other
In Russia the winter it is very cold, you are used to make trainings in the cold with often the joggings outside, when you are going to fight in a warm country for example in Thailand, it is difficult to acclimatize quickly to the conditions or it never raises you of problem?
Siberians don’t notice frost. Foreigners are afraid of our frosty weather. If we refer to history, it is russian winter what helped us win battles. I become used to time zone and weather siftings and I can easily accustom to conditions
What are the techniques which you most like making on the boxing ring?
There are different series, knee and elbow hits
What are your strong points?
And your weak points which you would like to improve?
I see not weak points, but ways for perfecting. The side to improve always can be found
You like making the Show on the boxing ring, dancing and defying your opponent, it is a way of destabilizing him psychologically?
Yes, it is.
One you nickname “The Lion”, where from comes to you this nickname?
This is my surname conjugate. I try my best to match it in the ring
Today you make a good living thanks to Muay Thai?
I hope so. Thanks to muay thai many doors and opportunities are opened for me
When are your next fights in 2011 against whom?
I am focused on the upcoming WBC World title bout versus Kaoklai. Further plans and negotiations are delayed
What are your projects for 2011?
I will take many striking title bouts and make several seminars while travelling across the world
Thank you very much for this interview and CHOOKDEE
Thank You too. Good luck!
Artem Levin walk off with everything amateurishly, 5 championships of the World, a record!
Thank a big amateur experience he became now one of quite better world in professional. Its unpredictable boxing and especially its terrible punch destabilize his opponents. He has just beaten redoubtable Kaoklai Kaennorasing and so becomes the new World champion WBC – 79 kg!
Height : 1m90
Weight: 80 Kg
Number of fight: Professional : 42. 39 wins (29 by KO). 3 losses
Title: Professional: World Champion WBC (2011). It’s Showtime 77 MAX World Champion (2010). The Contender Asia Season 2 Russian qualifying tournament champion (2008). Battle of Champions tournament champion (2008). WMC Intercontinental Champion (2007). WMC EMF European title (2007)
Amateur: SportAccord World Combat Games Muaythai champion (2010). IFMA European Amateur Muaythai champion (2010). IFMA European Amateur Muaythai champion (2009). Busan TAFISA World Games IFMA Amateur Muaythai champion (2008). IFMA Amateur Muaythai World champion (2007). IFMA Amateur Muaythai World champion (2006). WMF Amateur Muaythai World champion (2006). WMF Amateur Muaythai World champion (2005). IFMA Champion of Russia (2003)
Gym: Kuzbass Muay Thai