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Feature Story

New Faces: Vitaliy Demyanenko

By Robert Coster

When reviewing the boxing talents from the former Soviet Union that are seeking fame and fortune in American rings, experts should keep a very interested eye on one particular young man. He is Vitaliy Demyanenko, hailing from Kazakhstan, the 28-year-old welterweight has an unblemished record of 20-0 with 12 KOs and is ranked WBO #9. Vitaliy has yet to establish a name for himself in the US rings since he has fought here only twice. In 2008 he stopped journeyman Marteze Logan in three rounds and in his last fight on March 17th in Atlantic City he impressed onlookers by shutting out Ayi Bruce (21-5) over 8 rounds.

“It’s a funny transition,” says Demyanenko. “In Kazakhstan, I fight 12 rounders and I am the main event boxer. Here I am unknown. But this will change.”

Demyaneko’s foray into boxing can be traced to his family background as father Viktor won a silver medal at the Moscow Olympics in 1980. “I remember when my father came home with his medal around his neck,” recalls the young man, “he was a national hero and I decided right there and then to follow his footsteps. It was my destiny.”

Soon Vitaliy was an amateur star on his own, racking up a scintillating 120-15 record and winning the European championship. “The funny thing is that my father didn’t really want me to go into boxing and certainly not turn pro,” he says. But Demyanenko did turn pro in 2005 and rapidly became a headliner in his native land, winning three Asian regional titles that he has defended numerous times.

Now based in Las Vegas, Vitaliy is surrounded by an experienced team composed of trainer Luis Tapia and manager Steve Pochiro, one who minces no words to praise the qualities of his foreign recruit. “Vitaliy is the complete package, a boxer-puncher, has an incredible work ethic, is an exciting pressure fighter, armed with a murderous right hook which he throws from a weird angle.”

As for the plans for 2012 and beyond, Pochiro wants Vitaliy Demyanenko’s career to move forward quickly. “We are talking of only three or four more fights before Vitaliy moves into top contender status, ready to fight for a world title.”

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