WBA 160 lb. king Gennady Golovkin

WBA 160 lb. king Gennady Golovkin

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Jarrad Woods



  • Yes, the Eastern Euros will be in the mix for a long time to come. Boxing is more global than ever now and one of the reasons for the rebirth of this sport.

    Nice article.

  • Erich, in my post I said there were no American titlists bellow Heavyweight specifically during the time of Foster vacating Light Heavy in mid ’74 until Palomino won a Weltherweight belt in ’76.

    After that, I acknowledged there were a few US belt-holders in the late 70’s like the ones you mentioned, but still none of them was the clear, recognized champion in their division.

    The unified titles of Foster & Monzon could not be passed down intact.

    Of all those fractured titles, Galindez’ WBA belt at 175 had the strongest claim, while the WBC belt was a hot potato, but still the true championship was not consolidated until Michale Spinks did it. So even though Rossman briefly held that WBA belt he was still a co-champion of sorts.

  • You missed a couple my friend. Vito Antuofermo was champ in 1979. Mike Rossman in 1978.Marvin Johnson in 1978. Marvin Camel in 1979. Matt Franklin in 1979. In 1980 were champs Hearns and jeff Chandler.

  • The heat coming from the former Soviet Union is a fairly recent development. However this is by no means the leanest time for Americans at the highest levels of boxing.

    For example during the early 70’s, the only divisions with a recognized champion who was fully American were Heavyweight & Light Heavyweight .

    Then after Bob Foster vacated Light Heavy, from 1974-1976 there were no American belt-holders bellow Heavyweight at all for a couple of years until Carlos Palomino & Danny Lopez won portions of a fractured titles, but still no American was “the man” in any division other than Heavyweight from mid 1974 until Pryor & Hagler in 1980.

    Take away Foster & the Heavies, and the P4P list in the 70’s was dominated by Canto, Olivares, Arguello, Duran, Dejesus, Cerevantes, Napoles, Griffith, Benvenutti, Monzon & Galindez.

    Americans were shut out of the Middleweight title from Giardello in 1968 until Hagler!.

    Except for Billy Bakus’ fluke cut stoppage of Jose Napoles giving him a few weeks with the belt, there was no American as lineal Weltherweight champion from 1968 until 1981 (Leonard-Hearns unification)!

    No American held a Jr Weltherweight belt from 1965 -1980.

    No American held a Lightweight belt from Mando Ramos in 1970 until Hilmer Kinty in 1980 but no American was the “real” world Light Champion from Ortiz in 1968 until Whitaker unified in 1990!

    No American EVER held Jr.Lightweight until Roger Mayweather in 1983.

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