By Jake Donovan
Biding his time while awaiting his own shot at a heavyweight title, Vyacheslav Glazkov returns to the ring this weekend. The unbeaten contender faces Derrick Rossy in a scheduled 10-round bout, which headlines live on NBC Sports Network from Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The venue has proven to be a gracious host to Glazkov, boasting two of the biggest wins of his young career. His debut under Main Events came in Dec. ’12 live on NBC’s flagship station, forcing Tor Hamer to quit after four rounds. The main event that afternoon saw Tomasz Adamek escape with a controversial decision win over Steve Cunningham in their heavyweight rematch.
Nearly 15 months later, Glazkov and Adamek reunited at the venue, this time in a head-on collision. A former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champ, Adamek wound up biting off more than he can chew as Glazkov pounded out a decisive points win this past March, inching closer towards a shot at lineal heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko.
A native of Ukraine, Glazkov now spends his days in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where manager Egis Klimas has his unbeaten heavyweight learning from renowned trainer and former middleweight titlist John David Jackson. The same team guides the careers of light heavyweight knockout Sergey Kovalev – who just scored a 2nd round knockout of Blake Caparello last weekend in Atlantic City – and current light heavyweight prospect Vasily Lepikhin, who appears on this weekend’s televised undercard.
Already one of the best heavyweights in the world, Glazkov believes the adjustments in his career will make him even more dangerous.
“I had a great training camp with John David Jackson,” said Glazkov (17-0-1, 11KOs). “I’m anxious to show off what I learned, when we enter the ring on Saturday night.”
Glazkov has remained a fixture in the NBC Sports Network Fight Night series, with Saturday’s bout marking his 6th consecutive appearance on the circuit. In Rossy, the 29-year old gets a durable journeyman coming off of the best win of his career, having upset heavyweight prospect Joe Hanks this past May on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.
“I have to admit, I was a bit surprised we got the call, with Derrick coming off the big upset,” admits Sal Musumeci, Rossy’s promoter. “I applaud (Glazkov). He’s the #2 heavyweight in the world (in the IBF rankings). He could just act like the other heavyweights, sit back and wait for his shot at the title. He’s got big balls.”
Given his stance as a leading heavyweight, Glazkov accepts no credit for taking this fight. If anything, he views his opponent as the one taking the risk.
“I credit Derrick Rossy for taking this fight,” Glazkov insists. “It’s going to be a fight. The stronger fighter is going to win.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox