In Bulgaria Todd appeared with his wife Allison. They’re a really great couple! Apart from training and fighting Todd, also works. So I asked him what he does in fact. Even though the translation was very detailed I still could understand too little. Todd is a designer of some really complicated devices. Something connected with drills. Upon my word! I have no idea what it’s all about even in Polish (Sorry!).
Ladies looking for a fight. Allison second from right.
Allison, do you often accompany your husband at such events?
Allison Hutchings: Yes, it ensures at least one person will be cheering for him.
How did you like Bulgaria, Sofia and Stara Zagora?
Allison: Bulgaria is full of beautiful, thoughtful people. I especially enjoyed the young performers before the competition who demonstrated the talent of Bulgaria. It was an honor to be there.
Do you get nervous when Todd is fighting?
Allison: Watching the competitors is amazingly exciting. I especially like the format of PAL and the way they present arm fights. Their shows are spectacular. I can't help but cheer and yell and jump to my feet - especially when Todd is having a match.
And now I have a few questions for you Todd. Please tell me if you are satisfied with the second place?
Todd Hutchings: Second place is a mixed blessing. It is an ironic feature of this sport that one can perform better than expectations against the best men in the world and still feel disappointed. I am happy with my performance against Krasimir Kostadinov. Krasi made me very nervous but once the fight started I got comfortable because I pull similar to him, because I copy him. By the third match I felt like I was fighting with my little brother. I have wanted to test myself against Krasimir for a very long time.
I am disheartened and slightly embarrassed about my fight with Arsen Liliev. Leading up to the fight I had received lots of help and advice to prepare for Arsen, I have also pulled him once before. The strength and power were what I expected, but I underestimated his style. He has a technique of locking thumb and finger, no loading, and loose grip. I think it allows him to generate some velocity before “go” so when I launch I not only have to fight his strength, which is extraordinary, but also some additional kinetic energy. Adding momentum to Arsen’s hit, which by itself, is formidable make him supernatural.
Do you think your place could have been better?
Todd: No! I could not have beaten Arsen that day. I can work on fighting his style, and of course I can always get stronger, but it will be months before Arsen has any cause for concern from me.
Who was the toughest competitor?
Todd: Arsen Liliev was as strong as I expected, his technique beat me so easily I wasn’t even working.
Igor Miroshnik was a lot stronger than I expected. Far stronger and faster than last October. In a year or so he’ll probably be beating me up. Krasimir Kostadinov was a brutal competitor, once I was saved by an elbow foul, several times I was seconds away from giving up position when the referee stopped the match or a lucky hit by me paid off. Krasimir is one of the toughest people I have pulled in years, and I train with John Brzenk and other tough guys in Utah.
Do you think that fight could have developed differently?
Todd: I think the results are indicative of the relative talents of the fighters.
Do you think you “replaced” John in representing the US?
Todd: No! That is a silly question, no one will ever replace John or come close to duplicating his accomplishments. Those men today who have achieved so much and gone so far have, for at least some part, done so because of what John has accomplished before them. The competitors today have benefitted from John clearing the paths forward years ago. Michael Todd, Jerry Cadorette and Tim Bresnan are probably best suited to represent the USA today. I’m never good at such statements, Engin Terzi would be who I consult for such questions.
Todd, I meant that in Bulgaria you were much better than him. Do you believe John will ever regain his previous form?
Todd: In time, John will heal and be back to his old self.
What are your plans for this season?
Todd: Vendetta! June 29, Las Vegas, Nevada. Khadzimurat Zoloev.
Are you going to come to NEMIROFF?
Todd: I don’t know, I have to ask my coach John Brzenk. He tells me what I’m doing. I initially refused the fight with Stoyan Golemanov. Sometime later I changed my mind and asked John if he would contact PAL to see if they would still set up the fight. John said, “I told them weeks ago you agreed, everything should be set.”
So what are you working on at your trainings now?
Todd: From now till June 28, I train hook. After that I train for super-fast, super-strong, thumb and finger locking, no loading Russian. You never know what the future holds……
Thank you both for this interview and best regards form Poland!
Allison, Todd Hutchings: Best wishes to all readers!