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Alexander Shlemenko: Russian citizenship granted to Roy Jones is degrading

Hot interview from Alexander Shlemenko who criticizes Russian policy of granting citizenship to foreign fighters as Roy Jones-jr and Jeff Monson

On his return after a year-long layoff:

- Normally I don’t feel any jitters due to vast experience I’ve
accumulated thus far. However the upcoming fight will probably make me
a bit nervous, especially because of long layoff. It’s still 3 weeks
to go so I can’t say how much it will be a factor. I’ll handle it
anyway (smiles)

On his next opponent:

- I never choose who I’m going to face next. It’s my manager’s task.
Vyacheslav Vasilevsky is a solid fighter with tremendous achievements
in sambo. I respect him a lot as a fighter. His punches are heavy,
he’s strong physically. I wouldn’t say his strikes are deadly, but
it’s neither his weak spot.

On his career:

- The thing is I’m in a different spot than I used to be in. Now I
have much more fans. These young guys who mail me through the social
networks, they always cheer me up and get upset when I lose. After I
lost the Bellator belt people mailed me, others called me to say their
sons were even crying watching it. It was like a knife through my
heart. I have to redeem their feelings.
Furthermore when my daughter was born I gave her my champion’s belt.
Now my son is born and I haven’t given him anything yet. I need
another championship belt.

On favorite boxers:

- I follow boxing because I’m good friends with Alexander Povetkin.
He’s my favorite boxere of course. I’d put Ruslan Provodnikov on the
second place. The third one is Gennady Golovkin. I like Denis Lebedev,
too.
On Floyd Mayweather:
- I don’t like him. His career was a management project. He was fed
feasible opponents. I’d love to see him clash with Golovkin but I’m
afraid their paths are not “destined” to cross.

On Klitchko’s loss:
- I think the reason for Vladimir’s loss was similar to why Vladimir’s
past opponents lost. He faced a larger opponent. The match was really
boring and Vladimir lost it.
On trash talk:
- It boosts fans’ interest but there are different sorts of trash
talk. Sometimes it goes naturally which is good. But there are certain
personalities that overdo it. Besides, trash talk is not common in
Russia. Such fighters are not appreciated here.
On Fedor Emelianenko’s come back:
- His victory was absolutely predictable. No one would objectively
expect Fedor to lose. I’m looking forward to him facing tougher
opposition next time. He can conquer any championship belt he sets his
sights on if he wants to. No doubt about that. He hasn’t lost his
speed or skills.

On his attitude towards granting Russian citizenship to Roy Jones-jr
and Jeff Monson:
- With all due respect I think it’s really bad. It’s degrading that
the Russian citizenship can be granted to someone that easily. Let me
tell you this: there are so many compatriots from ex-USSR, ethnic
Russians that were born in the USSR before its collapse, have lived
their whole life in Russia and haven’t been able to obtain Russian
passport. One example: Alexander Sarnavskiy, they refused to grant him
a passport. He was born in Kazakhstan but his parents moved to Russia
even before the collapse of USSR. He can’t get the citizenship but
these people from outside that had nothing to do with Russia and its
history get it so fast, it’s not even funny. I can’t understand that,
there are millions ethnic Russians that lost their motherland in
1991…
As for promoting sport, I firmly believe we can not use foreign role
models. We must stick to our own home grown heroes. We have multiple
champions but people don’t seem to care that much. It’s always
“easier” to get someone from outside the border…

On promoting healthy lifestyle:
- The war against Russia is ongoing and one of the ways is alcohol. I
promote healthy lifestyle and I claim that we don’t have to consume
any alcohol at all.

Original (rus): http://lenta.ru/articles/2016/01/28/shlemenkomma/

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