Albert Kraus Set to Lift Japan's Spirits
The first ever K-1 World MAX Champion is coming back to Japan, hoping to inspire the locals and add yet another win to his name.
Albert Kraus defeated Masato in their first ever bout before being crowd the champion. He will now come back to his second home to fight on the Fight For Japan -63kg Japan MAX tournament card where he hopes to defeat the veteran Yoshihiro Sato once again. We had a chance to speak with Kraus recently about this fight and what it means to him. Here is what he had to say:
-- A K-1 event is finally being held this month. June 25th, 2011 is the date the first K-1 MAX for the year will be on. How were you feeling while you were waiting for news about a K-1 MAX event?
Albert: Off course I was waiting for positive news from Japan after the earthquake, and I am very happy that it actually came so quickly.
-- It's been confirmed that you'll be fighting against Yoshihiro Sato. How do you feel now?
Albert: Honestly I don't care too much who I fight. If I am in good shape, I can beat everybody.
I have fought so many strong fighters in my career, so this will be another very tough one, but again, I have to do my job.
-- What's your impression of your opponent, Yoshihiro Sato?
Albert: Sato is a tough guy. When you fight him, you know you have to go in expecting a war. He is one of strongest on the circuit. But I have beaten him twice before, so I need to keep it up and go for the 3rd win.
-- Could you look back at the last 2 fights with Sato held in 2006 & 2007, and give us some comments about those fights?
Albert: The fights were both tough. We pushed each other to the limit. But, both times my limit was higher than his.
-- This is going to be the 3rd time you will face Sato. And, Sato is saying he can't lose against you again. How do you feel about it?
Albert: For me it's the same. I can't lose to a guy whom I already beat 2 times.
-- What kind of fight do you want to show to fans this time?
Albert: Sato and I will give a hard fight no matter what. We both have a very strong soul for fighting. I will try to show my spirit to the fans in Japan, and I hope they will see this with their heart. I know the Japanese people need a strong soul at the moment, and I will try to inspire them with my fight.
-- You fought Giorgio Petrosyan last November in Japan. You lost, but it was really a close fight. Are you still confident that you can become the MAX champion again?
Albert: In my point of view you need 2 things to be the champion; quality and luck. In the last tournament luck was not on my side. Of course I can still be the champion! I am older than the guys, but I take my experience into every fight.
-- You have fought in K-1 MAX since 2002, and you are in your 30's now. Could you tell me what motivates you to keep fighting?
Albert: Fighting is my life. I enjoy my life, so I can go for a few more years, don't worry. Since Masato and Takeda have left the sport, I am the final guy remaining from the first generation of MAX fighters.
-- Could you tell us what the difference is between fighting in K-1 MAX and other promotions is for you?
Albert: To be honest, I don't fight too much in other organizations. For me Japan is like my second home so every time I enter Japan I feel very great. In Europe I prefer to fight in Romania or Russia. These countries are very supportive of our sport.
-- By the way, K-1 is planning to hold K-1 MAX -63kg World tournament this summer. What do you think of the idea?
Albert: It's a good idea. Japan has many strong lightweight fighters. Last year the Japan tournament was very strong and exciting. I am training with 2 guys from this weight class, and maybe 1 of them can be in the world tournament.
-- This event is going to be held as FIGHT FOR JAPAN, which is a supporting project for the Japanese earthquake. Do you have any particular feelings about it?
Albert: Yes off course! I feel very badly for the Japan people, and I will support all of you wherever I can.
-- Lastly, Could you describe your determination for this fight and give the fans a message?
Albert: I will fight with all of my heart and soul in this fight, which I know Sato will also do.
So I want to inspire you all with our fighting spirit, and I want the fans and Japan to keep this spirit with them as you all rise up from the terrible situation brought to the country by the earthquake and tsunami. Osu.