By Alexey Sukachev
A huge presser, featuring IBHOF entrant Don King, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Hryunov, WBA cruiserweight champions (reigning and “in recess”) Denis Lebedev (25-1, 19 KOs) and Guillermo Jones (38-3-2, 30 KOs), finished a couple of hours ago in Moscow, Russia. While being initially dedicated to the main event of the evening, cruiserweight unification under the aegis of the World Boxing Association, the presser has been given another pulse, when promoter Vladimir Hryunov and local business tycoon Andrey Ryabinskiy, announced that the show would actually be a doubleheader.
“It’s a great pleasure for me to announce that we shall have a thunderous gift for all fans of boxing in Russia”, said Hryunov. “While some subtle details are still being negotiated over, we are ready to announce that on May 17 the WBA heavyweight champion of the world Alexander Povetkin (25-0, 17 KOs) will take his part in the show to conduct an optional defense of his title against determined and promising Polish prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk (27-0, 13 KOs)”.
“It’s a really inspiring surprise, a double ‘trouble’ of sorts, and I’m happy to deliver it to the fight fans in our beloved Homeland”, commented Ryabinskiy, the main sponsor and investor of the upcoming event.
According to sources close to the situation, permission for the WBA champion Povetkin to make a voluntary defense of his title has been granted to his team by the sanctioning body. Meanwhile, the WBA #7 and the WBC #14 rated Pole was also considered an opponent for the comebacking English star David Haye, but it seems now that Wawrzyk has chosen to fight for the title rather than to risk his undefeated record against the Brit.
The undercard of the show will also feature a number of sound names.
“We shall bring the best”, confirmed Ryabinskiy. “It will be a great show, one in a lifetime”. Hryunov added: “Aside of two title affairs, we shall have a minor title defense for our stud Dmitry Chudinov, a very promising young fighter. Then we shall have two of the best Ukrainian fighters P4P – Victor Postol and Dmytro Kucher – in two separate non-title attractions, which will light up the card. And, finally, we shall soon announce a debut of a really exciting heavyweight, a real name – you’ll all be shocked for good!”
The BoxRec has Chudinov (8-0-1, 5 KOs), an interim PABA middleweight beltholder, listed in a very demanding test against dangerous veteran upset artist Grady Brewer (30-15, 16 KOs) but this particular fight hasn’t yet been announced. Another bout, listed in the description, between WBA #5 ranked lightweight Eduard Troyanovskiy (14-0, 11 KOs) and Belarussian veteran Yuri Romanov (22-3, 14 KOs), a former #1 rated lightweight and the EBU champion, for the Eduard’s PABA belt, has yet to be confirmed as well. Opponents for both WBC #1 / WBO #13 light welterweight Victor Postol (22-0, 10 KOs) and WBC #3 / IBF #6 / WBO #13 cruiserweight Dmytro Kucher (21-0, 15 KOs) will be defined in the nearest future.
Don King was as vocal as usual, going deep both into politics by praising the President of Russia Vladimir Putin (to a mixed reaction of local media) as one of the outposts of democracy and into cultural field by going as far as to present a short-cut analysis of “Anna Karenina” and Maxim Gorky’s novels. He also expressed his ultimate joy of travelling all way through to Moscow and thanked the Russian people for their utmost hospitality.
Guillermo Jones wowed to knock Denis Lebedev out and he was well supported by his head coach Stacey “The Croco” McKinley. “We have studied several tapes of Lebedev, including his fights with James Toney and Roy Jones, and I can tell you, guys, he is no good. He is a competent boxer, but he isn’t fast enough and he isn’t strong enough to match Guillermo’s power and skills. It is a rude awakening, when Guillermo will land a flush bomb on his lengthy chin. He better be prepared, as the fight isn’t going the distance”.
Lebedev was more reserved in his backfire, “I’m so eager to face Mr. Jones to unify the title. I waited for so long, so I hope that Guillermo won’t withdraw from the bout due to his virtual injuries and give me a chance to leave no questions unanswered”.
Former two-time WBA heavyweight champion and now a member of the State’s Duma Nikolay Valuev was also at hand to invite the fans to the Crocus City hall on May 17. He also revealed some details of his future… promotional plans.
“I hope to help local promoters in Kuzbass to get a title fight for their local hero Grigoriy Drozd (36-1, 25 KOs), our cruiserweight hope, as soon as he recovers from the surgery he had recently. I’m glad to meet Don (King) here to revive the sweet memories of the past and to discuss with him a possibility of such a fight”, added Valuev.