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One on One Interview with Susianna Kentikian
By Torben L.
May 30, 2005
(MAY 30) Susianna Kentikian was born on 11th September 1987 in Jerewan, Armenia. Her life story sounds like a movie script, despite her young age of only 17. She came with her family to Hamburg, Germany in 1996, fleeing the civil war in Armenia. They stayed the first years in Hamburg at asylum seeker's homes, under the constant threat of expulsion. More than once the family was dragged out of bed by the Police in the middle of the night and transported to the airport for deportation. Fortunately expulsion was avoided in the last minute through the intervention, among others, her boxing trainer Frank Rieth.

Her first encounter with boxing took place 5 years ago, when she accompanied her brother Mikael to a boxing club. Not content with the role as a spectator, she learned to box herself and has remained in the tough game ever since. She won the Hamburg Championships for juniors from 2001 to 2004, as well as the several North German Championships.

Her biggest achievement as an amateur was a gold medal at the International German Women's Amateur Championships in Maisach 2004 in the featherweight division for juniors. This was done in convincing style by beating Tasheena Bugar 27-19 in the semi final. Kentikian then went on to a 27-5 win in the final against Alessandra Sieber. Further honour was bestowed on her at the championships, as she won the award for the best technical boxer in the junior division.

Kentikian found it increasingly difficult to find opponents in the amateur ranks, as very few wanted to face her in the ring. Her status as asylum seeker also added to the problems, as she was not allowed to box outside Hamburg. So when Spotlight-Boxing offered her a 3 year contract in the beginning of 2005, she jumped at the chance to help herself and not least her family. Susianna's mother is in constant need of care and her father suffers from temporary bouts of depression. So the steady income Susianna now earns as a pro boxer, is a very welcome help to the family. This has also solved the family's problems with regard to their asylum seekersí status, at least for the time being. They have received a temporary residence permit, because the family is now self supporting through Susianna's income and her fatherís involvement in the team. It also means that, Susianna has been able to stop working as a cleaner in her spare time, and concentrate on her boxing career and her school work.

She made her debut as a pro on 15th January 2005 in Magdeburg against Iliana  Boneva, whom she beat on points over 4 rounds.

Her next fight was in her home town of Hamburg on 26th February 2005, where she made it a short evening for herself and her opponent, Debbie Paterok (formerly Lohmeier). Paterok was KO'ed with a hard punch to the head 1 min 22 seconds into the first round.

Kentian's 3rd fight was also in Hamburg and took place on 29th March, 2005. This was even shorter than the previous fight. Lucie Hornakova had enough after 37 seconds of the first round, and gave up.

Her 4th fight took place in Magdeburg on 7th May against Juliia Vlasenko of the Ukraine. Kentikian took command right from the start of and kept up pressure throughout, especially with her right hand. Vlasenko turned her back on Kentikan after a combination in the 3rd round, and the referee stopped the fight.

Susianna Kentikian is due to fight again on 4th June 2005. The opponent is yet to be revealed.

Date of Birth 11th September, 1987
Place of Birth: Jerewan, Armenia
Weight Class: Flyweight/Junior Flyweight
Height: 1.55 m (5' 1")
Amateur Record: 24-1-0
Pro Record: 4-0-0 (3 KO's) as of 23 of May 2005
Promoter: Spotlight-Boxing
Trainers: Magomed Schaburow / Frank Rieth

Interview Susianna Kentikian

Last September,  I had the good fortune to attend the German International Women's Boxing Championships. Among the 62 participants there were many seasoned boxers. Many of them, I had heard off and seen box before. But the biggest surprise, was a 16 year old junior boxer, whose name was completely new to me. Susianna Kentikian was a true joy to watch in the ring. Her confidence, skill and fighting spirit told me, that this could be an upcoming star in women's boxing. So far she has proved me right. Despite her obvious talent, even I was surprised to learn, that she had signed a pro contract only 3-4 months after winning the junior championship, but her 4-0-0 (3 KO) is certainly proof that she is on the right track.

The general manager of Universum, Peter Hanrath, predicts a great future for Susianna Kentikian. He said in a recent radio interview, that he expects Kentikian will be able to go far, and follow in the footsteps of Regina Halmichís in 4-5 years time, providing she gets the right build up.

Susianna Kentikian is certainly no ordinary girl. She has suffered more adversity and hardship in her young life, than most people will have to cope with in a full life time. You might have expected her to turn into a bitter or broken person. She has instead decided to take charge of her own life, and that of her family as well. Through her determination and hard work, she is on the path to a successful career. Her boxing training has helped her to let off steam, and there has certainly been plenty of reason for that.

I was therefore very pleased when the opportunity to interview her arose. I spent an enjoyable hour in conversation with a very sympathetic and easygoing young lady. Her mild manners and modesty are in stark contrast to the merciless fighter I saw in the ring last year.

Susianna, thank you for taking the time to talking to WBAN

WBAN: How did you get interested in boxing?

SK: My brother told me about how good and hard boxing training was. I wanted to come with him, but he told me it was far too tough for me. Eventually he let me come with him to watch. After I had been watching for a while, the trainer, Frank Wieth, asked me to join in. I declined, because I hadnít brought any gym clothes and I was wearing huge shoes that were fashionable then. But he wouldnít take no for an answer so I had to start training in my street clothes.

WBAN: I noticed that you give your weight class as Flyweight in you homepage. However, you are ranked as Junior Bantamweight on WBAN. Which weight will you be fighting in the future?

SK: I have fought in Junior Bantamweight but my natural weight is Flyweight/Junior Flyweight so that is where I will be fighting in the future.

WBAN: Another thing, that puzzled me on you homepage. When asked for your boxing idol you answered none. Is there a special reason for this?

SK: It is simply because there are so many excellent boxers. It is difficult for me to choose one or two.

WBAN: What has been the biggest difference for you, in the change from amateur to pro boxing, apart from the money?

SK: The obvious difference in the ring is, that I am fighting without headgear and that the gloves are harder. It was a funny feeling the first time I entered the ring without a headgear. Also I feel the punches are getting harder, but my opponents are certainly feeling that too. My trainer is working on changing my style from amateur to pro. I have become calmer in the ring and my defence and punching power has improved. As an amateur I had to work very hard right from the start, because the fights are only 3 rounds; now I have to learn to pace myself for the longer fights.

My day to day life has changed insofar that I have training every day except Sunday. My daily routine is attending school in the morning, training in the afternoon, and the evenings are spent  with homework for school and general housekeeping.

WBAN: How do you prepare yourself before going in the ring?

SK: I spend fight days relaxing. I usually have a long sleep, then a good walk in the park and back to relax lying down, listening to music etc. This way I have plenty of energy for the fight.  Fight days seem very long and boring, and I always look forward to getting into the ring.

WBAN: Do you spar with other women boxers, or is it mainly male sparring partners?

SK: I spar with other of the Universum/Spotlight female boxers like Ina Menzer, but sometimes I get amateur sparring partners who comes in from Leverkusen. I mainly spar with other women.

WBAN: You have fought 4 fights as a pro, but it has only given your approx. 8 rounds in the ring, with 3 of your 4 fights ending in stoppages. What are you going to do to get more ring experience as a professional?

SK: The opponents are getting better. My last fight was the hardest so far, and I am sure I will be tested more in the coming fights. My second fight ended with a regular knockout in the first round, but the third fight was stopped after only 37 seconds of the first round, because my opponent gave up. It is also very unsatisfactory for me only to get so little time in the ring, after all the work in the gym. I talked to the girl after the fight, and asked her why she gave up so early in the fight. She explained that I hit her very hard, and thatís the reason she called it a day. Unfortunately I canít do much about that.

WBAN: You are still very young. What is your ambition in boxing, and have you made any considerations about how long you will stay in boxing?

SK: It is still too early to talk about this. Let us talk again when I have had 10 fights and we will see which way things are going.

WBAN: Is women's boxing accepted in Armenia? Do you know of any other Armenian female boxers - amateur or pro?

SK: I am the only female pro boxer of Armenian nationality, but there are some amateur boxers in the country. I think womenís boxing is generally accepted in Armenia. There have been some newspaper articles about me there, and they seem to be proud of the fact, that Armenia now has a place in womenís pro boxing.

WBAN: Are you hoping to be able to return to your native country some day?

I would like to go back there to visit some day, but I am happy to live in Germany now. I have lived most of my life here. We left Armenia in 1991 when I was only 4 years old. We first stayed In Germany, then Russia and finally we came back to Germany in 1996, where we have been ever since.

WBAN: Do you have any messages for your fans?

SK: I would like to say, that I am proud of their support and confidence in me, and I want to thank them for that.

WBAN: Thank you again for sparing the time to talk to us. It has been such a pleasure to talk to you. We will be following your career with great interest, and wish you all the best for the future.

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