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Golden Contract winner Ricards Bolotniks fights for honour, not for money

Ricards Bolotniks
James Chance/Getty Images
In-form light-heavyweight Ricards Bolotniks explains to Adam Noble-Forcey where he gets his motivation from

When and why you started boxing:

I first started with street boxing, you could say! I really loved fighting basically. I saw Mairis Briedis on TV in 2013. He was getting very big in Latvia at the time. I remember saying to my mother that I wanted to be like Mairis. I started boxing that same year and turned professional, without any amateur experience.

Favourite all-time fighter:

Mairis because he’s from my country and he’s like a big brother to me.

Best fight you’ve seen:

Mairis against Oleksandr Usyk in the WBSS. It was nice to see a Latvian show the world that he’s on the same level as such a great fighter as Usyk.

Personal career highlight:

So far, it has to be The Golden Contract light-heavyweight final against Serge Michel (w rsf 10 – December 2020).

Toughest opponent:

When I’m sparring with Mairis. But in terms of an actual fight, most of my opponents have been very challenging in different ways.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:

My best attribute is that when I’m sitting in the changing room before a fight, I don’t think about the money. I think about fighting for my family and my country, which makes me perform very well. My worst attribute is that I love to eat! This makes it hard for me to cut weight.

Training tip:

You can’t go into the gym with a bad attitude. You need to be prepared to train like a monster.

Favourite meal/restaurant:

I like pizza and a nice cold beer.

Best friends in boxing:

My coach, Dmitrijs Siholajs. He trains Mairis too. He’s like a father and a friend to me.

Other sportsperson you would like to be:

My father because he was a great swimmer.

Last film/TV show you saw:

My favourite film is The Crow. I watch it all the time.

Who would play you in a film of your life:

My wife tells me that I look like The Rock, Dwayne Johnson. I’d have to agree with her!

Have you ever been starstruck:

No! If I see a big star it doesn’t bother me.

Last time you cried:

Every time I go on Instagram or Facebook and see a video of me and my wife, I can’t help but cry with happiness.

Best advice received:

My wife gives me words of motivation when I get up at 6am for training. She tells me that I must work hard each day so I can be the very best version of myself.

Worst rumour about yourself:

There’s nothing negative said about me thankfully.

Something not many people know about you:

If you mess with my family, you’ll meet the lion in me!

Age: 31
Twitter: @LionBolotnik
Nickname: ‘The Lion’
Height: 6ft 1in
Nationality: Latvian
From: Riga
Stance: Orthodox
Record: 18-5-1 (8)
Division: Light-heavyweight
Titles: WBO European
Next fight: Ranked in the top 10 by the IBF and WBO, Bolotniks is aiming to progress further up the ratings this year.

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