Tag Archives: Ukraine

Wladimir Klitschko: A Man Who Represented His Sport In Respectable Fashion


By: Sean Crose

And so Wladimir Klitschko, one of the longest reigning heavyweight champions in history, has decided to retire. Good for him. We should wish him all the best. He was, make no mistake about it, a credit to his sport. While Klitschko was never able to engross all of western society the way Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Joe Lewis or Jack Dempsey had before him, he was able to show that a gentleman could also be a tough guy. That’s saying something – especially right now, at this point in boxing history. The fact that Klitschko is retiring in the leadup to the insanely hyped and sadly beloved Mayweather-McGregor matchup signifies, in a way, exactly where we are in the road.

While Klitschko believed a champion should represent his sport in respectable fashion, Mayweather and McGregor engage in gutter speak for the roar of the crowd. While Klitschko believed that practicing an incredibly violent sport didn’t mean you had to act like a narcissistic headcase outside of it, Mayweather and McGregor recently turned their seemingly endless press tour into a cross between a circus act and a bad LSD trip. Whatever his flaws may be, a parent might actually point to Klitschko as a source of inspiration. Anyone who wants their kid to act like Mayweather or McGregor needs a psych evaluation. Now, though, Klitschko is gone, leaving the fight world with a loud mouthed Irishman who acts unhinged and a gleeful American hedonist who looks forward to making some serious “easy money.”

Only there’s more to it than that.

There are, believe it or not, fighters out there who act like, you know, adults. Canelo Alvarez is one. His future opponent, Gennady Golovkin, is another, Shawn Porter certainly appears to be role model material. Last weekend’s big winner, Mikey Garcia, clearly treats his work, life and public image responsibly. There are others in boxing who could be on this list, as well. Count on it. They simply don’t get the attention Mayweather and McGregor do. And that’s partly understandable. For part of boxing is salesmanship. What boxing shouldn’t be, however, is bottom of the barrel, base entertainment. Sadly, that’s where some think it is at the moment – at the bottom of the barrel – thanks to two less than sportsmanlike characters and the legions who adore watching them.

The point of this piece isn’t to be Puritanical, however. It’s to point out the fact that fighters don’t have to behave in an antisocial manner in order to be successful. The truth is that Klitschko might have earned more fans had he been a bit more colorful – not idiotic, just more colorful. That wasn’t the man’s personality, though, and I’ve got to respect him for it. Better Klitschko, in my humble opinion, than the Pop Culture Event Of The Summer we’re heading towards. Is it August 27th yet?

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WBA/IBF World Heavyweight Championship Round by Round Results: Joshua Stops Klitschko in Instant Classic


WBA/IBF World Heavyweight Championship Round by Round Results: Joshua Stops Klitschko in Instant Classic
By: William Holmes

Wembley Stadium in London, England was the host site for tonight’s highly anticipated heavyweight title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua.

Showtime televised the bout live from England and HBO televised the replay on the same day.

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Photo Credit: Sky Sports

For the first time in twelve years Wladimir Klitschko was the underdog in a fight. The crowd at Wembley Stadium was lively, loud, and ready for a good fight.

Wladimir Klitschko entered the ring first as the challenger underneath a backdrop of 90,000 cell phone lights. Anthony Joshua entered second to a loud and boisterous crowd.

Nataliya Klitschko performed the Ukranian national anthem and Louisa Johnson sung the British National Anthem.

Anthony Joshua (18-0) and Wladimir Klitschko (64-4) fought to unify the WBA and IBF titles.

Round 1:

Klitschko comes forward with a range finding jab while Sohua keeps his hands high and looks for a counter. Joshua lands a check left hook to the chin of Klitschko. Joshua is short with a two punch combination. Joshua lands a good jab to the body. Klitschko throws a left hook that’s partially blocked. Klitschko is keeping at a safe distance from the power shots of Joshua. Klitschko lands a good quick jab. Joshua lands a left hook to the body. Joshua lands a short jab. Joshua lands a good right to the body of Klitschko. Joshua lands a left to the body and has a follow up right partially blocked. Klitschko lands a good stiff jab. Klitschko lands a reaching jab.

10-9 Joshua

Round 2:

Klitschko lands a sharp straight right hand on the chin of Joshua. Joshua lands a short jab and misses with a two punch combination. Joshua lands a quick jab. Klitschko looks light on his feet. Klitschko snaps out a
quick jab. Joshua lands a short jab and punches the shoulder of Klitschko. Joshua lands a clean right hand to the chin of Klitschko. Joshua sticks a jab in the chest of Klitschko. Klitschko misses with a straight counter right. Joshua misses with a lead left hook. Close round.

10-9 Klitschko; 19-19

Round 3:

Joshua is short with several shots and gets a little wild. Joshua misses with another hard straight right. Klitschko misses high with a right cross. Joshua barely misses a huge uppercut and then lands a few hooks to the body. Klitschko clinches when Joshua gets in tight. Joshua is short with a double jab. Joshua misses a left hook and a two punch combination. Klitschko lands a lead left hook. Joshua lands a god jab to the nose of Klitschko.

10-9 Joshua; 29-28 Joshua

Round 4:

Klitschko lands a stinging straight right hand and follows it up with another straight right. Joshua lands a hook to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko lands two jabs to the face of Joshua. Joshua lands a sharp straight right hand. Joshua lands a jab to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko misses with a lead left hook and a straight right cross. Joshua lands a right to the body of Klitschko. Joshua lands a quick jab and later follows with a counter right hook. Joshua lands a stiff jab. Close round.

10-9 Joshua; 39-37 Joshua

Round 5:

Joshua comes out firing and lands several hard punches and combinations. Klitschko tries to hold on and looks a little wobbly. Joshua lands a hard combination including a stiff uppercut and Klitschko goes down. Klitschko has a mouse underneath his eye. Joshua comes forward and lands a left hook. Klitschko trying to hang on and survive. Klitschko misses a wild right hook. Klitschko has a bad cut over his left eye. Klitschko misses with a wild left hook. Klitschko lands a straight right to the chin of Joshua. Joshua looks tired. Klitschko lands a straight right and a left hook. Klitschko lands a straight right followed by a left hook. Klitschko lands a right uppercut and Joshua looks hurt. Klitschko lands a two punch combination on Joshua. Both guys look exhausted and are holding on. Klitschko lands a right cross and Joshua holds on. Klitschko lands a hard right uppercut and a left hook. Great round, Klitschko was coming on strong late.

10-8 Joshua; 49-45 Joshua

Round 6:

Both boxers look alert after the hellacious fifth round. Klitschko lands a good right hand on Joshua. Klitschko misses a wild left hook. Joshua spit out his mouthpiece and the fight is briefly stopped. Klitschko lands a jab and Joshua lands a right hook to the body. Klitschko lands a thunderous straight right hand and Joshua goes down! Joshua gets up before the count of ten. Joshua looks badly hurt. Klitschko misses a wild left hook. Klitschko lands two short right hooks. Klitschko presses Joshua back to the corner and lands a hook and a right cross. Klitschko misses a wild left hook. Klitschko lands a short jab. Another quick jab lands for Klitschko. Joshua holds on. Joshua lands a short jab. Great round.

10-8 Klitschko; 57-55 Joshua

Round 7:

Both boxers look alert at the start of the seventh round. Klitschko pressing forward though and looks a little more awake. Klitschko lands a sharp jab and is controlling the action. Klitschko lands a left hook to the head of Joshua. Klitschko looks patient. Klitschko lands a good jab. Klitschko lands another jab. Joshua is jawing at Klitschko. Klitschko misses with a sweeping left hook. Klitschko lands a short left hook. Klitschko lands another jab. Klitschko misses with a straight right and Joshua holds on. Klitschko bangs a left hook off the high guard of Joshua. Joshua lands a hook to the body.

10-9 Klitschko; 66-65 Joshua

Round 8:

Joshua didn’t take a lot of damage in the last round, but has never gone past the seventh before today. Klitschko lands two punches out of three while coming forward. Klitschko lands a reaching jab. Klitschko misses a missle of a straight right hand. Joshua comes forward with a double jab but touches air. Klitschko misses with another wild right. Joshua barely misses a straight right hand. Klitschko lands two jabs. Klitschko lands another jab. Joshua lands a jab but Klitschko answers with a stiff jab. Joshua throws a hook to the body and then ties up. Klitschko lands another jab. The pace favors Klitschko.

10-9 Klitschko; 75-75

Round 9:

Klitschko lands a right hook upstsairs and Joshua lands two hooks to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko lands a short left hook but eats two more body shots. They tied up after Klitschko throws two jabs. Klitschko lands a jab but Joshua lands a short left hook. Joshua lands a hard left jab and follows it with a short right hook. Joshua misses a lead left hook. Klitschko lands a quick jab on Joshua. Joshua lands a hard shot to the body. Klitschko is controlling the distance but appears a little hesitant to throw. Joshua lands a short right hand and two hooks to the body.
10-9 Joshua; 85-84 Joshua

Round 10:

Joshua opens up with a two punch combination. Joshua is short with a right cross to the body. Joshua gets tagged with a quick jab. Joshua digs a hook into the body of Klitschko. Joshua lands a short inside uppercut. Joshua throws a two punch combination upstairs and clips Klitschko. Joshua lands a hook to the body of Klitschko. Klitschko lands a good jab. Klitschko misses with a straight right. Joshua lands a jab upstairs. Joshua lands another short jab on Klitschko. Klitschko’s right hand is not finding it’s target. Klitschko lands a good straight right hand. Klitschko lands another good straight right as the round comes to an end. Could have scored it for either boxer.

10-9 Klitschko; 94-94

Round 11:

Joshua comes out firing and has Klitschko looking a little wobbly. Joshua is throwing bombs at Klitschko. Joshua throws a reaching jab. Klitschko lands a quick jab. Klitschko lands a straight right and Klitschko looks like he’s in bad shape. Joshua lands a straight right on Klitschko . Joshua lands a short left hook. Joshua lands a thunderous right uppercut on Klitschko and follows it with a left hook. Klitschko is wobbly and gets up before the count of ten. Josha tags Klitschko with another combination and Klitschko goes down again. Klitschko looks like he’s badly hurt. Joshua is chasing Klitschko around the ring and is firing off punches before the referee jumps in and stops the fight.

Anthony Joshua Wins Thriller by TKO at 2:25 of the eleventh round.

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WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title Fight Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko


WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title Fight Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko
By: William Holmes

On Saturday afternoon one of the biggest heavyweight bouts in recent memory will take place at the famous Wembley Stadium in London, England.

This is such a major event that Wembley Stadium is expecting a record setting crowd of 90,000 fans in attendance. It is so big that Showtime will air the fight live at 4:15 p.m. live while HBO will televise the replay at 11:00 p.m. on same day tape delay.

It’s rare to see two of the biggest broadcasters of boxing agreeing to televise the same fight.

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Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

Both boxers appear to realize the magnitude of the vent at the most recent press conference. Joshua stated, “ Even though this is such a great event, I always try to strip it down to what it really is and just focus that it’s just me and this man coming to blows and the best man will win. I’m not only prepared physically but mentally as well for any battle.”

Klitschko recognizes that many count him out as an old faded champion and stated, “ Can you imagine my next opponent is going to fight a guy whose age is exactly the number of how long he has been in boxing- 27 years? Can you image that? It’s a pretty amazing task. Is it a degradation that I’m actually a challenger and underdog in this fight after 27 years in the sport? I don’t think so. I think it’s great”.

This is a huge bout, and will help determine if Anthony Joshua is the current kingpin of the heavyweight division and the reign of Klitschko is over, or if Klitschko’s time at the top is still ongoing.

The following is a preview of Saturday’s heavyweight title fight.

Anthony Joshua (18-0) vs. Wladimir Klitschko (64-4); WBA/IBF Heavyweight Title

This bout is between the next great big thing in the heavyweight division and a man who reigned over the heavyweight division from 2000-2015.

Both Joshua and Klitschko obtained the highest accolade one could achieve as an amateur boxer. Klitschko won the Gold Medal in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games for the Ukraine in the super heavyweight division and Joshua won the Gold Medal in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games for Great Britain in the super heavyweight division.

Both Joshua and Klitschko are very large heavyweights. Both stand at 6’6” and Joshua will have a slight one inch reach advantage, but both men have a reach of over 80”.

Klitschko’s age is his biggest liability. He’s forty one years old and is fourteen years older than Joshua. Joshua’s biggest liability is his relative lack of experience in big fights. He’s only fought eighteen times and has never faced an opponent the caliber of Klitschko.

Klitschko’s inactivity may also hurt him. He fought zero times in 2016, partially due to a calf injury, and only fought twice in 2015. Joshua on the other hand has been very active and fought five times in 2015 and three times in 2016.

Klitschko has been absolutely dominant the past decade and has defeated almost every big name in the heavyweight division in that time frame. He has defeated the likes of Bryant Jennings, Kubrat Pulev, Alexander Povetkin, Mariusz Wach, Tony Thompson, David Haye, Samuel Peter, Eddie Chambers, Ruslan Chagaev, Hasim Rahman, Sultan Ibragimov, Lamon Brewster, Calvin Brock, and Chris Byrd.

Joshua doesn’t have the extensive list of defeated contenders on his resume as Klitschko, but he has still defeated some very good opponents. He has defeated the likes of Eric Molina, Dominic Breazeale, Charles Martin, Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, and Kevin Johnson.

Joshua has the clear edge in power as he has stopped every single opponent he has faced as a professional. Klitschko has stopped fifty three of his opponents but has been stopped three times in his career.

Klitschko’s two biggest concerns appear to be fighting a tall boxer as was evident in his fight with Tyson Fury, and fighting a hard puncher as evident in his three knockout losses.

Joshua is just as tall as Klitschko and has plenty of power.

Don’t forget Joshua will be fighting in front of his countrymen.

All signs point to Anthony Joshua winning on Saturday and ushering in a new era of heavyweight boxing.

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Why Is America Missing Out On Joshua-Klitschko?


Why Is America Missing Out On Joshua-Klitschko?
By: Sean Crose

A public workout was held Wednesday. In Wembley Stadium. In front of a significant, loud and very energetic crowd. With Michael Buffer introdrucing the fighters before they actually, you know, worked out. This, friends, was something special. And little wonder. For the first time since Mayweather-Pacuiao, the days are winding down to a legitimate superbout. For, in case you haven’t heard, rising British Star Anthony Joshua will be throwing down against former longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday in a battle for heavyweight supremacy. They fact that the two men will be fighting in front of 90,000 people – that’s 90,000 people – gives some indication as to just how big this match is.

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While the fight is indeed finding itself onto sports’ pages in the states, it leaves this Yank feeling a bit sad that Joshua-Klitschko isn’t getting the attention it deserves here. Not sad for the fighters. Not sad for boxing. Sad for my countrymen. No kidding, I feel a bit down about this. For one of the single biggest sporting events of 2017 – if not THE single biggest – is happening this very weekend and few Americans are even aware of it. Oh, the fight will be there for us Amerians to watch – live on Showtime and later Saturday night on HBO – but how many of us will even know it’s on? And why are so many of us missing out on a major international sporting event?

First off, it helps if we face facts here. Boxing isn’t that big in the states anymore. Not when the name of Floyd Mayweather isn’t somehow involved. Boxing has done much of this to itself, of course, thanks to ridiculous management and a plethora of poorly judged fights. The American media has much to do with it, as well, however. The truth is, those who are supposed to get “the scoop” aren’t interested in the scoop when it comes to professional boxing (unless, again, Mayweather is involved). It’s hard for people to know about a major fight if the general media isn’t really discussing it…or it isn’t informing people of the sheer scope of the event.

Yet it’s not just the media who is to blame here. Americans interested in boxing can be an oddly indifferent bunch. “They both suck,” an individual training a young man on the pads in a local gym told me today. He was speaking, of course, about Joshua and Klitschko. Without giving another second of his time, the giver of that flip comment went back to work. Perhaps he just didn’t want a pain in the ass reporter in the gym…but I know of others with their fingers on the pulse who aren’t exactly jumping up and down over this bout, either. Is it because an American fighter isn’t involved? Maybe, but Alabama native Deontay Wilder is waiting in the wings with what seems to be intense interest. Wouldn’t that make American fans at least somewhat intrigued? Apparently not all of them. Unfortunately, America’s jaded boxing fans may have become way too hard to impress…suffice to say, we can forget about word of mouth spreading any kind of interest in this weekend’s bout.

Then, of course, there’s the issue of this weekend’s American television broadcasts Showtime has been doing a wonderful job with it’s boxing programing lately (while HBO seems too disinterested in boxing to even let subscribers know how disinterested it is), but this fight would have been perfectly suited to air on network television Saturday afternoon. It would then have gotten stray eyeballs from general sports, fans who would undoubtedly be impressed by the sheer size of Saturday’s event (it’s hard to keep 90,000 people from being noticed) and hopefully from the action inside the ring itself (both fighters can hit, after all). Sadly, though, the world’s newest superbout will be aired on the channels that give us “Shameless” and “Game of Thrones.” People will tune in, of course, but not as many as could or should have.

If anything, Joshua-Klitschko shows that boxing is far from dead. Too bad the American public isn’t being given the chance to realize it.

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Why Joshua-Klitshcko Looks To Be A Superfight Done Right


Why Joshua-Klitshcko Looks To Be A Superfight Done Right
By: Sean Crose

One of the downsides of boxing is that you never know just how good a given match will turn out. Hagler-Hearns was magnificent. Pacquiao-Clottey, not so much. If there’s one thing that burns fans and non-fans alike, however it’s a superfight that falls flat. The highly lucrative, widely panned Mayweather-Pacquiao fiasco of 2015 is a prime example of a superfight done wrong. This month’s Joshua-Klitshcko heavyweight title matchup, the first true superfight since May-Pac, on the other hand, appears to be done right. Why? Because those involved look to have firmly grasped the four basic concepts that go into making a superfight effective.

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ONE: THAT PROMOTERS RECOGNIZE WHAT BOXING IS WHEN IT’S AT ITS BEST

Boxing, at its best, answers a simple question of who would win in a fight. Could Leonard come back and best Hagler? Could Holyfield possibly best Mike Tyson? Could Ali beat the ferocious young George Foreman? These are the sorts of questions that draw in lots of eyeballs, lots of buzz and, yes, lots of money. A great many people, millions perhaps, want to know who would win in a fight between old lion Wladimir Klitschko and rising star Anthony Joshua. At this point, it seems close to one hundred thousand individuals will even be seeing Joshua-Klitshcko live and in person. Why? Because this contest is a tough one to call walking in.

TWO: THAT FANS FEEL THERE’S AN ACTUAL CHANCE THAT BOTH FIGHTERS CAN WIN

If a Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather boxing match ever goes down, it will be a massive event on a global scale. It will never, however, be a superfight. That’s because no one with an ounce of objectivity feels McGregor has much of a chance of winning. There’s no real question involved in the scenario. It’s all just spectacle. Look at it another way: Tyson-Douglas was a fight for the ages, but it was no superfight. Why? Because no one gave Douglas a chance of winning (well, I did, actually, but that’s for another time). It was simply to be another televised beatdown for Iron Mike. The suspense, then, came during the bout, rather than before it. There’s a reason that classic match wasn’t aired on PPV. Joshua-Klitshcko, on the other hand, could obviously go either way, hence, the suspense and excitement in the leadup to the opening bell.

THREE: THAT THE FIGHTERS INVOLVED ACTUALLY BELONG IN A SUPERFIGHT

Canelo Alvarez can fill Cowboys Stadium with as many fans as he wants – he won’t be engaged in a superfight so long as he’s throwing down with the likes of Liam Smith. Same goes for Manny Pacquiao fighting in Australia. His battle with Jeff Horn will be enormous in the land down under, but everywhere else? Not so much. Liam Smith may someday blast his way to superstardom. And who knows? Horn may stun Pacquiao. At the moment, however, neither opponent warrants a superfight, no matter who he battles. Needless to say, both on-the-rise Joshua, and Klitschko, the long time former heavyweight king, have backgrounds that warrant a match of superfight proportions.

FOUR: THAT THE EVENT IS PROMOTED PROPERLY

While no one can deny that the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout was a superfight, it certainly wasn’t an effective one. Why? Well, because it marinated…and marinated…and marinated….for just about half a decade. I love marinaded meat myself, but after a few hours, I begin to lose my appetite. Furthermore, the entire affair was an over-powered money vacum. I’ll never forget Bob Arum’s flippant dismissal of the boxing media in the lead up to the bout. He didn’t need run of the mill fight writers anymore, he needed journalists fresh from the top of Mount Olympus. Bye-bye ringside reporter, hello Merideth Vieria! And people wonder why non-boxing fans were so grossly disappointed with how Mayweather-Pacquiao turned out. They were listening to and reading the words of people who knew absolutely nothing about the sport. Joshua-Klitshcko, on the other hand, was made as quickly as possible, considering the seriousness of the nature and the popularity of the players involved. What’s more, one suspects the goal here is to please boxing fans and non-fans alike. Too bad it won’t air live on network television in the states. It would be nothing but good for the sport.

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​HBO Showcases the Ukrainian Olympic Squad


​HBO Showcases the Ukrainian Olympic Squad
​By: Eric Lunger

​There is an ideal narrative arc in the career of a professional boxer: prospect to contender to champion. Normally, the prospect period is spent in dreary isolation, training hard and fighting four or six round undercard bouts in front of mostly empty venues. Every one of these bouts is treacherous, because the other prospect across the ring has the same desperate desire to advance. One mistake can be terrible, a KO loss on the record. But after years of hard work, sacrifice, and honing of the craft, the prospect gains a shot at a title. He becomes a contender.

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​This narrative has been interrupted recently by the influx of highly-skilled, mostly Eastern European, amateurs.

Instead of a long prospect period, these fighters have spent years in the international amateur system. We are talking about fighters like Gennady Golovkin, Artur Beterbiev, and featured last weekend on HBO Championship Boxing, the Ukrainian trio of Oleksandr Usyk, Oleksandr Gvosdyk, and Vasyl Lomachenko. Usyk won the WBO World cruiserweight belt after only nine pro fights, while Lomachenko became a two-weight class World champ in only seven pro tilts.

​Is there some “amateur” style or “European” style that these fighters bring to the table? Golovkin has shed that style, consciously pursuing an aggressive, body attack and combination “Mexican” style. While Lomachenko and Usyk certainly exhibit an “amateur” style, there is more too it than a simple and one-dimensional label. Both guys are southpaws for one, and both have received significant training from Anatoly Lomachenko, Vasyl’s father and trainer.

You can see it in the quick footwork of both fighters, and, for example, in that signature side-step to the right, where suddenly they are in position to throw a punishing, but short, left hook from an angle that their opponent is not expecting. It is no coincidence that both men have perfected that move.

​Usyk’s win over Michael Hunter on Saturday night showcased the Ukrainian’s considerable skills. Hunter too has a strong amateur background, having fought in the London Olympic games. And Hunter was not in the ring as a mere opponent; he came to fight and he came to win.

While the unanimous scores were wide (117-110 across the board), I was impressed with Hunter’s learning curve during the fight, his poise, and his incredible courage. Until the twelfth round, when Usyk was clearly looking for a KO, I thought Hunter fought well even while losing rounds. As the twelfth round ended, I was full of admiration for Usyk’s skills, but in my heart I was cheering for Hunter.

​As much as I enjoyed watching all three Ukrainians on Saturday night, I’m equally glad that boxing is a big tent with room for all different styles. What if a Lomachenko vs. Mikey Garcia fight came to fruition? That would be a potential fight of the year, in my view.

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The Ukrainian Connection of Lomachenko, Usyk and Gvozdyk!


The Ukrainian Connection of Lomachenko, Usyk and Gvozdyk!
By: Ken Hissner

This writer recently was talking to PA HOF trainer Fred “Herk” Jenkins outside of the 26th and Masters Recreation Gym in North Philadelphia. “I can’t believe there were three Ukrainian boxers shown on HBO,” said Jenkins. His boxer the USBA champion Jesse “Hard Work” Hart, 22-0 (18), was on the off HBO telecast’s undercard. Hart is the No. 1 WBO super middleweight contender.

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This was on the April 8th Oxen Hill, MD, show. I told Jenkins “the Ukrainian fans were out in full cheering on their boxers. They not only had three boxers over HBO but on the undercard Egidijus Kavaliauskas, 16-0 (13), from Lithuania, who are all managed by Egis Klimas, the 2016 “Manager of the Year”. He also has the Russian Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 30-1-1 (26), the former 3 belt light heavyweight champion and Ukrainian heavyweight Vyacheslav Glazkov, 21-1-1 (13). He manages 15 boxers including the April 8th main event super WBO featherweight champion Vasyl “High-Tech” Lomachenko, 8-1 (6), one of if not the best P4P boxers in the world and former 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist.

Jenkins has trained Olympic Gold Medalist David Reid who held the WBA super welterweight title, two-time heavyweight challenger Bryant “Bye Bye” Jennings, “Rockin” Rodney Moore, IBF champion Charlie “Choo Choo” Brown, Malik Scott, Tyrone Brunson, Zahir Raheem, Anthony “The Messenger” Thompson and many others. He needs to understand the European, Ukrainian and Russian boxers are hungry like the Americans were in the 40’s and 50’s.

“The Ukrainian Connection” is just something the Americans should accept and appreciate. They have many fans and are good for boxing!

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Vasyl Lomachenko: Enter the Matrix


Vasyl Lomachenko: Enter the Matrix
By: Francisco Martinez

April 8th Vasyl Lomachenko enters the ring once again and his opponent Jason Sosa will step into the matrix and experience what Lomachenko calls hi-tech. Both fighters have an opponent in common in Nicholas Walters. Sosa went the distance in a majority decision loss to Walters in a fight many thought he actually won. Lomachenko confused and systematically picked apart Walters until Walters had enough and refused to come out for the 8th round. A decision he made on his own as his team pleaded with him to continue fighting but chose not to after realizing he was starting to take a beating and hadn’t won 1 single round prior to the decision of not wanting anymore of Vasyl Lomachenko after 7 perplexing rounds.

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Vasyl Lomachenko is arguably the best pound for pound fighter today but to his own account he would humbly disagree and rank others ahead of himself like placing Gennady Golovkin at #1 and Sergey Kovalev along with Terence Crawford in the number 2 and 3 slots. However his team speaks more confidently about Lomachenko as Russ Anber of Rival Gear fame who’s not Lomachenko’s trainer but contributes to the World Boxing Gymnasium formerly known as the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy. Anber says this about Lomachenko

“I think he already is (number one pound for pound fighter today) and my argument is when people say, we really can’t consider him because he’s only had 8 pro fights, that’s the reason you should consider him because no other pound for pound great in boxing history (was) even Sugar Ray Robinson wasn’t considered pound for pound great when he only had 8 fights that’s the reason you should consider him. I mean no one has done what this guy has done. You have to give credit where credit is do, I mean this guy has done it now to me. He’s considered or if you don’t want to give him the position or you just consider him nobody has been considered that so early in a pro career. He’s a phenom, there hasn’t been anybody like him in boxing history and I’m talking all the greats. The closes one to probably have that was Roy (Jones Jr.) and they didn’t get him the fights that he wanted at that time but besides him there’s no one this guy is a phenom”

Vasyl Lomachenko’s strength and conditioning coach, Cicilio Flores who’s one of the top S & C coaches in boxing having worked with Sergio Martinez in the primed years of his career knows a special fighter when he sees one and Lomachenko is just that as he explains the differences and similarities between both unique pugilists “you know, they’re two different animals but what they have in common is their mind set and their work ethic, he works hard. They have that movement because it works for them but it’s their freaking mind set man and there’s a couple of moves Lomachenko would do that I would say, wow he looks like Sergio but they train hard man. I remember vividly Sergio’s goal was to become the pound for pound best fighter but Lomachenko is doing it faster he’s in a speed boat, you know and it’s beautiful to see and we’re watching history and it’s beautiful to be apart of”

With possible showdowns in the loom for Vasyl Lomachenko against the likes of Mikey Garcia, Terry Flanagan, Jorge Linares and even Manny Pacquiao, Lomachenko won’t allow himself to slip up “Yeah I want these fights” states a Pacquiao showdown will only be at 135lbs “if we’re talking about 135lbs it would be an interesting fight for me I think not for Manny…he’s has a lot of years and after 30 years, 31 years your (hand) speed slows down” Lomachenko sounding confident that he can match up against the Filipino Icon, Pacquiao but doesn’t allow himself to get too ahead of the conversation before saying it would be to no respect of his April 8th rival in Jason Sosa if he didn’t focus on the task at hand which could be detrimental to his own position and future plans of these possible mega fights.

As great and as flawless as Vasyl Lomachenko has performed he does have a style which he finds a little complicated for himself “all the people know it’s just one style, the Mexican style. I don’t hear about another style. For me it’s Mexican style and second style, I have one more style, Lomachenko style, that’s it” words of confidence by Lomachenko hinting his style isn’t of the norm which many won’t argue for there’s a reason they call him the Matrix.

April 8th Jason Sosa will meet Hi-Tech, Vasyl Lomachenko in a 12 round bout for Lomachenko’s WBO 130lbs title on HBO in the MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill in Maryland a pivotal fight to the possible future mega showdowns with Mikey Garcia and even Manny Pacquiao. In this card you’ll also have Lomachenko’s country men in Alex Gvozdyk a highly touted 175lbs prospect along with Oleksandr Usyk who’s considered by most the best cruiserweight at the moment and will be defending his WBO title.

So tune in this April 8th live on HBO for a glimpse at the present in boxing with Vasyl Lomachenko and the future of boxing with Alex Gvozdyk & Oleksandr Usyk. Follow complete coverage leading up to fight night by using #HBOboxing

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Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko Set To Meet In Heavyweight Superbout


Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko Set To Meet In Heavyweight Superbout
By: Sean Crose

This April, for the first time in what seems to be a long time, a truly big heavyweight title fight will be going down. For that’s when, on the 29th of that month, IBF champ Anthony Joshua will face off against the division’s former longtime kingpin, Wladimir Klitschko. Make no mistake about it, Klitschko was nothing if not a dominant force at heavyweight for years on end. Now, though, he’s in his forties. What’s more, he lost his last bout, as well as his heavyweight crown, to the bombastic yet under-rated Tyson Fury over a year ago. Is the Ukrainian still the fighter he was? That may well be the biggest question heading into this throwdown.

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For Josuha is undefeated. And, as if that weren’t enough, the man’s won each of his eighteen fights by knockout. In short, the Englishman is seen as the future of the division. Not only does he appear to have an impressive skill set, he has a statuesque physique and carries himself like a gentleman. In other words, he presents himself as the nice guy who can lay the bad boy out cold. There’s a lot of green to be found at the end of that kind of rainbow.

Yet there’s questions regarding Joshua, as well…as is can he stand the pressure of a major bout, can he deal with Klitschko’s power, and can he overcome Klitschko’s vast ring experience? To be sure, it’s the questions involved with this bout that make it so intriguing. It might be easy to write Klitschko off at this point, but that might be a mistake. Sure, Fury made him look second rate, but Fury’s bullying also got in Kltischko’s head. Joshua, on the other hand, let’s his fists do the talking for him, so mind games shouldn’t be an issue.

Promoter Eddie Hearn knows what a big deal this fight is going to be. That’s why word is already out that the match is going to sell out Wembley Stadium in London. To be sure, it’s hard to imagine a crowd showing up in April of less than 80 thousand souls. On top of all that, Dan Rafael of ESPN has tweeted that HBO and Showtime might be in a bidding war for the American television rights to the bout. When’s the last time you heard of anything like that happening?

Although Joshua-Klitschko is a thoroughly European affair between two European fighters in one of the continent’s great cities, this is a fight that should resonate here in America. For here are two of the best men in boxing’s big division, battling for dominance. Sure, there may be other heavyweight champions now, but everyone knows that the winner of this one will reign supreme over the division. Speaking of which, the former premiere weight class of the sport is looking very exciting lately, thanks very much.

This weekend alone showed terrific bouts between the likes of Dillian White and Dereck Chisora, as well as the likes of Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz. It’s also good to keep in mind that American Deontay Wilder is swimming close to shore like a shark and that his countryman Shannon Briggs may be far from the joke some may wish he was. And then there’s Mr. Fury. Who knows what the former champ may bring to the table in the future, should he successfully slay his demons?

Things have gotten interesting.

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Just How Good Is Vasyl Lomachenko?


Just How Good Is Vasyl Lomachenko?
By: Sean Crose

People are saying Ukrainian wunderkind Vasyl Lomachenko might end up being the greatest athlete to ever lace up a pair of gloves. I say we’re living in an age of hyperbole, an age where people are literally considered evil simply for voting for one particular candidate over another. Indeed, all the over-the-top rhetoric has grown tiresome to me. Still, the s endless praise heaped on Loma – as he’s called – by everyone from Bob Arum to Joe Rogan is not without merit. Heck, even a phone tech my wife was recently talking to was talking up the guy. That kind of attention is at least generally based on a solid foundation.

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Is Lomachenko, however, as good as he’s cracked up to be? Well, we know he lost once, albeit in terribly unfair fashion to Orlando Salido (a fighter who I generally like). With that aside, however, he’s proved to be marvelous in the ring. Never mind that amateur record – which is nearly sickening in its awesomeness – there’s also wins like the absolute beatdown he laid on Roman Martinez late last spring. Make no mistake about it, Loma is something else. The footwork, the combos, even the power – it’s really impressive stuff.

There’s also the guy’s vaunted confidence. This here is a man who dares to be great. Seriously, could you picture any of the crop of today’s safety-first fighters wanting to face the likes the 26-0-1 Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters? The 6-1 Lomachenko has proven himself ready, able and willing to fight the destroyer of Nonito Donaire and others this very weekend. Sure enough, the Lomachenko-Walters fight at the Cosmopolitan in Vegas for the WBO world super featherweight strap might give us lots of insight into Lomachenko’s future.

Sure, Walters hasn’t fought in ages, but he’s only himself to blame if he doesn’t show up Saturday night with his A-game. In other words, he’s a legit challenge for the man some are already claiming might be the greatest ever. Indeed, those who feel Walters has no chance of pulling off the upset are fooling themselves. That’s why the fight should make for such a solid gauge of Loma’s talent. Walters is top level competition, the kind of name that glistens on a resume. Should Lomachenko win and win impressively, the hype will start to become more than hype – at least to some degree.

Ultimately, it will take a while to tell if this very talented boxer will attain the insane promise he’s presented the world with – or that some have presented before him. For now, we only know that Lomachenko has proven himself to be quite accomplished in just seven fights and that his potential is considerably higher than the average fighters. In the end, Lomachenko himself will prove to us whether or not he’s as good as advertised. Give him credit, though, for daring to be great. If only more talented boxers had the man’s ambition. Or Walters’, for that matter. The Axe Man has chosen one hell of a tree to try to cut down this weekend, after all.

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Usyk dominates Glowaski with Gold Medal Class in Gdansk


Usyk dominates Glowaski with Gold Medal Class in Gdansk
​By: Eric Lunger

Undefeated WBO cruiserweight Krzysztof Glowacki of Poland (26-0) was on home ground Saturday night, at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, to take on Ukraine’s undefeated Oleksandr Usyk (9-0). This was only Usyk’s second professional bout outside his native country, having defeated Germany’s Ben Nsafoah in a third round knock out in Oberhausen in April of 2014.

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Usyk, 29, turned pro somewhat late, after an interesting and highly decorated amateur career. He was the 2008 European Amateur champion at light heavyweight, the 2011 World Amateur champ at heavyweight, leading up to a gold medal at heavyweight at the 2012 London Games, where he bested both Artur Beterbiyev and Tervel Pulev. Usyk’s last professional fight, however, was in December of 2015 against a durable, crafty, but rather outmatched Pedro Rodriguez (22-1), whom Usyk clearly out boxed for six rounds before letting his hands go in the seventh for a convincing TKO.

Usyk has a tall frame for a cruiserweight, technically proficient defense, and very impressive hand speed. He came into the fight last night as a highly touted, skilled and groomed fighter with very high aspirations.

However, the road to future greatness lay through Krzysztof Glowacki.

Glowacki, 30, is probably best known to American boxing fans for his tremendous bout in August of last year against Germany’s Marco Huck at the Prudential Center in Newark. Huck came into the fight with a long proven record (including thirteen title defenses) and a reputation for being ruthless in the ring. In an action filled bout, Glowacki was knocked down early in the sixth by a well-disguised left hook and barely beat the count. Having weathered a series of hard shots for the remainder of the round, Glowacki then began to land his own, with Huck clearly wary of the Pole’s undiminished power. As round followed round, Glowacki, incredibly, gained strength and confidence, putting an increasingly worried Huck on the defensive. Then, in the eleventh came a textbook left-right combination from Glowacki that sent Huck crashing backwards to the canvas, and Glowacki ended the fight quickly as a dazed Huck was still recovering from the knockdown.

So the question going into Saturday night was: would Glowacki bring the same combination of grit, power, and skill to Gdansk, and would it be enough to overcome Usyk’s considerable physical and technical talents?

Not surprisingly the Gdansk crowd was vocal and eager from the opening bell. Glowacki obliged them by starting quickly with aggressive jabs to Usyk’s midsection. Usyk responded coolly with his own jab, and his footwork was quick, precise, and supremely agile. The second was more of the same: Glowacki came out hard, seeking to land a big left hook and Usyk continued to control the distance with his jab. By the third round, a pattern had been set. Glowacki fighting hard, coming forward, but unable to solve the problems set for him by Usyk. Usyk’s activity level, on the other hand, increased markedly. As his confidence and comfort grew, he began to dominate, sticking and moving, controlling distance, and circling to his left to avoid Glowacki’s overhand lefts.

The middle rounds of the fight were probably Glowacki’s best rounds. He was strong on his feet, continued to come forward, and obviously had a game plan for the fight – namely, to use his lunging jab to the body to lower Usyk’s hands and create an opening for the overhand left. And at no point in the fight did Usyk take Glowacki lightly. He clearly had respect for the Pole’s power and his one punch knockout potential. In the seventh and eighth, the pace of the bout slowed, and the crowd (like their favorite) grew impatient with Usyk’s elusiveness. But when Glowacki pressed forward to attack, he opened himself up to Usyk’s countering hooks.

The eleventh was a big round for Usyk. It started with him catching Glowacki with a short but crisp combination in the center of the ring (Usyk’s blazing hand speed was a factor all night), and when Glowacki, obviously realizing he needed to score at this point, tried to let his hands go, it was Usyk who beat him to the punch. The twelfth opened with a momentary flash of hope for the home crowd, as Usyk went down after tangling feet with Glowacki. However, the enthusiasm was brief, as Ukrainian went on the showcase all of his skills: his footwork, his jab, his mastery of angles. At one point he slipped a Glowacki right so radically, that he was beside Glowacki, and hit him with a right hook while standing practically at Glowacki’s right shoulder.

The fighters hugged at the final bell; Glowacki nodded and appeared to congratulate Usyk. There was no doubt as to the outcome, despite Grzegorz Proksa’s absurdly even scorecard. The cruiserweight division seems sandwiched between the always glamorous heavyweight division and the currently fascinating light heavyweight division, with the rightly anticipated Kovalev – Ward bout on the horizon. But judging from Oleksandr Usyk’s performance last night in Gdansk, we have a lot to look forward to at the 200 pound limit.

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