When one might be thinking about the next Finnish MMA megastar, Tuukka Repo is by far among the first names, which you should think of. This hard-hitting 24-year-old raging head has already raced to win silver in the amateur world championships, which after his professional career has kicked off with 7 clear wins out of 8 fights. Tuukka is an outspoken and entertaining contestant, whose hardness can be felt among the entire audience.
When Tuukka was asked about accepting the challenge to face the current Chessboxing World Champion, Sakari Lähderine, he didn’t hesitate for a minute, as his immediate response was “Hell yeah, let's line-up the chess pieces and tune our attacks to destructive mode".
Year of birth: 1996
Profession: Professional Athlete
Current residency: Järvenpää, Finland
Chess ELO rating: N/A
Amount of matches: 8 Pro fights
Who did you admire as a kid in the martial arts scene?
I admired anyone who was a good fighter, but I don’t recall having any specific idol or role model.
How early did you begin training and why did you choose MMA?
I was about 15 years old when I chose the MMA, because it seemed to have the least restrictions and it just felt natural to me. I also regarded the MMA as very challenging and fun.
Would you be able to pinpoint your most important fight so far?
All my fights have been important, as I have learned a lot from each fight, regardless of the outcome. Even if I lose a fight, I have to learn to live with it and stay positive and become even stronger, in order to face the upcoming challenges.
How would you describe your fighting style?
I would like to be recognised as both a technical and a wise fighter. At least this is what I am striving for on my professional fighting path.
How did you get interested in chessboxing?
Besides boxing I also like chess. When the opportunity occurred to be the main fight of the Nordic chessboxing event, I just had to accept the challenge.
How do you train and improve your chess skills?
I mainly watch educational chess-videos and play chess online. In addition, I examine different chess games with one experienced and trusted chess player.
Is chess and boxing in any way similar?
Yes, in many ways – if you think broadly enough. For example, in the context of defense and offence, any excessive attack or defense is often destructive. All this said, maintaining a good position and taking advantage of emerging situations is the basis of everything.
What do you know about your mighty opponent, Sakari Lähderinne?
Sakari’s name is known in the Finnish boxing scene, as he used to a be professional boxer. I have not had the opportunity to meet him in the ring. His know-how in chess is better than mine, but this should not be a problem.
How are you going to train and prepare yourself to the upcoming fight?
Simply put, I will learn to play chess better and box better. Enough said.
Any last words?
I thank for the opportunity to challenge the current chessboxing World Champion in the ring.
Interviewed by Tero Pajunen
Ikuinen peruskurssi, a local media immediately noticed the upcoming chessboxing event, and that Tuukka was among the fights (written in Finnish) > https://ikuinenperuskurssi.com/2021/03/15/kaksinkertainen-maailmanmestari-kohtaa-mm-hopeamitalistin/