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Marina Kozerod

Marina Kozerod

Русская версия

Marina Kozerod, 35 of Ukraine. Honored Master of Sports of Ukraine, repeated boxing champion of Kiev and Ukraine, including the absolute category. She was a boxing champion of Europe and a winner of international boxing tournaments. She is a medalist of kickboxing World championships and repeated kickboxing champion of Ukraine.

Tell briefly about yourself – whatever you consider important

Marina Kozerod My name is marina Kozerod, I was born on November 1, 1978 (quite old already ) in the glorious city of Chernigov, in Ukraine. Graduated from a school with advanced English education; then – in a sport boarding school. After that it was Kiev Polytechnic Institute. My mom is a teacher (born in Russia). My dad has three bachelor degrees (he was unable to perceive the life in one college. ) He has several times changed his occupation: he was a lawyer, a businessman, even a police officer. He is now a manager in a three-building coop. He was a master of sport of the USSR in freestyle wrestling. It was him whop took me in various sports, including boxing/kickboxing. There were no other sports I desired to practice so much but boxing! I felt somehow comfortable in boxing – I was lucky in this sport.

What are your best achievements in sports?

I am an Honored Master of Sports of Ukraine/ I was a repeated boxing champion of Kiev and Ukraine, including the absolute category. I was a boxing champion of Europe and a winner of international boxing tournaments. I was a medalist of kickboxing World championship and repeated kickboxing champion of Ukraine. In the professional boxing, I had 8 fights: I won in five, lost two and one draw. One of my fights was against a guy who had changed his gender surgically. But it was considered as a bout between two damsels.

What was your weight category?

My weight category in boxing was 54kg; in kickboxing - 53-55kg; I also boxed in the 57kg category; in the absolute tournament I fought against Saida Gasanova who weighed more than 67kg (now, she works as a referee in amateur boxing in Ukraine). I also fought with girls heavier than 70kg.

Как Вы пришли в бокс?

I was an up-and-doing girl. Once I saw a Taekwondo tournament on the tube and it fell into my mind to practice in some combative sport. I asked my dad to find an appropriate athletic class. He dialed a help desk and got a telephone of the Kiev boxing gym of the CSKA club (Soviet army club). We visited the club on the same day and were lucky to meet there prominent boxing trainers Mikhail Matsyh and Vladimir Zolotarev. The latter one trained Klitchko brothers. My intuition suggested that I had to train with Mikhail Matsyh who looked gentle. I was lucky to be accepted and from the day one I began to get familiar with the boxing nitty-gritty: I ran around the gym with Vitaly Klitchko, Yana Prikhodko, Lessia Shelyakina and other boxers who later achieve good results in boxing. At that time, girls were allowed to practice only kickboxing and it was my first martial art discipline. After a couple of years of training, female boxing emerged as a recognized sport and I moved there.

What was the most interesting in your boxing career?

Since 1996, my trainer Mikhail Matsyh and I travelled all over Ukraine in order to advertise and develop women’s boxing – at the expense of my dad, without any other support. I was repeated champion of Kiev and Ukraine. Along with Alya Shaternikova we became European champions at the very first women’s boxing tournament in Athens in 1996. (Valya Bondar gained silver, Lessia Shelyakina – bronze). Tree girls – Tatyana Lebedeva, Saida Gassanova and I participated in the European championship in Maconnais, France – without trainers and doctors and again at the expense of my dad. I was a prizewinner there.

Tell about that guy who became a damsel?

As I said, I got to box against a guy who surgically changed his gender, became a girl and fought against real girls. During his/her career, he/she has not lost any his bouts in the women’s division. In fact, he defeated me as well. Currently, he/she lives in Hong Kong where I met him/her once concerning professional boxing.

When and why you quitted the professional boxing?

Being a champion in the pro boxing I fell in love with a man who became my life partner; we are together for 14 years already.

Who is your life partner and is his nature of business related to boxing?

Yes, it is related, very close. But I won’t tell any more detail about him. He has a great sense of humor; I love him endlessly through our life together. I quitted my pro boxing career at the first set-out because of him. I fell in love, I went overboard for him.

Do you regret that you have spent a lot of time for boxing and kickboxing?

No trace of remorse I have practiced the sport. Through determination and patience of Mikhail Matsyh and my parents and through my diligence, I have achieved what I wanted in my life and have everything I like.

Are you happy?

Yes, I am quite happy. I’ve got education, I speak several languages, I travel all over the world, and I do myself well. I am happy that I have a soulmate who loves and understands me; we respect each other and set high value on our relationship.

On your opinion, what is the reason of mass interest of women in practicing boxing and other combat sports?

Perhaps, aspiration not to be inferior to men and desire to be able to protect themselves. Besides, they want to develop their body and character as well as to blow off steam and excessive aggressiveness.

Do you believe that women should do whatever men do?

Yes, I do, of course! If it pleasing to God and complies with any applicable laws.

So, boxing now is a women’s sport. Isn’t it?

As honored trainer of USSR Mikhail Zavyalov said long ago, “Boxing is not for women! Women have brought into being for love not to fighting!” I would rehash this in this way: a woman has brought into this world for being a subject of a fight between men; women love if men fight over them! My opinion: It is not boxing that graces the women, but women boxing. In fact, any professional sport is not healthy at all. Моё мнение: женщины бокс не красят, как и он их!!!

Women love if men fight over them? Really? That’s what men like women’s fighting which even might turn men on – there is a lot of FSCC’s articles supporting this. Why? What do you think?

To like, or not to like: that is not the question! Someone considers this as a sport whereas someone as an erotic show but any bout is eye-filling if two boxers fight with passion and appetite for winning. It is possible that guys associate two fighting girls with Lesbians, who knows. In any case, it is more pleasant for mmen to watch who passionate girls warm with battle than two guys…

I notice your great sense of humor!

Yup, I have a lot of sense of humor and other shit!

Well, then I guess, boxing should have beaten the shit out of you.

No, nobody was able to beat the shit out of me - boxing just brought me to my senses. In my case, all that shit was about restlessness and busy idleness. But neither someone not I have beaten it out of me!

How your mom reacted on your passion for boxing?

Certainly, she was against that as every mom would. But not too much! I was (and I am) a bundle of energy: I practiced running, jumping. Diving and gymnastics. In summer camps I always was with bleeding knees.

What would you say about development of women’s boxing, particularly, in Ukraine?

I no longer follow it and do not support women’s boxing. I rarely visit Ukraine, so I find it hard to answer this question.

One of our interviewees described her feelings when she knocked her opponent out – she felt almost sexual excitement at such moments. Have you felt something like that?

You moved me to laughter! Unfortunately, I have not felt that because I didn’t have occasions to knock anyone out. As for me, I don’t see anything sexual there. Frankly speaking, I feel sexual satisfaction with my boy-friend or when I think about sex having good male friends around.

However, according the website boxrec.com, your pro boxing record contains two knockouts. Come clean!

I would not consider them as real knockouts – just peanuts, not that entertaining as when one guy knocks out another one. My two knockouts were achieved by punching in the liver. My opponents were young and undertrained girls. Then I felt bad about knocking out so young beautiful girls. But after the bouts I was proud of my victories.

Have anyone knocked you out?

I have not been knocked out but I was in knockdowns several times – mostly in pro boxing and pro kickboxing. When I got off my feet by a kick during a kickboxing match in 1990s in a Kiev night club, I noticed a man by a bar counter and wished to swap with him t that moment. In boxing it was faster and easier. Once on the European tournament in France, a referee started counting against me – for absolutely no reason! Then I just pulled the local mademoiselle to pieces but they stole my victory having punished me for fall. There's no doubt about it - we competed without trainers and doctors – just we the girls. But there is a video of that bout and everyone can recognize who was a real winner – even a person far from boxing. Second time I was counted to the point – I took two good straight punches from the transvestite! I fought with that girl-guy in the undercard of a Vladimir Klitchko bout in Germany. After that knockdown I got more beating from that semi-girl and my corner threw the towel. Then I felt hurt, I was bad with myself and blamed just myself because boxing is an individual sport. I felt giddy, everything was turning around. In fact, boxing is an art; you act as a matador against a bull! By the way, I liked to fight as a matador in a red helmet. (They say fools like bright colors.) – шутка). A boxer is a master and an artist in the one skin. You act as you can and as you want.

How men usually react learning you were a boxer? Does that intensify their interest in you as a woman? Or they are a bit frightened?

They are not frightened – for sure! I get along with men very well. I have many male friends and have perfect relations with them. You can ask them.

Have you ever fought beyond the ring? Have you used your boxing skills in the real life?

Yes, I have and not once. But I am not proud of that because using a fist in the street by a boxer is like using cold steel.

Do you enjoy watching boxing bouts – men’s or women’s ones?

I am excited to watch professional bouts and sometimes, being in Ukraine, I watch amateur bouts as well (but with lower interest.) Of course, guys fight more technically and orderly than damsels – in the most cases I mean. So, I prefer to watch men’s fights.

Thanks a lot for the interesting interview and for the good sense of humor. Be happy and lucky in your life!!!

March 8, 2014

Marina Kozerod
Marina Kozerod (right) and her trainer Mikhail Matsyh in the boxing class

Marina Kozerod
Last instructions before a fight

Marina Kozerod Marina Kozerod Marina Kozerod

Left: Marina Kozerod and Lessia Shelyakina in sparring; right: Marina Kozerod in the ring

Videoclips with Marina Kozerod's bouts

Marina participated in all the bouts except the last one
Marina Kozerod fights in the third episode (about 30 minutes from the beginning).
At the end: Medal awarding in the European championship in Athenes

Exclusive of the Female Single Combat Club

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