Your father, Sergey Asanov, is a famous boxing coach and referee. Did this inspire you to enter the ring?
On the contrary, my father was categorically against the idea. I tried various sports as a child, including track and field athletics, judo and football. However, I continued to be attracted to the ring. Every day, I went to the gym, watching my father’s trainees boxing. Finally, he gave up and accepted me into his group. By the age of 12, I was participating in competitions, fighting against guys four years older than me. I attended a European championship for schoolchildren, winning my first international medal.
Dmitry Asanov (on the right) was born in Molodechno in 1996. He is a master of sports of international class, performing in the under 56kg weight category. Dmitry is a European champion among juniors, a bronze winner of the 2015 World Championship, a silver holder of the 2015 First European Games and a champion of Belarus.
What do you expect from your Rio de Janeiro performance?
I hope to win. However, it’s impossible to predict anything in sport: it’s a recipe for disappointment. I’m working madly at the moment, with two training sessions daily, plus morning exercises, which are more training. I only rest on Sundays, when I sleep in and then meet friends.
Some call boxing a punchfest. What do you think?
Not at all. People who say such things have no understanding of our sport. Boxing is like chess, with an element of art. It’s a fascinating game. I try to enter the ring with a cool head, rather than showing off. Underestimating your rival can cost a great deal. The main thing that distracts me during a fight is my opponent’s hands; I try to concentrate only on them.
What’s your boxing style?
There are three types of boxers: ‘players, spoilers and punchers’. The former have the advantage of speed and technique. The second rely on powerful blows and the latter use cunning tricks to hamper their rival and ensure their own kicks.
Which are you?
I’m a ‘player’. I prefer to rely on accuracy in the ring, to lose as few kicks as possible, and to attack as accurately as I can. Sadly, this is one of my major problems. I defend skillfully but often fail to attack in return. I’m sure that I’ll manage to solve this problem by the time the Olympics begin.
What are your interests, apart from boxing?
I’m fond of music and football — being a fan of Chelsea. I’m also a Belarusian State University of Physical Culture and Sports student. I’m a member of a band, called ‘Location-67’. Location is the historical name of my native Molodechno, while 67 is the reverse telephone code of 76. We are a duo: my friend composes and I write and perform rap. We’ve already recorded several tracks. Apart from winning an Olympic medal, I plan to promote sport in Belarus. I want modern children to enjoy a true childhood, as I did, playing football and hockey with my friends. Modern children are extremely focused on themselves, failing to even know their neighbours, which is horrible, in my view. We need to do something to reverse this trend and sport is the best remedy.
Should a professional boxer be ruthless and merciless?
He should primarily be a good person who refrains from applying his fighting skills outside the ring.
By Elvira Goroshko