By Alexey Sukachev
This Friday night, “Art of Boxing Promotions”, lead by Kahren Harutyunyan, in cooperation with Steven Bash’s “Bash Boxing” presents the “Glendale Glory”, a nice packed local tournament at Civic Auditorium in Glendale, California. One feature will distinguish this event from other shows of its kind. A number of ex-Soviet expatriates are going to take their parts in the evening, making it a real extravaganza for the fans interested in the former USSR boxing and its charismatic representatives. In the main event, is a tough, young heavyweight named Andrey Fedosov, who will try to prove he is the next big thing from Russia to conquer boxing’s glamour division. Fedosov, already nicknamed “The Russian Bear”, faces experienced journeyman Galen Brown (32-11-1, 19 KOs), of Saint Joseph, Missouri, over ten rounds for the WBC Youth Intercontinental title. Also, young super featherweight Stan Martyniouk, 23, who helps Andrey to adapt himself to the pace of life overseas, will also see action on June 12 in a non-title six-rounder. Fightnews contacted both fighters when they were finishing their preparations for the upcoming performances.
At 22, Fedosov, who started his pro career at the tender age of 17, is already 19-1, with 15 KOs and the sole loss being a road decision in his seventh fight. This reporter saw Fedosov twice live in 2006 and both times Andrey was able to deliver fan-friendly performances with his usual aggressive, take-no-prisoners style of boxing, forcing Tolgat Dosanov to retire after the fourth-round and being a hidden reason for Suren Kalachyan’s knee injury in his next bout. Since 2009 Fedosov, who will turn 23 in two weeks, is promoted by Bash Boxing. “I’m very high on Andrey. He brings war into the ring; his attitude is honorable. I expect him to shine bright in his first few fights in America. We are planning three or four more dates for him till the end of 2009”, commented Steven Bash.
On March 21, Fedosov made his American debut against Mexican Fransisco Mireles (8-3, 1 KO) and looked as devastative as they come, dropping him twice with the tremendous use of his body-punching abilities. Yet the fight, which lasted just seventy seconds, was too short to introduce Fedosov to American fans. It’s obvious, that the fans need more info on the fighter.
– Andrey, Fightnews readers know almost nothing about you. Please, give us a brief look over your personality and fight life.
– I was born in Shuya, a small city in the very depth of Russia. Not that I was born a boxer but the sport has gradually come into my life. I started boxing, then gave it up and came to the soccer section. Not for long though, as I switched back pretty early.
– What was the reason for coming back to the sweet science?
– It was in one game when I was forced to take part in a brawl. I was disqualified and saw no other way than to get back to what I was most successful at, and that was fighting.
– You seem to be rather pugnacious…
– No, I disagree. When you are bullied by the other guys you have two different ways. Either you flee and then you will be afraid of every difficulty during your life, or you stand your ground and answer your intimidators with the return fire. I preferred the second way that why I decided to participate in that collision.
– What were your amateur highlights?
– Not much to tell you about. I was Russian heavyweight champion among juniors but I can’t exactly remember my age class. Anyway I decided to turn pro pretty soon as I felt it’s the best way I can chose to fully realize my potential.
– Tell us more about your pro career so far.
– Though I have been fighting for almost five years and a half, I can’t say I’ve reached for anything significant in my career so far. I guess the most important victory for me was a ninth-round TKO over rugged and grizzled veteran Suren Kalachyan to capture Russian heavyweight title. That was huge. The victory over Tolgat Dosanov wasn’t that bad too.
– Which fights of your pro career do you remember most?
– Though aforementioned wins were pretty cool, I think my pro debut in October 2003 and my first road fight in Belarus two months later were the most important moments in my boxing life to the date. I hope I shall have much more to remember in the future.
– Who is your head coach?
– I’m working with well-known Russian trainer Oleg Vasilyevich Kostromin. He has trained such accomplished fighters as Roman Karmazin and Dmitry Kirillov before. We have a good chemistry between each other.
– So, you are based in St. Petersburg, aren’t you?
– Exactly. That’s my hometown. I have arrived in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago and I’ll return to Russia right after the fight.
– You are under Bash Boxing banner right now. Who was your previous promoter?
– Nobody. I had no offers from either Russian or foreign promoters as well. Now I’m very proud to be a member of Steven Bash’s team. I heard lots of good things about him from Roman and Dima. I hope to showcase my talents the best way I can to prove I’m worthy of being promoted.
– Your usual fight weight is about 210 pounds. Don’t you think cruiserweight is a better choice for you?
– Nope, no way! You are wrong. I feel myself very strong at my usual weight and I don’t think there’s something to change. I’m a heavyweight, period.
– Your American debut was really impressive. Was your opponent that bad or was it just the gleam of your real potential?
– I don’t know. I haven’t even recognized that there was a boxer in the opposite corner. It was that quick and easy. I hope to continue delivering tip-top performances in the future.
– Do you know anything about Galen Brown, who will be your next opponent?
– No, nothing at all. However, we are going to see his tapes to obtain some valuable information. I’ll be well prepared for the coming battle.
– Your closing thoughts.
– I’m very happy for the opportunity to perform in America. I’ll try not to let my supporters down and I shall try not to disappoint my handlers either. My goal is to be a world champion in the future and I’m sure I have enough talent to accomplish this dream.
“Galen Brown is a tough southpaw who has been in the ring with world class fighters all over the world. He is without question the toughest opponent that Andrey has faced. But that is what Andrey asked for after his U.S debut against Mireles. He wants to test himself and start shooting up the rankings”, said Fedosov’s promoter Steven Bash.
In 2009, as we now see the first generation of post-Soviet children assimilate and mature in the United States, another model of professional fighter has evolved. This new fighter was born in the former Soviet Union with roots in the Soviet boxing system, but raised in the United States. One such fighter who is leading this new generation is Stan “The Man” Martyniouk. Born in Tallinn (now Estonian capital), but raised in Sacramento, California since the age of 5, Martyniouk has taken the best of both worlds to become one of boxing’s notable prospects.
– How did you get started in boxing, Stan?
– I believe boxing was in my blood. I grew up, pretty much, in the gym. My father, grandfather, and uncles were amateur boxers in the Soviet Union. And as a little kid growing up, whatever you’re around, you’re going to want to try it. You see your father, and you kind of want to do what he does. So I was always in the gym, and when I turned 14, I was like, “Hey, let me give it a try.” I tried it out, I liked it, and my dad thought I had a good style, even though I didn’t know anything (laughs.) He told me, “Let’s see where we can go with this,” and it has worked out ever since.
– You are Russian but you have a decorated amateur career as an American, being ranked #2 in the country at one time and representing the U.S. all over the world. Have you ever felt conflicted in what country you fought for?
– A lot of the guys on Team U.S.A. were from different cultures and some weren’t born here but were raised here for most of their lives. That’s what America is all about. I have Russian blood but I grew up in American boxing gyms. I was happy to travel the world, fight against the best fighters in the world, and win boxing championships and gold medals for the United States. But I don’t forget where I come from either. And I feel having both backgrounds has made me a more complete fighter.
– Have you been back to Russia?
– Yes, I went to Moscow for the 2005 World Cup. A lot of my family showed up that I hadn’t ever seen before, some of them live in Moscow now, and some of my family from Estonia showed up. They took me back to one of their places in Moscow, got to see some new family, told me some of the history when I was little and what my uncle, father, and grandfather did. It was an awesome experience.
– You are now undefeated, winning 6 times in your first 6 professional bouts since turning pro in 2007. How has your career been progressing?
– At first I wasn’t fighting as often as I wanted and promoters and matchmakers were telling me that opponents were turning me down because they heard about my good amateur background. But recently things have been better. I signed with Steve Bash and have been fighting more often against tougher opponents. Every fight is a learning process to try and become the best fighter in the world.
– How is your training going for your upcoming fight?
– Good. I always train real hard. I am finishing my training up here in Sacramento and will spend one week in L.A. training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym. It’s a great place to train because of the professional atmosphere and all of the great fighters that are there to spar with. Freddie Roach joked that I was too good looking to be a fighter when he first saw me but I hope to keep going back to Wild Card and showing everyone that I am one of the best fighters in the world.
– What should people expect from you in your next fight in Glendale on June 12th?
– Once people see me, my style and the way I fight, I think they’ll fall in love with me. And I think I’ll get a lot of new fans in Glendale. I bring both the best of the old school Soviet boxing and some of the flash of U.S. boxing.
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“Glendale Glory” is the first professional boxing show following a 62-year-old ban on boxing in the city of Glendale. The change in Glendale’s long-standing prohibition on boxing was brought about by a determined and persistent Kahren Harutyunyan, President of Art of Boxing Promotions. For the first time in over 60 years, boxing fans of Glendale can see tomorrow’s stars today – right in their own backyard.