Aram Avagyan: Boxing is an 11-minute rapid chess

Aram Avagyan
Aram Avagyan

Photo: Mediamax

The Armenia team managed to win one medal at the European Championships held in Samokov, Bulgaria, a few days ago. Aram Avagyan (56 kg) won the bronze medal. Mediamax Sport has had an interesting talk with the boxer who won his third medal. Avagyan has told about his methods of not giving up, the fears before entering the ring, his love to Buenos Aires and aspirations with regard to professional box.

-You were the only in the Armenia team to win a bronze medal at the European Championships. What was the competition like there?

-I had worthy opponents and they were all strong. There are almost no weak countries in boxing. They all are versed in it. Yes, I was the only to win bronze, but two of my friends, Hovhannes Bachkov and Arman Hovikyan, were deprived of their medals and thus, victory. With fair refereeing we would have more medals.

-Are you happy with your fight? And what was the reason for not attaining a better result?

Aram Avagyan Aram Avagyan

Photo: Mediamax

-I didn’t do the most I could. And I am never happy with my results. The referees have been quite just towards me at the European Championships, and my opponents were all very strong. No achievement comes easy. The taste of victory cannot be described. There is nothing more valuable than that for me.

-You lost to Qais Ashfaq representing Great Britain in the semifinal. How was that fight?

-I had won the English boxer at the European Championships in 2012. I also won the two other fights with the English boxers. They had studied me and knew very well. I did not manage to find Ashfaq’s weak points in round 1, but I deflected the course of the bout in round 2 and scored an absolute victory in round 3. However, my opponent was granted the victory with a score of 2-1.

-Appearing in the top 3 also granted you the opportunity to get a World Championships entry and fight for the Olympic Games. How are you training for the World Championships due in a few months?

-I had my last bout on August 14 and decided to have a 10-day rest after returning to Armenia. I restarted trainings on August 24 and am getting for the World Championships in order to earn an Olympic entry. I never underestimate anyone, but I never underestimate myself either.
Aram Avagyan Aram Avagyan

Photo: Mediamax

-We cannot ignore Baku European Games this summer. Why didn’t the Armenia team win a medal there?

-Baku had organized our security on high level. Their primary task was to ensure our safety and security. They just didn’t let us win. We managed to achieve only one victory in Baku – my friend Narek Abgaryan won.

-Was there any pressure or something that impeded your bout?

-I never pay attention to pressure from tribunes; in Baku it was an additional motivation. I never had such a sensation in any ring – I had the wish to tear down my opponent and break into pieces. I didn’t feel any mental pressure and did not feel strained anyhow since there is only me and my opponent in the ring and in the end the arbiter will lift the hand of one of us.

-What’s going on inside you before the ring?

-On the whole, I fear being too relaxed before stepping into the ring. It’s highly important for me to be at least tad strained. When strained, I feel cautious. The ring has become a dear place for me like home and that is why I enter the ring without feeling tensed or fearing, and it’s what scares me more.
Aram Avagyan Aram Avagyan

Photo: Mediamax

-The previous season was quite complicated for you and proved unsuccessful. How did you manage to recover and what efforts did you commit to that end?

-When feeling depressed and lost or when I fail my personal coach Karen Aghamalyan does not let me quit. I have seen my faith in his eyes. That is why I bow before him as he has been by my side at times when I myself had no faith in me.

-You always post about being strong, never giving up and keeping on struggling on your Facebook. Is it an attempt to encourage yourself?

-It does not let me forget the work I start and always reminds of what I want to do. Such inspiring quotes and pictures help, beyond doubt. It’s also a way to encourage my friends.

-You probably always keep up with boxing events. Which was the best bout this year?

-Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao bout, which was highly anticipated by everyone in the world. The bout itself was not that interesting, perhaps because there were higher expectations, but it made a stir in the world.
Aram Avagyan Aram Avagyan

Photo: Mediamax

-Which boxers’ fights do you always watch?

-I have always rooted for Roy Jones. He has already retired. I am now keeping up with Floyd’s fights and the bouts of our Armenian boxers Arthur Abraham and Vic Darchinyan.

-Whose advice do you follow apart from the advice of your coach?

-No one’s. I have come to the conviction that when you hear various opinions and try to follow them all, you veer from your course and lose everything. It’s when the coach is trying to get you back in your previous form. The opinions of others, be they good or bad, should be ignored. The good makes you blind, the bad depresses. The only person who you should lend an ear to is your coach.

-You have taken part in tournaments in various countries. Is there a city you like?
Aram Avagyan Aram Avagyan

Photo: Mediamax

-I never think of sightseeing and walking in cities whenever I leave for tournaments. The only place I have loved very much is Buenos Aires. It’s where I held my first bout in the professional League. I liked local people, their conduct, the city and the frequent rains. Rain is different there – the drops are big and people are quietly walking in it.

-Legendary Vladimir Yengibaryan used to say that boxing does not teach to fight but to think. It is the combination of the mind and strength. What is boxing for you?

-I often compare boxing with rapid chess. We have 11 minutes and have to rapidly orient during that time and find the strengths and weaknesses of our opponent. It’s not just a fight counting who hit how many times.
Aram Avagyan Aram Avagyan

Photo: Mediamax

-What sports goals and dreams do you have?

-I dream to participate in the Olympic Games and then I am planning to move to professional ring. I cannot mention any exact time but boxers tend to make such shifts after the Olympic Games.

Hasmik Babayan talked to Aram Avagyan


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