Robin Krasniqi reveals the hardships he has had to overcome to get to where he is today
When and why you started boxing:
I started training at a little gym in Munich at the beginning of 2005 when I was 17. A few months later I watched some of the boxers from my gym boxing on a professional show, and I said to my trainer that I could box better than some of them. So I made my pro debut on October 20, 2005, without any amateur experience.
Favourite all-time fighter:
Muhammad Ali, because he had a big heart both inside and outside the ring.
Best fight you’ve seen:
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao, because both fighters were very smart and very fast.
Personal career highlight:
Winning the Interim WBA light-heavyweight championship against Dominic Boesel [ko 3 – October 2020] and winning the European super-middleweight title against Stanislav Kashtanov [ud 12 – June 2018].
Nathan Cleverly [l ud 12 – April 2013]. I fought him in the UK and he was a very complete fighter.
Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
I don’t have any amateur experience, but I’m a very hard worker.
Be the first to arrive at the gym and the last to leave.
My favourite dish is fli. It’s Albanian.
Best friends in boxing:
My manager, Luan Dreshaj.
Other sportsperson you would like to be:
No one. I’m already the happiest sportsperson in the world!
Last film/TV show you saw:
The boxing movie, Bleed for This.
Who would play you in a film of your life:
I’d choose Mark Wahlberg.
Have you ever been starstruck:
No. I’ve always just focused on my own career.
Last time you cried:
Last month when I beat Boesel. It was a great relief. Life has not always been easy for me. I was only a child when my country, Kosovo, was completely destroyed, and women and children were massacred.
Best advice received:
When I lost my third pro fight, my father said to me that I have to either live for the sport or leave it, because it was difficult for him to see his son lose.
Worst rumour about yourself:
After my defeat last year, many people said that I was finished.
Something not many people know about you:
I’m infinitely grateful to Germany for the opportunities I’ve received here. I’ve set up a gym in Gersthofen where I live. I want to give something back to the young people in the area.
From: Gersthofen, Germany
Record: 51-6 (19)
Titles: European super-middleweight & Interim WBA light-heavyweight
Next fight: As the WBA’s No. 1 contender at 175lbs, Krasniqi has his sights set on secondary champ Jean Pascal and full titlist Dmitry Bivol.