WILL THE EUROPEANS DOMINATE BOXING?
AMERICAN BOXING REBIRTH INVOLVES EX-SOVIETS
New York, NY– In recent times, notably since siblings Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko began dominating the heavyweight (200 lbs. +) division in the early 2000’s, there have also been a number of entertaining and marketable fighters coming out of Eastern Europe. Guys like cruiserweight Vassiliy Jirov, heavyweights Tomasz Adamek and Alexander Povetkin are being replaced by a new group of Eastern European fighters some of whom are becoming elite champions.
FORMER SOVIET BLOC FIGHTERS STEPPING UP
Currently there are champs of Eastern European descent at heavyweight (200 lbs +), cruiserweight (200 lbs), light heavyweight (175), super middleweight (168), middleweight (160) and featherweight (126). With the exception of interim super middleweight champ, Fedor Chudinov, all titleholders hold major belts and are household names with decent exposure on TV. Had Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov not been upset by Chris Algieri last year, he would also be mentioned on this list at junior welterweight (140). He will possibly get another chance at a title if he can get past Lucas Mattysse next month in New York.
STARS WITH SUPERSTAR POTENTIAL
Middleweight champion, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (32-0, 29 KOs) and WBO light heavyweight (175) champion Sergey Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KOs) are
two of the more recognizable champions outside of Wladimir Klitscko. Both have solid boxing skills and possess the type of power, that even defensive wizards like Bernard Hopkins can’t avoid. They also posses personalities that are appealing and with the addition of learning English, they have become household names among boxing fans, even casuals.
LIGHTER WEIGHT CLASSES HAVE STUDS TOO!
A fighter who is scheduled to be on the undercard of Mayweather-Pacquiao is also becoming a notable star. Featherweight (126) champ Vasyl Lomachenko of the Ukraine only has 4 professional bouts on his ledger but he is already a belt holder. He won a vacant WBO title after defeating Gary Russell Jr. in a bout where he outclassed the once highly touted prospect. He failed in a previous attemp for the title against Orlando Salido, but it was a close, competitive fight and Salido didn’t make weight, giving him a functional size advantage.
EASTERN EUROPEANS VS. AMERICANS IN NEAR FUTURE
It will be interesting to see how the current flock of Eastern European champs pan out. It will be equally interesting to see how the next generation of fighters from that region will impact the sport. Will some of them become aligned with the Premier Boxing Champions and appear on free TV? Will they reign as champs longer than their predecessors? Will they become top P4P champs? Will they significantly impact the future of the sport? Or is this just a phase that will burn out? Only time will tell, but right now there is a huge spotlight on Eastern Europe when it comes to boxing. And it’s a good thing for fans because it brings better matchups and opportunities to prove greatness.
WILL THE EUROPEANS DOMINATE BOXING