Romania’s Mihai Nistor has been one of the most exciting Super Heavyweight (91+ kg) boxers to watch in AIBA Pro Boxing (APB), and the history-maker will soon have the opportunity to fight for the APB title against Champion Erik Pfeifer (GER).
The 25-year-old made history by becoming the very first boxer to win a match in this competition when he defeated Ali Kiydin (GER) last October, and he holds fond memories of that incredible moment.
“I remember the satisfaction I felt when I won my first fight in APB,” Nistor tells AIBAProBoxing.com.
His recent performances have been impressive as well, including a Cycle I Round 1 triumph over Magomed Omarov (RUS), while he produced a tactical masterclass to defeat Mohammed Arjaoui (MAR) in Round 2 to become the number one contender for Pfeifer.
That victory also earned the four-time Romanian National Champion a quota for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but his main focus is to earn the APB title in the biggest match of his career.
Pfeifer will have home advantage as the contest will be held in Germany, yet Nistor, whose victory over Arjaoui came away in Morocco, seems unfazed by the prospect of fighting in enemy territory once again.
“It is difficult to fight in my opponent’s home field, but this is my “luck”. I always have faith in the referees, and my wish is to win the World Title in APB, and I am sure that I will be justly appreciated by the referees. I am already used to the fact that my opponents have this advantage, but this just makes me mobilize more, and makes my desire to win even greater.”
The two Super Heavyweight stars previously met in APB last December where Pfeifer won a truncated bout, and Nistor feels he learned a great deal from that contest.
“Pfeifer is a mobile boxer, and he moves a lot inside the ring. I will try to annihilate this advantage of him, and thank God I will have all the time to do so during those 12 rounds.”
At 25, Nistor is relatively young for a top level Super Heavyweight, but has already enjoyed great success in his career.
He has excelled in AIBA Open Boxing competition, and famously stopped London 2012 Olympic Games gold medalist Anthony Joshua in the 2011 European Championships.
The much vaunted power he possesses can stop a fight at any time, but he is more than happy to compete over the 12 round distance in his APB world title match.
“I always have the resources to knock-out my opponents, but in this match I will also be ready to box 12 rounds,” he confirms.
Nistor’s remarkable stamina allows him to bombard his opponents with constant pressure, a tactic he used to perfection in Morocco against Arjaoui, despite the huge crowd support for his opponent.
The Romanian is one of the shorter fighters in the weight division, but uses his height as a weapon, as it allows him to throw punches from a variety of angles while maintaining constant movement across the ring.
“It is simple,” he suggests. “I reduce the distance that they can use to their advantage by getting closer to them and working a lot on the lower part of the body.”
An excellent bronze medal from the recent European Championships in Samokov, Bulgaria will further increase his confidence ahead of the showdown with Pfeifer, and Nistor is thankful to his coach Relu Auras for helping him adapt between competitions.
“It is difficult, every special thing needs special means and methods, and it is not easy to go from 8 rounds to 3 rounds where the intensity is increased, and the time is much shorter. But with hard work and great skills from my coach I can succeed.”
12 rounds against an undefeated Champion separates Nistor from ruling the Super Heavyweight division, but while most boxers would feel tension, he is stoic amidst the tremendous pressure.
“My wish is to become World Champion in APB, I have always wished for this. I have worked a lot with my coach to get here, and I will fight to win.”