Filip Hrgovic: Croatia's heavyweight sensation?
By James Dielhenn & Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 27/03/19 1:15pm
Filip Hrgovic won Olympic bronze in 2016 and now, aged just 26, is 7-0 as a pro. Is he the heavyweight dangerman?
Are you pleased with your professional career so far?
Hrgovic said: I'm delighted with the development of my career so far. I think I've made an outstanding result with the help of my team and promoter Team Sauerland. With only seven professional fights, I've managed to rank in the top 10 in the world. I think just a few boxers in history have done this so quickly. For now, it's all good, and we're going further.
Filip Hrgovic - the story so far
- He battled Joe Joyce in the World Series of Boxing but lost a split decision
- In 2013 he gained notoriety for causing the cancellation of David Haye vs Tyson Fury when he cut Haye in sparring.
- He took bronze at Rio 2016, losing to eventual champion Tony Yoka
- As a pro, his most recent two fights were won in Zagreb, Croatia.
- Hrgovic has now signed a co-promotional with Matchroom Boxing and Team Sauerland, with his future fights to be shown live on Sky Sports.
Are you keen to fight in other countries - possibly America and Britain?
Hrgovic said: I am looking forward to fighting in America and Britain as well. It is a new challenge for me. I come from a small country which has a little market, and I'm forced to fight outside its borders to grow my career. America and Britain are an exciting new world of boxing for me where I want to become a star - that is my ultimate goal.
What is your opinion of Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder?
Hrgovic said: Well, they are world champions, and my opinion of them is very high. It is not easy to become a world champion, and it is not easy to keep the title for some time as they are succeeding in doing, so every respect to them. We could talk about their shortcomings and virtues but it is one thing is to speak from the side, and another thing to be a world champion. They are in a position where every boxer would want to be one day. Well done.
Have you set yourself a target of when you will challenge for a world title?
Hrgovic said: I have not set myself an ultimatum. It is only a matter of getting into that position, whether it will be half a year to one year or three to five years is less important. It is essential that I feel good and that I'm healthy to win the matches. The fight for the title will come when it comes, I know there is still a lot I must do, but I believe that sooner or later it will happen.
Is it your ambition to become Croatia's first world heavyweight champion?
Hrgovic said: Of course, I want to become the first Croatian heavyweight champion of the world. I am proud that I am a Croat and proud to represent my country all over the world. We are a small country that has produced many great athletes throughout our history. You have recently been able to witness the success of the Croatian football team in reaching the World Cup final, and when such result comes from a country with only four million people, it is something special. I am proud to be a part of this story and I hope to represent Croatia in the best possible way.
Everyone in the sport knows what a threat this man is and he is already willing to jump in big fights at such an early stage in his career.
What can boxing fans expect from your next performance?
Hrgovic said: I will be in camp in Miami with my coach Pedro Diaz. I train hard, and give everything, and I will be ready for everything, and I think the fans will enjoy it. I'm looking forward to people seeing me in the United States and Britain. I do not believe that I will disappoint them. It is the beginning of a new story for me and I am very excited. I believe that I can become a big star in the American and British markets, and I will have many great fights there soon.Watch David Price versus Kash Ali on the Liam Smith-Sam Eggington undercard, which also features Anthony Fowler against Scott Fitzgerald in Liverpool on Saturday, from 7pm on Sky Sports Action.