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Klitschkos To The Top: BoxingScene’s Post-Soviet Ratings

By Alexey Sukachev

Once upon a time (and how long ago it was or at least we feel this way) Arthur Abraham wasn’t only the dominating middleweight champion but also a fringe pound-for-pound top-ten entrant. Now, after a sad accident in Andre Dirrell’s fight and two crushing defeats to Andre Ward and Carl Froch, the Germany-based Armenian has been eliminated from the Super Six super middleweight tournament. After losing three of his last four, Abraham’s days as an elite fighter can possibly be over.

Less than a month ago another Armenian native went into his fight against former world champion, following his own loss in the last bout, as a probable underdog. He came out as a force to be reckoned with in sport’s deepest and most thriving weight class. Vic Darchinyan is his name.

Both Abraham and Darchinyan, despite their recent setbacks, are can’t-miss picks when speaking about the best pugilists to come out of the former USSR – presently active or the best of all time. Both Armenians (to the very marrow of their bones) are also prime examples of fighters who caught the limelight after relocating themselves well abroad from their long-suffering and poor homelands. The main difference between two of them is that Abraham (also known as Avetik Abrahamyan) had already been formed into a boxer after his departure to Germany, while Vakhtang Darchinyan turned pro in Australia after a long-time amateur career in his native Armenia. Other samples of this sort also include such boxers as Dmitry Sartison, Robert Stieglitz, Alexander Dimitrenko and some more. All of them were possible entrants to the list of the pound-for-pound best fighters from the former USSR, which has been compiled by me for BoxingScene based on a survey of several top boxing experts from ex-Soviet republics (and now independent states).

Eleven well-known Russian and Ukrainian fistic experts were questioned, and each of them sent me his version of top-10 active fighters from what was once called the Soviet Union. Each place was priced by its actual number; which means #1 is awarded by 1 point, #2 – by 2 points etc. If a fighter isn’t listed in a particular choice, he gets 11 points. Then all points are simply summed. The fewer points a fighter gets, the higher he is in the list. If a number of points are even between two entrants, one, who is listed in a bigger number of particular choices, is given an advantage. If this criterion cannot distinguish between two (or three, four and so on) of them, the maximum place is brought into attention.

Eligible choices included only active fighters from the following states: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. A particular fighter should either be a citizen of one of aforementioned countries or had a significant connection to his Motherland in terms of boxing, which allows such fighters as Vic Darchinyan or Alexander Dimitrenko to be listed. Arthur Abraham and Robert Stieglitz (Eduard Gutknecht, Vitaly Tajbert, Dmitry Sartison and so on) are also eligible, as they were raised in Eastern European fighting tradition (being trained by German coaches who have long-lasting relationship with the Soviet school of boxing). Oppositely, the same cannot be said of such boxers as Vanes Martirosyan, who isn’t listed here.

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TOP TEN

1. Wladimir Klitschko (Ukraine, 55-3, 49 KOs, heavyweight) – 25 points.
Was listed ten times. The highest place is #1. Titles: WBO/IBF/IBO and The Ring heavyweight champion.
Next: David Haye (25-1, 23 KOs) in Hamburg, Germany, on July 2.

2. Vitali Klitschko (Ukraine, 42-2, 39 KOs, heavyweight) – 36 points
Was listed ten times. The highest place is #1. Title: WBC heavyweight champion and The Ring #1.
Next: Tomasz Adamek (44-1, 28 KOs) in Wroclaw, Poland, on Sep. 10.

3. Vic Darchinyan (Australia/Armenia, 36-3-1, 27 KOs, bantamweight) – 46 points
Was listed ten times. The highest place is #3. Title: IBO bantamweight champion and The Ring #6.
Next: TBA

4. Dmitry Pirog (Russia, 18-0, 14 KOs, middleweight) – 53 points
Was listed eleven times. The highest place is #1. Title: WBO middleweight champion and The Ring #8.
Next: A possible fight with WBO #1 Gennady Martirosyan in the midst of August in America.

5. Arthur Abraham (Germany/Armenia, 32-2, 26 KOs, super middleweight) – 69 points
Was listed nine times. The highest place is #4. The Ring #8
Next: TBA.

6. Gennady Golovkin (Kazakhstan, 20-0, 17 KOs, middleweight) – 82 points
Was listed eight times. The highest place is #2. Title: WBA middleweight champion
Next: June 17 defense of the title against Ugandan veteran Kassim “The Dream” Ouma (27-7-1, 17 KOs) at Roberto Duran Arena in Panama City, Panama. Then a possible “unification” against WBA interim champion Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (26-0, 17 KOs) in autumn.

7. Denis Lebedev (Russia, 21-1, 16 KOs, cruiserweight) – 84 points
Was listed eight times. The highest place is #2. The Ring #4.
Next: May 21 fight with Roy Jones Jr. (54-7, 41 KOs) in Moscow, Russia.
8. Andrey Kotelnik (Ukraine, 31-4-1, 13 KOs, junior welterweight) – 96 points
Was listed eight times. The highest place is #4. The Ring #5.
Next: TBA

9. Sergey Dzinziruk (Ukraine, 37-1, 23 KOs, junior middleweight / middleweight) – 97 points
Was listed five times. The highest place is #5. Titles: WBO light middleweight champion and The Ring #8.
Next: TBA

10. Beibut Shumenov (Kazakhstan, 11-1, 7 KOs, light heavyweight) – 100 poins
Was listed seven times. The highest place is #4. Titles: WBA/IBA light heavyweight champion and The Ring #4.
Next: TBA

Also listed are: Alexander Povetkin (Russia, heavyweight); Vyacheslav Senchenko (Ukraine, welterweight), Ismayl Sillakh (Ukraine, light heavyweight), Robert Stieglitz (Germany/Russia, super middleweight), Sergey Gulyakevich (Belarus, super featherweight), Matvey Korobov (Russia, middleweight), Alexander Frenkel (Germany/Ukraine, cruiserweight), Ruslan Chagaev (Uzbekistan, heavyweight), Segrey Kovalev (Russia, light heavyweight), Petr Petrov (Russia, lightweight), Evgueny Gradovich (Russia, super featherweight), Fedor Papazov (Russia, super featherweight), Vyacheslav Glazkov (Ukraine, heavyweight), Vitaly Kopylenko (Ukraine, middleweight) and… Kubrat Pulev (Bulgaria, heavyweight).

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Respondents: Alexey Potapov (The Ring reporter, blogger, boxing commentator), Alexander Fedyaev (Russian boxing stats expert), Anton Gorunov (Ukraine’s “Ring” editor), Dmitry Michalchuk (Boxnews.com.ua editor and BoxingScene.com reporter), Alexey Uralets (Allboxing.ru / BoxingScene.com reporter), Yan Montgomery (Allboxing.ru New York;s correspondent), Andrey Bazdrev (Sports.ru blogger), Box-Club.Ru (collective opinion), Andrey Ivantsov (Sports.ru boxing editor), Vadim Zhuk (Championat.ru feature writer) and Alexey Sukachev (BoxingScene.com international editor).

Alexey Potapov
1. Wladimir Klitschko
2. Vitaly Klitschko
3. Vic Darchinyan
4. Arthur Abraham
5. Sergey Dzinziruk
6. Dmitry Pirog
7. Gennady Golovkin
8. Andrey Kotelnik
9. Alexander Povetkin
10. Beibut Shumenov

Alexander Fedyaev
1. Vitaly Klitschko
2. Wladimir Klitschko
3. Dmitry Pirog
4. Vic Darchinyan
5. Arthur Abraham
6. Gennady Golovkin
7. Beibut Shumenov
8. Vyacheslav Senchenko
9. Ismayl Sillakh
10. Andrey Kotelnik

Anton Gorunov
1. Wladimir Klitschko
2. Vitaly Klitschko
3. Vic Darchinyan
4. Andrey Kotelnik
5. Arthur Abraham
6. Sergey Dzinziruk
7. Denis Lebedev
8. Dmitry Pirog
9. Robert/Sergey Stieglitz
10. Sergey Gulyakevich

Dmitry Mikhalchuk
1. Wladimir Klitschko
2. Vitaly Klitschko
3. Vic Darchinyan
4. Arthur Abraham
5. Dmitry Pirog
6. Sergey Dzinziruk
7. Denis Lebedev
8. Andrey Kotelnik
9. Gennady Golovkin
10. Beibut Shumenov

Alexey Uralets
1. Dmitry Pirog
2. Gennady Golovkin
3. Matvey Korobov
4. Ismayl Sillakh
5. Sergey Kovalev
6. Petr Petrov
7. Vyacheslav Glazkov
8. Evgueny Gradovich
9. Vitaly Kopylenko
10. Fedor Papazov

Yan Montgomery
1. Vitaly Klitschko
2. Wladimir Klitschko
3. Vic Darchinyan
4. Arthur Abraham
5. Denis Lebedev
6. Dmitry Pirog
7. Gennady Golovkin
8. Alexander Povetkin
9. Robert Stieglitz
10. Alexander Frenkel

Andrey Bazdrev
1. Wladimir Klitschko
2. Denis Lebedev
3. Dmitry Pirog
4. Vic Darchinyan
5. Ruslan Chagaev
6. Beibut Shumenov
7. Arthur Abraham
8. Alexander Povetkin
9. Vitaly Klitschko
10. I know Bulgaria has never been the part of the USSR but nevertheless – Kubrat Pulev

Box-Club.ru
1. Wladimir Klitschko
2. Vitaly Klitschko
3. Dmitry Pirog
4. Beibut Shumenov
5. Gennady Golovkin
6. Vic Darchinyan
7. Andrey Kotelnik
8. Ruslan Chagaev
9. Denis Lebedev
10. Ismayl Sillakh
Andrey Ivantsov
1. Wladimir Klitschko
2. Vitaly Klitschko
3. Vic Darchinyan
4. Arthur Abraham
5. Denis Lebedev
6. Serhiy Dzinziruk
7. Dmitry Pirog
8. Andriy Kotelnik
9. Beibut Shumenov
10. Matvey Korobov

Vadim Zhuk
1. Wladimir Klitschko
2. Vitali Klitschko
3. Vic Darchinyan
4. Robert Stieglitz
5. Dmitry Pirog
6. Gennady Golovkin
7. Denis Lebedev
8. Serhiy Dzinziruk
9. Arthur Abraham
10. Andriy Kotelnik

Alexey Sukachev
1. Wladimir Klitschko
2. Vitali Klitschko
3. Vic Darchinyan
4. Robert Stieglitz
5. Arthur Abraham
6. Dmitry Pirog
7. Gennady Golovkin
8. Andriy Kotelnik
9. Denis Lebedev
10. Beibut Shumenov

Tags: Russia Boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by hyeduk on 05-16-2011

Alexey Karalets is a racist *******....Not include Darchinyan in a top 3 list and Abraham in top 5 is a huge problem...

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
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