American coach James Ali Bashir, who now works with Ukrainian heavyweight Vlad Sirenko (13-0, 12 KO), and in the past worked in the teams of Alexander Usyk (17-0, 13 KO) and Wladimir Klitschko, gave an interview for LuckyPunchNet.
In the conversation, the mentor named the fight that he most wants to see after the end of the pandemic, named the potentially best heavyweight in the world at this point in time and told why he likes to work with Ukrainian boxers.
— What big fight do you want to see first after the end of the pandemic: the third fight between Wilder and fury, the third fight between Golovkin and Canelo, or any other fight?
— No, I want to see Usyk–Chisora fight more than anything.
— Why is that?”
— Because I consider Alexander Usyk a rising star. I think he can beat fury, I think he can beat Wilder, I think he can beat everyone. He just needs a chance to prove it. It won’t be easy fights for usyk, but He knows how to win fights.
- Olexander Usyk is a mandatory contender for Anthony Joshua. What are his chances in this fight, in your opinion?
— I consider Usyk a balanced fighter. Without disrespect to Joshua, he is a good fighter, showed his abilities, but I think Usyk is better in all aspects. And he will win the fight because he knows how to adapt. With Joshua, he will know what to do after the second round. He knows how to adapt to win a fight.
— And what about the size of Alexander? He’s not a natural heavyweight, is he?
“It’s not the size that wins fights. Only Boxing aesthetes understand this. Only the size that is inside the fighter is important. You can see that Evander Holyfield is no bigger than Alexander Usyk. You’ve seen Holyfield in three fights against Riddick Bowe. Alexander Usyk is a special talent. He’s a tough guy, tough in the head. He has a lot of experience, a lot of experience from Amateurs. I don’t think size will play a big role. I think Boxing skills, great courage and a good chin will allow him to win. Everyone looks at the size and muscles, but the name of this sport is “Boxing”, and Alexander Usyk knows this better than other fighters of the division.
— Mr. Bashir, what do you like about Ukrainian fighters and why do you work with them?
— I like Ukrainian fighters because of their improvisation. They listen well, and this is an important part of Boxing. Ukrainian fighters accept what their coach tells them. Most of the work is interaction. I like working with Olexander Usyk, I like working with Vlad Sirenko, I like working with Klitschko because they listen well. That’s why Ukrainian fighters end up winning so many titles. I think the Ukrainian fighters are probably the best in the world right now. I’m talking in General. Ukrainian fighters are the ones who need to be watched. I work with Vlad Sirenko, and we have a very strong relationship. He understands me, I understand him. Alexander Usyk and I also had good “music”. He listens well and tries very hard. Ukrainian fighters give themselves completely inside the ring. That’s what I like about them.
Another one. I don’t know, but I hope that Wladimir Klitschko will return to Boxing and become world champion for the third time in his career. I know he can do it. Vlad, if you can hear me, come on, the clock is ticking, we need to get to work.
— In your opinion, who is the best heavyweight today?
— I didn’t think much about it. All because of the pros and cons of each fighter. I don’t look at boxers the way the rest of the world looks at them. I look at boxers like an aesthete. I see vulnerabilities in everyone that you can focus on. If I had to choose, I would choose Anthony Joshua. Tyson fury is tall. If he wasn’t so tall, we wouldn’t even be talking about him. Probably the best heavyweight champion right now is Anthony Joshua.
I think Olexander Usyk is a star who is waiting for the opportunity to appear in the picture of the heavyweight division. I think he should be the best heavyweight right now. It combines all the skills: movement, jab, when to hit, when not to hit. I think Alexander Usyk is the best heavyweight in the world today.
- Mr. Bashir, your last words for the Ukrainians?
— I love Ukraine, I love Ukrainian boxers. I look forward to returning as soon as we get rid of this demon. The whole world is waiting, the whole world is isolated, but as soon as we get rid of the demon, I get on a plane and go back to Ukraine.