Creator Clash is in full effect this Saturday night at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Fla., and former title challenger Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic (28-2, 16 KOs) is looking to make a statement against Ernest Amuzu (26-6, 22 KOs). What is Creator Clash? Well, it's a fight card created with fighters primarily from the world of Youtube.
I had a chance to catch up with Kalajdzic and chat with him to get his thoughts on the upcoming contest.
Marquis Johns: Before this fight with Amuzu, you were to face Callum Johnson before he pulled out due to injury in March. Is that a contest you'd like to revisit after this?
Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic: That is a fight I would like, but the day it was supposed the fight, he comes up with that good excuse that he's injured. Then a week later, we started training, and we didn't hear anything back from his team. They just left us hanging, so that fight's out of the picture. I want to take that fight, but I don't think he will fight me.
MJ: Just in my research, I realized you lived my the Tampa Bay Area. How long have you been in town?
RK: I've been living here (in St. Pete) for the last 23 years, but I've been training here for the previous 13-14 years on and off. Maybe 13 cause I was in Miami for two years. I was raised here and training here since I was 14 years old.
MJ: What do you know about Amuzu, who you're facing Saturday?
RK: I know he likes to come forward a little bit, and he has a high guard. That's about it from his videos.
MJ: Last time you were on national TV, it was the title fight against Artur Beterbiev, but everyone was gone by the time you stepped in cause it was after Gabriel Flores. How are you looking to the change of audience for this Creator Clash card which I was advised was sold out?
RK: Yeah, that Beterbiev fight crowd was pretty empty. I'm just happy to put on a show in front of new fans. They'll see creation fights, and then they'll see the real deal boxing. Hopefully, I can catch some eyeballs and some new fans.
MJ: Was it the eyeballs or to get back into the ring?
RK: I just wanted to get in the ring. Why not? When they told me about this card, they're like, it's almost sold out, so why not; getting to fight in a nice venue that's sold out. You don't have to sell tickets or do anything. Just fight in front of new fans. I could fight in someone's backyard. I could fight anywhere. As long as I'm fighting and getting paid, I'm good.
MJ: Since that Beterbiev fight, what has been the biggest change for you in the ring?
RK: I learned so much since then. In that Beterbiev fight, that wasn't me. I was boxing in the first few rounds, then I just stood there and traded with them. I learned how to use my range. I mainly learned to stay calm and stay patient. Don't just swing as I did in that fight. So it's a whole different new Hot Rod you will see the Saturday and in the future. Different from when I fought Beterbiev and (Marcus) Browne, I'm not as wild, and I'm more patient and calm in picking my shots.
MJ: As a Light heavyweight, what were your thoughts on the Dimitry Bivol win over Canelo Alvarez?
RK: I know Bivol is a good fighter, and he keeps his range and high pace up for all twelve rounds, and that's something that Canelo couldn't do. Canelo couldn't break his guard and couldn't keep up. That's why they make weight classes, and Canelo is too small for 175.
MJ: You think they'll run it back, or will Canelo look elsewhere?
RK: He's (Canelo) going to run it back. He tried everything and couldn't hurt him, just the size difference.
MJ: After Amuzu, what are the future in-ring plans?
RK: Within the next two to three months, land a Top 10 guy. I'm ready.
Catch Kalajdzic-Amuzu in action on the Creator Clash pay-per-view courtesy of Moment House.
You can follow Marquis Johns on Twitter @weaksauceradio .