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Juho "Härmän Häjy" Haapoja

Our boxing commentator of the event is the legendary former Finnish heavyweight champion, whose relentless attitude and hardness dropped many international opponents during Juho's professional boxing career.


What originally got you into boxing?


My boxing enthusiasm originates from my father.


What have you learned about yourself or life through boxing?


Boxing has taught me to treat certain things differently, e.g. in the ring, you are alone, and you can’t blame anyone else for your failures. This kind of mentality will also help you outside the boxing ring.


How on earth did you end up as a commentator on a chess boxing event?


Long story short, Sakari Lähderinne approached me personally and I responded with a clear yes to his request.


Do you have experience with chess?


Not much, meaning I don’t claim to know how to play chess. But, I know for example, how to move the knight.



Do you think chess and boxing fit together?


Honestly, I really don’t know. I need to experience it before I can make a judgment. However, it must be said that this is a very interesting combination.


What is the current situation of boxing in Finland?


The boxing situation is pretty quiet because of the corona. This also applies outside Finland, so we are all facing the same status quo. This said, a chessboxing event – with real boxing – is more than welcome!


What expectations do you have for the boxing at the upcoming event?


Personally, I have no preconceptions, but naturally I look forward with great interest to see chessboxing in action. Regarding the level of boxing, it would be easier to comment after the event.


Finally, do you want to add something?


Cheers to the contestants and organizers!

Interviewed by: Tero Pajunen

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