Voronezh boxer girl Tatyana Zrazhevskaya returned from Munich to her home city after the title fight for the WBC International World Champion belt on Monday, June 18. On the next day, Zrazhevskaya’s team gathered a press conference with Voronezh journalists to share their emotions and tell about the future plans. The champion’s coach, manager and promoter also spoke at the meeting.

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Tatyana Zrazhevskaya, a WBC International World Champion:

– With such a team, coaches and support we didn’t count on any other result. The support from Voronezh was colossal. I was astounded and even surprised by it. It was the strongest competitor I’ve ever had. And a very inconvenient opponent in terms of style. It would work in my favor if Busa looked for a short-ranged fight as I do. But she avoided it and moved around a lot, so I had to chase her and constantly press on her. But in the ninth round it became clear that I was winning by score. So there was no longer a point in exacerbating the situation for a knockout. Although I felt that I could. Busa didn’t even take the risk in the last round, when she already knew she was losing. I gave her a good blow in the liver, and she started running around to recover from the hit. But it was hard. After all, it was the main fight in my career so far. The psychological preparation was almost harder than the physical. Although the coaches had me seriously exhausted! And we had gone over all the tactical variants the opponent could demonstrate. We’ve worked them all off with my sparring partners. But the responsibility was weighting down, I really wanted to live up to the expectations. My boyfriend also supported me. Sadly, he’s not into sports no matter how I tried to get him involved. But he understands. How could I lose? The goal was to hold on for four rounds without a cutting wound. If you get one, the fight will be cancelled, and all the money expenses and efforts will be in vain. While in the ring, I felt support, there were many Russian-speaking fans in the audience. And at times their glee felt more sincere to me than if I were fighting in Voronezh. And I don’t invite my parents to the fights, they worry too much. One time my mother came to a fight, and in the ring I heard her “ouch” and “oh, dear!” and son on. And we didn’t talk for a whole week prior to the fight. I have a tradition: before a fight I write a text message saying “I won”, but I don’t send it to anyone. I send it when I return to the locker room after winning. I want to collect all titles, but for now I’m going to rest. Not for long – otherwise I will lose the good physical shape. It takes time to gain but can be lost in an instant. I still dream of opening my own school and hope my dream becomes reality. And the desire to perform at the Olympics I once had is not gone. Although professional fights always come first to me. But if there is once an opportunity to return the to the amateur league for the Olympics - why not?

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Igor Avakyan, Tatyana Zrazhavskaya’s coach:

– A World Champion title is a very important thing for Voronezh, just as for Russia in whole. I want to thank Alexander Haan and Alexander Berch. It is thanks to their efforts in organizing fights that all of this became possible. We’ve studied Gabriella Busa for three weeks. We saw her advantages and disadvantages. We were ready. So when Tanya went into the ring, there were no surprises during the whole fight. All was calculated. Tatyana confidently won, though the fight was wasn’t easy, it went on for all 10 rounds. And when Zrazhevskaya was announced the World Champion, it was sort of an Olympus of our hopes. But we’re not stopping here, it is only the beginning of our big work. We want to fight on an even higher level and win all the possible title belts. And a big thank you to our sponsors for their delicacy and help. They’ve settled for investing what is an immense amount of money to us, we’re talking dozens of thousands of euros. So we share this victory with them. Now Tanya is known and supported in Germany. It is very pleasing. During the fight the fans were drumming a drum and shouting: “Tanya, Tanya!” Like at football games. I’ve never seen anything like it.

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Alexander Berch to the left of Tatyana

Alexander Berch, the manager and the President of Haan Promotions:

– We have an amazing team of like-minded people. It is a true family created by Alexander Haan. Listing all his merits in boxing is quite hard, it would take about a half-hour. I will only say one thing: as a coach he became a third time World Champion on Saturday. He works with Tanya, but he also trained Tina Rupprecht who had won the most prestigious title – the golden world champion belt, it simply doesn’t get any better that that. I greatly enjoy working with such a team. Creating such fights is a privilege. For the last two months Sasha and Igor had been working like slaves – no time for families or personal life. The ring was a slaughter. When Tanya called me and said that she wanted Busa, who was the ninth in the world rating, as her opponent, I said: “What are you doing to me?! Are you certain you’ll manage it?” I had doubts, I thought she needed an easier competitor. And you could feel the level of the fight in the ring. I could not look at it. I left the room in the eighth round. I stood with my back against the door and listened. I ordered whiskey with soda, drank two glasses. I felt a bit relieved. Yes, the investments were serious. But now we have the belt. Before this competitors didn’t want to fight with Tanya. They would lose and gain nothing from it because she didn’t have a title. And now we have something others want to take from us. And now they will have to pay themselves to get us to participate in a title fight. Besides, Tanya used to be in the 28th place in the ranking. Now she will enter the top-15 for sure. This means that it can become a bit easier for us in terms of negotiations. But in terms of fights it will be clearly mush more difficult for Tanya now, her opponents will be much tougher. But now we’re planning to rest, everyone is really tired. The next fight may be held already this autumn, but it is too soon to talk about any certain opponents. It is good that the stereotype about boxing being the men’s sport is now breaking little by little. Although there is still a difference in prestige and money.

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Alexander Haan, Tatyana Zrazhavskaya’s promoter:

– The fight was hard, the opponent was a tough one. After the fourth and the eighth round we received notes from judges which helped us understand whether Tatyana was winning. After the fourth round we felt a bit relieved – all the rounds were ours. And after the eighth it was clear: we’re marching forward, going for the belts. Tanya has a great future ahead of her, she has demonstrated herself to the big audience. Generally, women’s boxing doesn’t sound as notable as men’s. But after the Saturday night people started talking about us. After they began broadcasting women’s fights, the girls gained their own fan base. And Tanya’s Saturday fight was recognized as one of the best fights of the evening. That’s the most important thing to me. While earlier people used to say that women’s fights are boring, now it is the reason for them to turn on their TVs.