By Alexey Sukachev
Famed ex-Soviet amateur fighter Gennady Shatkov tragically passed away after a long-term disease yesterday in his hometown of Saint Petersburg. He was 76. Shatkov is best known for winning a gold medal at 1956 Melbourne Olympics in super middleweight division. He also was a three-time national (1955, 1956 and 1958) and two-time European (1955 and 1959) champion but due to infamous political circumstances couldn’t even think of fighting in the paid ranks. His overall amateur record was 215-12.
Meanwhile, another Russian amateur superstar Alexey Tischenko has confirmed he doesn’t plan on turning pro. “I haven’t decided yet whether I would continue my amateur career or not. But I definitely have no intentions on becoming a professional fighter. I’m currently training a bit and testing my senses and thoughts. I’ll continue fighting only if I feel enough driving power and winning desire in me. If not I’ll pursue other goals in business or in politics. The only thing which can really motivate me is a chance to become a three-time Olympic gold medalist. But no decision at the time,” commented Alexey, 24, to ‘All Sport’ media agency. Tischenko is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the featherweight (2004) and lightweight (2008) divisions. He is also working as a deputy for Omsk region general court.
WBO #5, WBC #6 and WBA/IBF #7 rated European welterweight champ Rafal Jackiewicz (33-8-1, 18 KOs) will make the second defense of his title on Feb. 28th in Lublin. Jackiewicz, who has sensationally upset tough Ghanaian Jackson Osei Bonsu in September, will collide with unbeaten Italian WBO #14 Luciano Abis (25-0-1, 11 KOs). The show will be promoted by the leading Polish promotional company Bullit KnockOut Promotions. Also in action will be a bunch of highly regarded Polish talent, including Andrzej Wawrzyk (13-0, 8 KOs), Damian Jonak (19-0, 14 KOs), Tomasz Bonin (40-3, 22 KOs), Jarosław Hutkowski (9-0, 5 KOs), Tomasz Hutkowski (13-0-1, 10 KOs), Artur Szpilka (2-0, 1 KO) and Grzegorz Soszyński (11-0-1, 5 KOs).
Former cruiserweight king Vassiliy Jirov is a free agent nowadays but he still hopes to continue his pro career. “If I am approached by a determined promoter with enough abilities I’ll be ready to go on as soon as possible. I still have it in me to get back to the top and to acquire the world champion regalia once again,” said Jirov to Caravan Kazakh web media agency. “I’m a free agent right now and I’ll carefully study all the possibilities.” He has a backup plan however, too. “I’m working in one automobile company. We construct specific devices to increase car’s mileage. More projects are coming soon so I have something for me outside of boxing as well.” Jirov (37-3-1, 31 KOs), 34, was a 1996 Altanta gold medalist in the light heavyweight division and Val Barker trophy owner. He acquired the IBF 200lb belt in 1999 and retained it six times until losing to James Toney in 2003. Jirov was last seen in the ring stopping Kenny Craven in two in 2007.
It seems, reigning EBU-EE light middleweight champion Jimmy Colas (24-4, 11 KOs) will defend his title against perennial Czech contender Lucas Konecny (38-3, 19 KOs) on March 31st, in Prague. Konecny is ranked WBO #2, IBF #10 and WBA #11. The show will be promoted by SES Sport Events Steinforth.