By Alexey Sukachev
Another heavily awaited amateur fighter turns pro in less than two months, capping an extremely rich year of boxing debuts. Ievgen Khytrov has struck a deal with a little-known company Fight Promotions and will appear in front of New York fans on Dec. 18 as a part of the card, promoted under the aegis of Dmitry Salita’s Star of David Inc. No opponent for Khytrov is known yet. The fight is reportedly scheduled for eight rounds and will be held at Webster Hall. Ievgen will be trained by former tow-time world champion Buddy McGirt.
Khytrov, 25, was an integral part of highly acclaimed, frighteningly powerful Ukrainian squad, which have dominated amateur rings over the last two years, winning five gold medals at 2011 World championship and adding two more London Olympics’ first places a year after. Ievgen himself was 2011 world champion, beating another recent debutant and 2012 Olympic champion Ryota Murata on points (24-22) in the final. The next year, a free-swinging slugger Khytrov was defeated by the British fighter Anthony Ogogo (now also a pro) in the first round of Olympic Games in what was labeled a “highway robbery” by many experts in worldwide boxing community.
Khytrov, known for his offensive skills, has tools to draw heavy fan interest. Two more members of Ukrainian squad have already transited to prizefighting earlier this year.
Taras Shelestyuk (2011 WC champion) is now 5-0, with 3 KOs, while the leader of that team Vasyl Lomachenko is 1-0, with 1 KO, and already rated #2 by WBO at the featherweight limit. Debuting soon is another 2011 world champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine Olexander Usyk, who faces Felipe Romero in his cruiserweight debut. Being still listed as amateur are two more acclaimed fighters – 2011 champion Olexander Gvozdyk and 2011 silver medalist Denis Berinchik, the latter thought by many to be a necessary addition to the prize ring thanks to his berserk, brawling style of fighting.