Greek boxer Andreas Katzourakis is ready to make a name for himself in the U.S. He’s working with former GGG trainer Abel Sanchez to improve his skills.
A little more than 5,000 miles away from the U.S. east coast, in Athens, Greece, professional boxer Andreas Katzourakis is preparing to travel to the U.S. in a quest to break through into the highest levels of the middleweight division.
Katzourakis (6-0, 5 KOs) is relatively unknown at this stage of his boxing career, but that could all be changing soon. What he has done in his brief amateur career and early professional career is starting to intrigue those in and around the sport.
What are they seeing in Katzourakis that has them so excited about his potential?
Katzourakis has fought professionally for two, going on three years. In that time, he’s amassed five knockouts in six wins against opponents with a combined record of 64-42 and has an 83 percent KO rating. Not bad, considering that he’s done it all without the backing of a major promoter and splitting his time between the U.S. and his home of Greece.
Katzourakis lacks the attention paid to amateur standouts because of his brief and isolated amateur career. He went 25-1 with 18 KOs as an amateur. Without an abundance of international exposure, Katzourakis’ skills went somewhat unnoticed.
While Katzourakis lacked a massive amateur boxing pedigree, he was well versed in combat sports making his experience level deceptively rich. He started kickboxing when he was four years old.
“So I got into kickboxing around four years old because of my father,” Katzourakis told FanSided. “My father used to play in kickboxing. And he used to be a coach, but not as professional, you know, as like a side job, something for himself because he enjoyed it. I got into that at four years old. I started competing at five years old, and I had my first European championship at eight years old.”
Katzourakis is 23 years old today, which means he has been training as a fighter for 19 years of his life. He excelled as a kickboxer, winning numerous national and international titles and competed in over 600 amateur bouts.
Middleweight boxer Andreas Katzourakis hopes 2021 will be a special year and is working with Abel Sanchez to improve and move up the rankings
At 15 years old, Katzourakis decided to transition into boxing full time and leave kickboxing behind. He knew that he was a more gifted striker with his fists than his feet, so the move made sense. Watching two amateurs in his gym sparring helped push him towards boxing.
“In the kickboxing part, I always enjoyed the boxing mostly, you know, boxing, not that many kicks,” recounted Katzourakis. “When I saw in front of me a couple of guys sparring, they were just two crafty guys that really enjoyed it. For me, it was a masterpiece. And then I started getting involved with boxing. I watched a million fights. I started following boxing. From that day, I never kicked again.”
Katzourakis became a student of the sweet science. He’s influenced by legends Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquiao, but he’s fascinated by the 80s era middleweights. It’s the same division Katzourakis campaigns at professionally. He loves Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Tommy Hearns, but Marvin Hagler has a special place in his heart.
“I really love the old school fighters,” said Katzourakis. “Of course, I’m a fan of Hagler, Hearns, Leonard, and Duran is definitely my favorite era. Hagler’s my favorite fighter of all time.”
Katzourakis wants to evolve into a Hagler-like fighter. He knows he has the power to make noise as a middleweight but wants the expert mixture of power and boxing skill that defined Hagler’s majesty as a boxer.
“Marvin Hagler could punch, could take a punch, could box 12 full rounds without getting tired, and he could do everything in the ring,” said Katzourakis of Hagler. “He was applying pressure all the time. He was tough. Very tough. I love that.”
Katzourakis’ power and pressure caught the eye of boxing manager David McWater. Katzourakis is signed to McWater’s Split-T Management and is now looking to partner with the right promoter. He’s hoping that 2021 will be the year that his boxing future all comes together.
A big determiner of Katzourakis’ fate relies on his training. McWater and Split-T helped Katzourakis link up with Abel Sanchez, who’s known for his work with Gennadiy Golovkin and Murat Gassiev. Katzourakis sees his style as a natural fit with Sanchez considering Sanchez’s previous fighters.
“I think that the best thing about being with Abel is that I can relate myself with his previous fighters and kind of relate my style with them,” said Katzourakis. “And I think we can work together very good.”
It will be interesting to see how Sanchez helps Katzourakis mature as a boxer. Many see something special in Katzourakis, and he thinks it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world sees it too.
“I think they will appreciate the effort I put in the ring,” said Katzourakis. “I think they will really enjoy the fight when they watch me.”