EXCLUSIVE: Ricards Bolotniks - Back For More

EXCLUSIVE: Ricards Bolotniks - Back For More

I first bumped into light heavyweight Ricards Bolotniks (19-6-1) on a last minute trip to Riga covering the World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight semi-final between fellow Latvian Mairis Briedis and Oleksandr Usyk In 2018.

Bolotniks was 10-3 at the time competing at cruiserweight. His record suggested nothing would come from his career, moving in the direction of a good journeyman. However, Bolotniks impressed in an 8 rounder against Micki Nielsen of Denmark, world ranked with a record of 24-1. Sadly Bolotniks lost the split decision in a fight most thought he won.

EXCLUSIVE: Ricards Bolotniks - Back For More

Bolotniks would then burst onto the British scene two years later, knocking out Steven Ward in the 1st round of The MTK Golden Contract, going on to win the competition defeating Hosea Burton and Serge Michel. Bolotniks impressive streak did come to an end however last year, being stopped in the 11th round against Joshua Buatsi in April.

“Listen, I had some problems in my training camp with that fight. I had injuries with my right hand and right arm. So for the three weeks before the fight I couldn’t really do anything with it in the gym, no punching training at all. We would just do the running and fitness, shadow spar. It effected my power in that fight, I had the speed and accuracy, but no power in my shots.

I was feeling very good in that fight though, I felt fit and that I could go twenty rounds. My head felt great, my mind was clear and focused. My trainer did a great job getting know Buatsi’s habits, so we had a great plan. It was a good fight, but I need to improve and take lessons from that fight.”

Bolotniks bounced back with a good victory over the undefeated Croatian, Hrvoje Sep in Barcelona this past April. Bolotniks taking the unanimous decision after 8 rounds.

“I can tell you one thing, I did actually think it would be easier than it was. I really didn’t think he would be that good, I didn’t expect that much pressure. Then in the first two rounds I could tell he was really good.

“It was a great fight I thought. Loads of clean shots, no holding, none of these dirty things. Just a good clean fight. I had a lot friends in Barcelona too, so they came and supported me, taking me out after the fight trying to make me stay and party for a few days, (laughing) but I had to come home.”

The Latvian ‘Lion’ has proven a hit with British boxing fans, Bolotniks rejoins Matchroom and DAZN for a third successive fight, facing off with Craig Richards (17-3-1) in London on November 26th.

“So I’m coming back to the UK again, I’ll fight Craig Richards and my mission is to one day get the rematch with Buatsi. But Craig Richards is very clever, has good stamina, a good fighter. I know I’m the underdog in this fight, but none of that matters, I’m always the underdog.

“I love showing the kids at my gym that it doesn’t matter, you just get in the ring and prove everyone wrong. I just know that I am going to win this fight! I’m in great shape, I feel good, I am ready.

“I like England. People a re really nice to me there, it makes me happy every time I go back. It’s my second favourite place to be. Obviously home comes first, then England. They love sports and very open to everyone. I can’t wait to get back there.”

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