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Robin Krasniqi: ‘Life has not always been easy. I was only a child when my country was destroyed’

Robin Krasniqi
Martin Rose/Getty Images
Robin Krasniqi reveals the hardships he has had to overcome to get to where he is today

When and why you started boxing:

I started training at a little gym in Munich at the beginning of 2005 when I was 17. A few months later I watched some of the boxers from my gym boxing on a professional show, and I said to my trainer that I could box better than some of them. So I made my pro debut on October 20, 2005, without any amateur experience.

Favourite all-time fighter:

Muhammad Ali, because he had a big heart both inside and outside the ring.

Best fight you’ve seen:

Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao, because both fighters were very smart and very fast.

Personal career highlight:

Winning the Interim WBA light-heavyweight championship against Dominic Boesel [ko 3 – October 2020] and winning the European super-middleweight title against Stanislav Kashtanov [ud 12 – June 2018].

Toughest opponent:

Nathan Cleverly [l ud 12 – April 2013]. I fought him in the UK and he was a very complete fighter.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:

I don’t have any amateur experience, but I’m a very hard worker.

Training tip:

Be the first to arrive at the gym and the last to leave.

Favourite meal/restaurant:

My favourite dish is fli. It’s Albanian.

Best friends in boxing:

My manager, Luan Dreshaj.

Other sportsperson you would like to be:

No one. I’m already the happiest sportsperson in the world!

Last film/TV show you saw:

The boxing movie, Bleed for This.

Who would play you in a film of your life:

I’d choose Mark Wahlberg.

Have you ever been starstruck:

No. I’ve always just focused on my own career.

Last time you cried:

Last month when I beat Boesel. It was a great relief. Life has not always been easy for me. I was only a child when my country, Kosovo, was completely destroyed, and women and children were massacred.

Best advice received:

When I lost my third pro fight, my father said to me that I have to either live for the sport or leave it, because it was difficult for him to see his son lose.

Worst rumour about yourself:

After my defeat last year, many people said that I was finished.

Something not many people know about you:

I’m infinitely grateful to Germany for the opportunities I’ve received here. I’ve set up a gym in Gersthofen where I live. I want to give something back to the young people in the area.

FAST FACTS
Age: 33
Twitter: @RobinKrasniqi
Nickname: n/a
Nationality: Kosovan-German
From: Gersthofen, Germany
Stance: Orthodox
Record: 51-6 (19)
Division: Light-heavyweight
Titles: European super-middleweight & Interim WBA light-heavyweight
Next fight: As the WBA’s No. 1 contender at 175lbs, Krasniqi has his sights set on secondary champ Jean Pascal and full titlist Dmitry Bivol.

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