By Alexey Sukachev / Photo: Allboxing.ru
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Moscow is slowly preparing for its biggest boxing event this year so far. On July 2, German Titov, 2007 and 2008 promoter of the year by the Professional Boxing Federation of Russia, will stage a mid-sized but sound pugilistic tournament at the “Dynamo” Palace of Sports in the western most district (“Krylatskoe”) of the Russian capital. Four title fights, including a huge cross roader between cruiserweights Grigory Drozd and Darnell Wilson, and a pro debut of the the Beijing Olympics super heavyweight bronze medalist Vyacheslav Glazkov will form a magic mixture, which will thrill the audience. At least, that is what organizers expect.
A special advertising workout and a subsequent press-conference have been arranged today to promote the evening and to hype the show. Not surprisingly, the event was held at “Fitnessmania” boxing section, which has been recently opened by the future Hall-of-Famer Kostya Tszyu. In the first part of this media meeting, local hero Drozd (31-1, 23 KOs) took the stage to accomplish a light warm-up and then several sparring sessions against Russian showmen and movie actors. Though the celebrities did their little best to hurt the boxer, Drozd (WBO #1, WBA #2, IBF #5 and WBC #6) was jokingly avoiding their slow and light punches to score occasionally with his usu al precision but an unusual mercifulness at the end of his punches. Right after that, Ukrainian giant Glazkov, recently signed by German Titov appeared, and his representative Sergey Yanchishin, and the whole company headed towards a special conference hall for media meetings. Drozd commented on his opponent, “I have seen all of his last fights and I know what Darnell Wilson is all about. He is short, yet immensely strong little fighter who comes and bangs. He is a clever boxer. However, I’m prepared for his tricks and I’m ready to deliver. No way, I’m looking for a walk in the park. The fight will be a huge test for me and I won’t underestimate Darnell Wilson”.
On his preparation, “Right now I’m working on my physical conditions. I’m right on weight and there will be no problem making the 200lb limit. In two days, I’ll start my sparring sessions against fellow teammate Roman Simakov (light heavyweight) and heavyweight Artur Marabyan, who resembles Wilson’s stature and style of fighting”.
On his rematch with Firat Arslan, “I want it huge. I want it as soon as possible. Right after that bitter setback I asked my promoter to provide me with the re-match. But right now, when I’m near the title bout, I wish to become a champion. Yet, Arslan page isn’t closed”.
About the venue, “I’m living in Moscow but I f ought here only two or three times during my pro career. I’m very glad to be able to showcase my talent in front of a roaring home crowd again”.
Later on German Titov announced the whole card, “Our event will be really big. Moscow fans are surely invited to the evening and we hope to see a fully packed arena. The show will be broadcasted by one of the leading Russian TV channels and rightfully so, because the boxing care will be really competitive”
“The tournament will be headlined by Grigory Drozd and American slugger Darnell Wilson (23-8-3, 20 KOs). The victory in this fight, and we hope Grisha will make us proud of his performance, can solidify his status as the leading contender in the cruiserweight division and establish him as the mandatory challenger for one of the major titles. Drozd was originally scheduled to clash against fellow countryman Vadim Tokarev in what would easily have been the biggest Russian fight in this weight class in years, but unfortunately he withdrew due to an injury and we brought Wilson as a substitute”. Three regional titles will be at stake during the collision: WBC Asian Boxing Council, PABA and WBO Asia Pacific belts. Ironically, Darnell ‘Ding-a-Ling Man’ Wilson lost to both Firat Arslan and Vadim Tokarev before.
“The second title match of the show will be an exciting collision between two of my fighters: Uzbek Sherzod Husanov (1 3-0, 7 KOs) and Croatian Ante Bilic (20-2, 9 KOs) for the WBC Asian Boxing Council and the WBO Asia Pacific junior middleweight belts, owned by the Uzbek. Both combatants need a victory to continue their career at the highest level. It’ll surely be a pitch battle”, commented Titov. Husanov is ranked #10 by the WBO.
“Dmitry Ganiev (9-0-1, 3 KOs) will put his PABA lightweight title at stake against yet unknown opponent and that also be an interesting fight”. It was later revealed that Ganiev will face Sapapetch Sor Saokorat (14-5, 9 KOs) over eleven rounds.
“I’m also proud to present the Baltic Boxing Union belt, which will be contested by two young up-and-coming talents in light heavyweight division. The fight is scheduled for eight rounds and will become the fourth title bout of the evening”, confirmed Titov. The BBU 175lb belt is up for grabs by either Russian light heavyweight titleholder Vasily Lepikhin (6-0, 4 KOs), 24, or Russian-licensed Kazakh Mikhail Krinitsin (8-0-1, 4 KOs), 20. Also, two undefeated fighters with almost similar records will collide, when featherweight George Kevlishvili (10-0, 3 KOs) meets Thai Saichon Sotornpitak (10-0, 5 KOs) in a non-title eight-rounder.
Finally, German Titov made a much anticipated announcement, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to present our newcomer Vyacheslav Glazkov. Please, welcome him! Vyacheslav signed a contract two weeks ago, a nd he surely will be our hope in the heavyweight division. He will make his pro debut on July 2 against German based Turk Ozkan Cetinkaya (15-5-1, 9 KOs). We are planning six fights for Glazkov in the first year of his contract. The vast majority of them will be arranged either in Russia or Ukraine, but we shall showcase him for European and American fans as well”. Glazkov was 2008 Beijing bronze medalist in super heavyweight division for Ukraine. He also took the second place during 2007 Chicago world championship.
“I’m very proud to sign with Team Titov”, confirmed 24-year old Glazkov. “Their terms of contract were considerably better than these of K2 East promotions so I decided to make an attempt to become a world champion in the most glamorous division. I reject claims about my poor stamina. Come and see me on July 2 and you’ll surely be impressed with the outcome”.
German Titov also made several comments on the other fighters of his team, “Vyacheslav Gusev (16-1, 3 KOs) will have a huge test in a week. He faces WBC #3 ranked Mexican featherweight Juan Carlos Burgos (21-0, 15 KOs) in Ontario, California, for the vacant WBC CABOFE title. I’ll fly overseas to support my pupil in this major test. Gusev is also WBO #7 so the victory can elevate his status very high. Burgos isn’t a bum, but he is slow and predictable. He is a tough opponent anyway but Gusev must pass this20test if he is willing to make an impact in his weight class”.
“Dmitry Pirog will fight Kofi Jantuah next; this fight has already been announced. We hope to get a major fight for Alisher Rakhimov this summer as well. It’ll be in America”.
Web portal Allboxing.ru contributed to this article.