Gazija! Bosnian Prince Armin Mrkanovic Interview: Fights for WBA Title on March 31

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

In Bosnian, ‘Gazija’ means ‘untouchable holy warrior’. In a Real Combat Media exclusive interview, The Bosnian Prince, cruiserweight contender Armin ‘Gazija’ Mrkanovic, is finally making noise. Mrkanovic will be fighting 35 bout veteran Wilmer Mejia for the vacant World Boxing Association Fedecaribe Cruiserweight title on March 31, 2019, at Club Plaza Valerio, Santiago de los Caballeros.


Robert B: “Armin, what do you think about Errol Spence Jr. versus Mikey Garcia tonight in Arlington, Texas? Do you think it is a great fight, or a matchup stinker?”

Armin: “I think it’s going to be fireworks the whole fight! I think one of them is going to go down early!”

Robert B: “Why fight for a WBA title now?”

Armin: “The WBA belt was vacant, and I have been in shape 365 days a year, so it’s always a good time to fight for a belt, especially if it makes sense.”

Robert B: “How do you feel about fighting for the first time in the Dominican Republic in the tropics?”

Armin: “I’m actually looking forward to it. I might get some suntan too!”

Robert B: “Armin, Wilmer Mejia is a 20 year 35 bout veteran of experience who has been in WBC and WBA regional title bouts. Mejia is a southpaw. How will you deal with his southpaw stance and his vast range of ring experience?”

Armin: “We know he has a lot of mileage under his belt, (so) we will be fully prepared for whatever he brings to the ring. Being a southpaw (myself), I fight both orthodox and southpaw stances (as a fighter), so it doesn’t matter to me.”

Robert B: “There has been much Bosnian ‘much ado’ trash talk about you fighting Eden Puhalo of Bosnia, whose record has been padded with numerous sardines. Do you still want to travel to Bosnia and fight Puhalo? Have he or his camp responded to your taunts and challenges for an all-Bosnian war in Bosnia at some point in the future?”

Armin: “I’d be more than happy to go back to my motherland and fight anybody, Puhalo or whoever, in front of my home crowd. I think it’s everybody’s fighter’s dream, hearing their people chant for you.”

Robert B: “Is Puhalo a real challenger, or is he a chicken little?”

Armin: “Any man who steps inside the ring and puts gloves on is a real challenge. Now, some men, have more still than the other, and I don’t think Puhalo has (so) much skill (that) I should be worried about it.”

Robert B: “What about that forty-something cruiserweight Kai Kursawa Puhalo just beat in Germany? Was he a bum?”

Armin: “He (Kursawa) was one of the sardines given to Puhalo to snack on.”

Robert B: “What belt would be sufficient to fight Puhalo in Bosnia? Your WBA belt? His WBO European belt? Or what belt? Does it matter?”


Armin: “It doesn’t matter, but it has to be a belt. There’s still a million people out there, (so whoever I fight) it has to make sense. I don’t want to pick on him as a (fellow) Bosnian. But, if he’s got something I want (as in the European cruiserweight title), then it makes sense. Anybody can get it (go after the title).”

Robert B: “Who have you been sparring with?”

Armin: “Former world cruiserweight Marco Huck is training with me here in the states from Germany, and I’ve been getting (in) world class championship (level) sparring with Marco and most of the Gleason’s guys from Gleason’s, which is full of world champions.”

Robert B: “Who are you friends with in the gym?”

Armin: “Juan Guzman is a trainer in the gym, he’s a friend of mine. Mikkel LesPierre, Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, the future heavyweight champion of the world.”

Robert B: “Your trainer is……”

Armin: “My trainer is Hector Roca (the trainer of Arturo Gatti), who I’ve been with for 22 years, and on March 31, 2019, I am going to give him a WBA title as a present for his eightieth birthday!”

Robert B: “Is there anyone out there you really want to fight?”

Armin: “Anybody that’s going to help me better my career, and has a belt around their waist, is a target. (I’m) strictly business, no feelings attached.”

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Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert is the Head Boxing Correspondent for Real Combat Media Boxing since 2013. Robert is also a photographer and ringside reporter for the RCM Tri State region which includes NJ, NY and PA. Robert conducts exclusive interviews, provides historical boxing articles and provides editorial ringside coverage of major boxing events. You can contact or follow Robert on Facebook and by email at robertbrizel@realcombatmedia.com.