By Alexey Sukachev
Top-notch Russian boxing manager/promoter Vladimir Hryunov commented on the future plans of three of his highly regarded protégés in a series of interviews with Russian media outlets. Hryunov defined the possible nearest future of WBA heavyweight titlist Alexander Povetkin (24-0, 16 KOs), hard-hitting WBA/WBO #1 and WBA interim cruiserweight titlist Denis Lebedev (24-1, 18 KOs) and highly-ranked (WBC #4, WBA #6 and IBF #11) super bantamweight Alexander Bakhtin.
On Povetkin versus Rahman - “Povetkin takes on [Hasim] Rahman in London, on July 14. I have already sent my papers to apply for the British visa. As for rumors that the fight is taking place in Germany, and not in England - that is the [Germany network] ARD’s point of view and their respective opinion. ARD hasn’t decided yet what it will televise on July 14 and what it won’t. In any case I have a letter from the head of the Sauerland Event, which suggested to us to prepare papers for visa applications and to be ready for a trans-European flight to the United Kingdom."
"Pretty soon Alexander will head to Kislovodsk for two weeks to prepare for the upcoming match-up. In a week after that, following a brief rest, he will start his sparring sessions in Chekhov. We plan to board the flight to London a week before the fight."
On Lebedev versus Mormeck - “The fight between Denis and Jean-Mark is now planned for July 21 in Paris, France. We have reached some solid agreements and, at this point, I think nothing will prevent this certain collision from taking place as it is planned. There are certain rules to be followed and some requirements to be met with the WBA. We cannot fight a boxer, who isn’t currently listed in the rankings of the World Boxing Association and who lost his last bout, as this is a championship fight. The WBA won’t sanction it.
But Mormeck has a fight planned and, if he is successful against his opponent he will be re-installed in the ratings. Jean-Mark fights this weekend and I have no doubt he will win this one and we shall get a quality opponent for Denis”.
On Bakhtin and his future plans - “Alexander will next fight on September 7 against dangerous Mexican opponent Mario “Maca” Briones (21-2-1, 15 KOs) in Ulan-Ude. The fight will be a part of a huge local festival, and Grigory Drozd will also be presented at the show”.
Ulan-Ude is the capital of Buryatia (which is itself situated in the southern Siberia region) and is located near Bakhtin’s birthplace, Chita.