not looking back
East Side Guru
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Poland and proud
Re: *Grzegorz Proksa*
Węgierska Górka, it's difficult to pronounce in the US and England?.
They're learning. They come into the dressing room and ask how to pronounce it. They're getting better.
What's so special about this place?
Everything. The first time I came here, I knew it would be my place on earth. You know how it is? When you achieve something, people look at you differently, something starts to bother them. Jealousy, and all. It's different here. Here, I have support. I train, run around, and I hear: "Go, go. Good luck in your next fight". It's a small district, everyone recognises me.
I saw a TV interview you gave. The logo of Bank Spółdzielczy in the backround. Then I read, you're a board member. A boxer in a bank board?
It was like this. In one of my fights I broke my hand and had a 7 month layoff. I had different thoughts. What would I do if I couldn't box again, something like that. I started looking into economy, reading books. I knew the bank manager, we used to run together. He invited me, I bought some shares. Then he chose me to become a board member and I got enough votes to get in.
Are you training now?
I can't. This week and the next (the interview took place 28 December) we need to close next year's budget.
Not only the bank's. I'm my own manager and I talk myself with potential sponsors. I can't train hard, when I'm thinking about the person in front of me, who could be my future sponsor. When I train, I think about how to beat up the opponent in the ring.
In "MaleMan" you said that boxing was like chess. Do you watch the opponent long before your fights?.
Yes. Even the facial expressions are important.I need to know, how the guy will react to a punch. His expressions, his hand movement, how he moves on his feet. Everything. In the ring you have to be a good actor. Some people are good at hiding what they feel. Often I watch the opponent and write down a few of his flaws. Then thanks to his flaws I win my fights. People see 2 guys in the ring, but it goes much deeper.
I heard someone at SkySports mention you. You know what they said?
I would like to know.
That Proksa is over-rated.
The English have a specific ego. The same during World War II. Obviously they won, not the Polish pilots. To them, we're marginal, and they're the best on the world. That was always how it was and will be. I'm not bothered with those kind of opinions.
You like history?
Yes, of course.
The 20 years between the 2 World Wars.
Just like Marcin Najman.
He also likes that era.
I hoped you would compare me to serious boxers (laugh).
Are there a lot in Poland? Serious boxers?
Proffesional boxing in Poland is starting to build, but we already have some good fighters. We don't have a problem with PR. Someone comes out and says "hey, I'm the best", he'd hit someone at the weigh-in and he's automatically famous. But his achievements are much worse. Today, we have maybe not 10, but at least 5 guys who are coming up in the world rankings. Artur Szpilka, Mateusz Masternak, European Champion. Sosnowski, Wach, Piotr Wilczewski. And so on. The sport half is there. What's missing is some luck and money.
Before, there was Gołota.Do you think that if he had a better psychologist, that people would today put him in one row with Ali or Tyson?
No. A boxer's psyche can't be changed. Either you have it, or you don't. Gołota didn't. I know that if something was wrong with mine, nobody would be able to help me. Maybe help my private life. But in the ring? No.
Are you worried that more people are turning towards MMA? That they see better organized cards and will turn to it?
Let them. The more young people choose sport the better
Is it bad?
I thing that today's young people are crippled.
But true. Today's youth is crippled, they can't do anything. I train some boys here, and maybe 10 of them can do the exercise right. The rest doesn't belong here.
Mentality and all these new technologies. It's easier to beat someone at XBox than in the ring. And God forbid that they get hurt. You can't get hurt before a computer. In the ring, you feel the pain.
Not long ago Adamek felt the pain. You didn't name him in your list of top Polish boxers. Tell me, who won the fight…
You didn't let me finish.
I feel bad for Cunninghamowi. I was robbed once and I felt awful. I'll say this - a boxing fight is 12 rounds 3 minutes each. Not 10 seconds of each round.
Robberies are common in boxing?
To some degree they were always in boxing. Maybe not that much these days, but business is still more important that sport rivalries. It has to be said clear.
You have something in common with Adamek.
What? I don't see similarites.
People say that both of you decided to fight for a title too quickly. He had no chance with Vitali Klitschko, you with Giennadij Gołovkin. You could of waited..
Listen, I've dreamed of a fight like that since I was six. The only mistake was the date of the fight. I was preparing to fight a southpaw, and suddenly I get the word that I'm fighting an orthodox Kazach. And I have 5 weeks to get ready. It was not enough. But I got some valuable experience from this.
You like to dance?
What a change in subject. Dancing?
No, not at all. I don't have many opportunities anyway.
I'm asking, because most boxers go straight in the ring. Concentrated. And you do something like a dance. It's like you're in a trance.
It's just my way of relaxing. Physically and mentally. That's why I'm never stressed or tentative in the ring. And happy. This is my way of showing that boxing is my passion. I love the moments when I reach the top and get past certain barriers.
During your fights you also dance. Low hands, dodging punches, relying on reflexes. Like you're trying to provoke. To say "it's me, Proksa, I'm that good.".
it's not like that. I'm not trying to show my opponent anything. That's just my style in the ring. I've developed this with hard work and years of training. And I try to be ready for every situation. Punches can come from many angles and directions.
Andrzej Kostyra always says your hands are always too low.
I respect Andrzej, I think he knows why I fight like I do. My style is unique in Polish boxing, and everyone needs some time to accept new things. Some like it, some don't. I can say that I like the color brown, but you don't.