Last April at the Turning Stone in Verona, New York, and with the ShoBox: The New Generation cameras rolling, Alexey Zubov admits he choked.
“I was nervous. I never fought on a big show,” explained Zubov of the unanimous decision loss he suffered to Moldova’s Constantin Bejenaru. “It was such a huge step in my career and I felt frozen by nerves.”
Fighters often make excuses when they lose, but with Zubov, there may be some validity. Normally a very active fighter with a high work rate, Zubov appeared listless and sluggish for eight uneventful rounds.
“Life doesn’t always go the way you want. Losing that fight made me stronger. It was a good lesson for me and it was good for my experience to fight on that level. And now I know what it’s like. That will never happen again.”
Zubov will continue his quest for another shot at the big time on Saturday, November 12, at Salita Promotions’ “Detroit Brawl” event at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit.
Sponsored by Thomas Magee’s Sporting House Whiskey Bar, tickets for “Detroit Brawl” will be priced at VIP $123, Box Seats $100, Ringside $93, $63, $38, and $28 and available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
Originally from Magnitogorsk, Russia, Zubov says he’s enjoyed his last eight months living in Detroit and working with the late Emanuel Steward’s nephew Javan “Sugar” Hill at the resurgent Kronk Gym.
“I came to Detroit to become a champion. I want to show everyone that I’m a world-class cruiserweight and I want to show everyone all the things Javan has been teaching me. He is a great trainer and I have a very good relationship him.”
When not in training, Zubov says he loves the challenge of adapting to a new culture, virtually alone.
“I only miss my parents, but we talk everyday on Skype or Facetime and they support me all the way. I don’t have many Russian-speaking friends in Detroit. Most of the time, I practice my English to try and learn it well. Every day, I challenge myself to learn new words. I’ve always been like that. Just like my boxing skills. Every day I push myself to be better.”
Zubov says in near-perfect English that he’d love the chance to settle some unfinished business.
“I want a rematch with Bejenaru so bad. I can do so much better than that. I know I can. I will prove I can. I will not stop until I do.”