(MAY 30) Susianna Kentikian was born on 11th September 1987 in Jerewan,
Armenia. Her life story sounds like a movie script, despite her young age of
only 17. She came with her family to Hamburg, Germany in 1996, fleeing the
civil war in Armenia. They stayed the first years in Hamburg at asylum
seeker's homes, under the constant threat of expulsion. More than once the
family was dragged out of bed by the Police in the middle of the night and
transported to the airport for deportation. Fortunately expulsion was
avoided in the last minute through the intervention, among others, her
boxing trainer Frank Rieth.
Her first encounter with boxing took place 5 years ago, when she
accompanied her brother Mikael to a boxing club. Not content with
the role as a spectator, she learned to box herself and has remained
in the tough game ever since. She won the Hamburg Championships for
juniors from 2001 to 2004, as well as the several North German
Her biggest achievement as an amateur was a gold medal at the International
German Women's Amateur Championships in Maisach 2004 in the featherweight
division for juniors. This was done in convincing style by beating Tasheena
Bugar 27-19 in the semi final. Kentikian then went on to a 27-5 win in the
final against Alessandra Sieber. Further honour was bestowed on her at the
championships, as she won the award for the best technical boxer in the
Kentikian found it increasingly difficult to find opponents in the amateur
ranks, as very few wanted to face her in the ring. Her status as asylum
seeker also added to the problems, as she was not allowed to box outside
Hamburg. So when Spotlight-Boxing offered her a 3 year contract in the
beginning of 2005, she jumped at the chance to help herself and not least
her family. Susianna's mother is in constant need of care and her father
suffers from temporary bouts of depression. So the steady income Susianna
now earns as a pro boxer, is a very welcome help to the family. This has
also solved the family's problems with regard to their asylum seekers’
status, at least for the time being. They have received a temporary
residence permit, because the family is now self supporting through
Susianna's income and her father’s involvement in the team. It also means
that, Susianna has been able to stop working as a cleaner in her spare time,
and concentrate on her boxing career and her school work.
She made her debut as a pro on 15th January 2005 in Magdeburg against Iliana
Boneva, whom she beat on points over 4 rounds.
Her next fight was in her home town of Hamburg on 26th February 2005, where
she made it a short evening for herself and her opponent, Debbie Paterok
(formerly Lohmeier). Paterok was KO'ed with a hard punch to the head 1 min
22 seconds into the first round.
Kentian's 3rd fight was also in Hamburg and took place on 29th March, 2005.
This was even shorter than the previous fight. Lucie Hornakova had enough
after 37 seconds of the first round, and gave up.
Her 4th fight took place in Magdeburg on 7th May against Juliia Vlasenko of
the Ukraine. Kentikian took command right from the start of and kept up
pressure throughout, especially with her right hand. Vlasenko turned her
back on Kentikan after a combination in the 3rd round, and the referee
stopped the fight.
Susianna Kentikian is due to fight again on 4th June 2005. The opponent is
yet to be revealed.
Date of Birth 11th September, 1987
Place of Birth: Jerewan, Armenia
Weight Class: Flyweight/Junior Flyweight
Height: 1.55 m (5' 1")
Amateur Record: 24-1-0
Pro Record: 4-0-0 (3 KO's) as of 23 of May 2005
Trainers: Magomed Schaburow / Frank Rieth
Interview Susianna Kentikian
Last September, I had the good fortune to attend the German
International Women's Boxing Championships. Among the 62 participants there
were many seasoned boxers. Many of them, I had heard off and seen box
before. But the biggest surprise, was a 16 year old junior boxer, whose name
was completely new to me. Susianna Kentikian was a true joy to watch in the
ring. Her confidence, skill and fighting spirit told me, that this could be
an upcoming star in women's boxing. So far she has proved me right. Despite
her obvious talent, even I was surprised to learn, that she had signed a pro
contract only 3-4 months after winning the junior championship, but her
4-0-0 (3 KO) is certainly proof that she is on the right track.
The general manager of Universum, Peter Hanrath, predicts a great future for
Susianna Kentikian. He said in a recent radio interview, that he expects
Kentikian will be able to go far, and follow in the footsteps of Regina
Halmich’s in 4-5 years time, providing she gets the right build up.
Susianna Kentikian is certainly no ordinary girl. She has suffered more
adversity and hardship in her young life, than most people will have to cope
with in a full life time. You might have expected her to turn into a bitter
or broken person. She has instead decided to take charge of her own life,
and that of her family as well. Through her determination and hard work, she
is on the path to a successful career. Her boxing training has helped her to
let off steam, and there has certainly been plenty of reason for that.
I was therefore very pleased when the opportunity to interview her arose. I
spent an enjoyable hour in conversation with a very sympathetic and
easygoing young lady. Her mild manners and modesty are in stark contrast to
the merciless fighter I saw in the ring last year.
Susianna, thank you for taking the time to talking to WBAN
WBAN: How did you get interested in boxing?
SK: My brother told me about how good and hard boxing training was. I wanted
to come with him, but he told me it was far too tough for me. Eventually he
let me come with him to watch. After I had been watching for a while, the
trainer, Frank Wieth, asked me to join in. I declined, because I hadn’t
brought any gym clothes and I was wearing huge shoes that were fashionable
then. But he wouldn’t take no for an answer so I had to start training in my
WBAN: I noticed that you give your weight class as Flyweight in you
homepage. However, you are ranked as Junior Bantamweight on WBAN. Which
weight will you be fighting in the future?
SK: I have fought in Junior Bantamweight but my natural weight is
Flyweight/Junior Flyweight so that is where I will be fighting in the
WBAN: Another thing, that puzzled me on you homepage. When asked for your
boxing idol you answered none. Is there a special reason for this?
SK: It is simply because there are so many excellent boxers. It is difficult
for me to choose one or two.
WBAN: What has been the biggest difference for you, in the change from
amateur to pro boxing, apart from the money?
SK: The obvious difference in the ring is, that I am fighting without
headgear and that the gloves are harder. It was a funny feeling the first
time I entered the ring without a headgear. Also I feel the punches are
getting harder, but my opponents are certainly feeling that too. My trainer
is working on changing my style from amateur to pro. I have become calmer in
the ring and my defence and punching power has improved. As an amateur I had
to work very hard right from the start, because the fights are only 3
rounds; now I have to learn to pace myself for the longer fights.
My day to day life has changed insofar that I have training every day except
Sunday. My daily routine is attending school in the morning, training in the
afternoon, and the evenings are spent with homework for school and
WBAN: How do you prepare yourself before going in the ring?
SK: I spend fight days relaxing. I usually have a long sleep, then a good
walk in the park and back to relax lying down, listening to music etc. This
way I have plenty of energy for the fight. Fight days seem very long
and boring, and I always look forward to getting into the ring.
WBAN: Do you spar with other women boxers, or is it mainly male sparring
SK: I spar with other of the Universum/Spotlight female boxers like Ina
Menzer, but sometimes I get amateur sparring partners who comes in from
Leverkusen. I mainly spar with other women.
WBAN: You have fought 4 fights as a pro, but it has only given your approx.
8 rounds in the ring, with 3 of your 4 fights ending in stoppages. What are
you going to do to get more ring experience as a professional?
SK: The opponents are getting better. My last fight was the hardest so far,
and I am sure I will be tested more in the coming fights. My second fight
ended with a regular knockout in the first round, but the third fight was
stopped after only 37 seconds of the first round, because my opponent gave
up. It is also very unsatisfactory for me only to get so little time in the
ring, after all the work in the gym. I talked to the girl after the fight,
and asked her why she gave up so early in the fight. She explained that I
hit her very hard, and that’s the reason she called it a day. Unfortunately
I can’t do much about that.
WBAN: You are still very young. What is your ambition in boxing, and have
you made any considerations about how long you will stay in boxing?
SK: It is still too early to talk about this. Let us talk again when I have
had 10 fights and we will see which way things are going.
WBAN: Is women's boxing accepted in Armenia? Do you know of any other
Armenian female boxers - amateur or pro?
SK: I am the only female pro boxer of Armenian nationality, but there are
some amateur boxers in the country. I think women’s boxing is generally
accepted in Armenia. There have been some newspaper articles about me there,
and they seem to be proud of the fact, that Armenia now has a place in
women’s pro boxing.
WBAN: Are you hoping to be able to return to your native country some day?
I would like to go back there to visit some day, but I am happy to live in
Germany now. I have lived most of my life here. We left Armenia in 1991 when
I was only 4 years old. We first stayed In Germany, then Russia and finally
we came back to Germany in 1996, where we have been ever since.
WBAN: Do you have any messages for your fans?
SK: I would like to say, that I am proud of their support and confidence in
me, and I want to thank them for that.
WBAN: Thank you again for sparing the time to talk to us. It has been such a
pleasure to talk to you. We will be following your career with great
interest, and wish you all the best for the future.