In-form light-heavyweight Ricards Bolotniks explains to Adam Noble-Forcey where he gets his motivation from
When and why you started boxing:
I first started with street boxing, you could say! I really loved fighting basically. I saw Mairis Briedis on TV in 2013. He was getting very big in Latvia at the time. I remember saying to my mother that I wanted to be like Mairis. I started boxing that same year and turned professional, without any amateur experience.
Favourite all-time fighter:
Mairis because he’s from my country and he’s like a big brother to me.
Best fight you’ve seen:
Mairis against Oleksandr Usyk in the WBSS. It was nice to see a Latvian show the world that he’s on the same level as such a great fighter as Usyk.
Personal career highlight:
So far, it has to be The Golden Contract light-heavyweight final against Serge Michel (w rsf 10 – December 2020).
When I’m sparring with Mairis. But in terms of an actual fight, most of my opponents have been very challenging in different ways.
Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
My best attribute is that when I’m sitting in the changing room before a fight, I don’t think about the money. I think about fighting for my family and my country, which makes me perform very well. My worst attribute is that I love to eat! This makes it hard for me to cut weight.
You can’t go into the gym with a bad attitude. You need to be prepared to train like a monster.
I like pizza and a nice cold beer.
Best friends in boxing:
My coach, Dmitrijs Siholajs. He trains Mairis too. He’s like a father and a friend to me.
Other sportsperson you would like to be:
My father because he was a great swimmer.
Last film/TV show you saw:
My favourite film is The Crow. I watch it all the time.
Who would play you in a film of your life:
My wife tells me that I look like The Rock, Dwayne Johnson. I’d have to agree with her!
Have you ever been starstruck:
No! If I see a big star it doesn’t bother me.
Last time you cried:
Every time I go on Instagram or Facebook and see a video of me and my wife, I can’t help but cry with happiness.
Best advice received:
My wife gives me words of motivation when I get up at 6am for training. She tells me that I must work hard each day so I can be the very best version of myself.
Worst rumour about yourself:
There’s nothing negative said about me thankfully.
Something not many people know about you:
If you mess with my family, you’ll meet the lion in me!
Nickname: ‘The Lion’
Height: 6ft 1in
Record: 18-5-1 (8)
Titles: WBO European
Next fight: Ranked in the top 10 by the IBF and WBO, Bolotniks is aiming to progress further up the ratings this year.