Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Shabranskyy Prepared To Do Everything Possible To Beat Kovalev

image

By Thomas Gerbasi

While the wider boxing world will be getting their first real dose of Vyacheslav Shabranskyy this Saturday when the Ukrainian faces Sergey Kovalev for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, hardcore fight fans already celebrate the gritty style and intensity of “Lionheart,” and there’s little wonder why.

But to illustrate the true appeal of the 30-year-old, ask him about his attitude in the ring and the kind of mindset that says to beat him, an opponent will have to dig down and get into a fight.

“Right this second, my attitude is very hungry and I’m angry,” he said on Monday. Then he laughed, his wife Dina joining in as she said that everyone tries to avoid him when weigh-in time draws near. In that sequence, it was clear that fans follow Shabranskyy because he fights like he’s hungry and angry, but that when it’s not fight time, he’s quick with a smile and a laugh.

So while many fighters make the move to the United States to pursue their version of the American Dream in the United States, few are accepted in their new communities like Shabranskyy was. And that feeling is mutual and one that hit the future light heavyweight title challenger shortly after he permanently moved to the U.S. in 2012.

“From the second that I got here when I first met (coach) Manny (Robles), the first thing that happened to me was that Manny invited me to be with the family for Christmas because he knew I was here alone,” Shabranskyy recalled. “I felt right at home, and I feel at home in Mexican communities because there’s not that much difference from Ukrainians, from Russians. Everybody sticks together and it’s all about family. And the community of boxing here in LA is so diverse that I feel right at home here and I’m happy that I’ve been accepted.”

shabranskyy (8)

That means that should he upset Kovalev this weekend, there will likely be celebrations in the unlikeliest places for a native of Zhytomyr to be celebrated. At this moment, though, he refuses to entertain such talk, saying, “I don’t want to run ahead of myself. It’s boxing, but I feel very excited and I’ll tell you about everything else on Saturday.”

Saturday is only a few days away, and for those watching, it’s just another interesting fight on a Thanksgiving weekend. But out of a simple question comes the realization of what this means for Shabranskyy. Following the lone loss of his 20-fight career, a seventh round knockout at the hands of Sullivan Barrera in December 2016, I asked him if he would have believed he would be fighting for a world title now if someone told him that in January.

“No,” he said without hesitation. “At the beginning of this year, I probably wouldn’t believe that I would be given this opportunity. But this is something I have been working towards for the last 17 years that I’ve trained in boxing. I feel very blessed.”

Seventeen years. That’s a long time to do anything, let alone compete in a sport as punishing as this one. So to weather the ups and downs of the fight game, remain standing, and now be on the verge of the culmination of a dream, that’s more than just a payday. In fact, it may even be destiny for Shabranskyy, who had his eye on Kovalev for a while.

“When I was in Bernard Hopkins’ camp a couple years ago, I watched Kovalev box with Bernard from the audience and I could tell that I’d be very happy if one day I would be at the same stage as Kovalev was at that moment and possibly fight him or a fighter of his caliber for a world title.”

Now he’s here, 12 rounds or less away from leaving New York City as a world champion.

“I feel very motivated and I’m going to do everything in my power and with my experience to take the belt home,” he said. That’s what you expect him to say. What you don’t expect is when he laughs about his long, strange trip to the Big Apple and says how it didn’t go the way you would assume it did.

“Time flies so fast.”

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by [email protected] on 11-23-2017

KKKovalev has glass balls. Once you graze them it's over for him.

Comment by ThomasJK on 11-23-2017

[QUOTE=yoshik;18230648]So is Ward, Mayweather, Stevenson, Wilder, Fury etc and the like. Man up and be a fight fan or go back to Barbie Dolls. It's not about the guy's personality, it's about fighting. Ward got gifts. Wards a punk.[/QUOTE] I'm…

Comment by Dr.Cool on 11-22-2017

Kov has no heart, no soul. It was stolen by Ward and by body shots. If there is VADA testing, Kov might very well lose again. He is 0-2 on fights he has been tested for. With no testing, peds…

Comment by ruedboy on 11-22-2017

On the plus side, Shabranksky is a big, durable fighter with a pretty good chin. Unfortunately, he's a predictable, straight ahead guy who gets embarrassed if the other fighter doesn't hit him in the face. Kovalev is a level or…

Comment by MDPopescu on 11-22-2017

[QUOTE=Shadoww702;18230207]Those were some questionable borderline low blows and im a Ward fan but that was some BS. I guarantee Kovalov would of been warned if he was doing that. One of the most biased ref. Out there is Floyd Bayless…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (22)
Top Headlines Billy Joe Saunders Can Resume Upward Mobility De La Hoya Says He's Still Open To Return - Rips Floyd Mayweather Cesar Juarez vs. Isaac Dogboe For WBO Interim, January 6 Rigondeaux Trainer Reacts To Critics: My Fighter is No Quitter! Diego De La Hoya Overweight, Fight Pulled From ESPN Card Teddy Atlas Confirms Removal, Will No Longer Call ESPN Fights Terry Flanagan vs. Maurice Hooker for WBO Belt in Play For April Katie Taylor Retains WBA Title, Decisions Jessica McCaskill Martin J. Ward Drops, Stops Juli Giner To Capture EBU Title Josh Kelly Drops, Stops Jean Michel Hamilcaro In Six Orlando Salido: Retirement is Over, I'm Coming Back in 2018! Conor Benn Gets Off The Floor, Goes Through Fire To Win Horn: I'll Prove Americans Wrong, Crawford is Someone I Can Beat Photos: Claressa Shields Putting in Work For Title Defense Joshua Buatsi Set For February Return Jessie Vargas vs. Aaron Herrera - Undercard Information Tyson Fury Says He Has Several Options To Secure Boxing License Jake Ball Outpoints Shinkwin: Cheeseman, Cordina Get Wins Crawford: A lot of Holes in Jeff Horn's Game, I'm No Corcoran! Horn Coach: Crawford Beatable, Has Weaknesses We Can Exploit Arum: You Are Crazy To Say Horn Has No Shot To Beat Crawford! Gamal Yafai Gets York Hall Win, Set For Busy 2018 Tyson Fury Has Some Work, Could Reclaim License Next Month Sadam Ali Wants to Stay at 154 Pounds, Defend WBO Title Next Arum: Will Take 'Real Ballsy 130-Pounder' to Fight Lomachenko Kell Brook: My Injuries Were Legit - Rigondeaux Just Quit! Horn Overcomes Cuts to Bloody, Stop Corcoran in 11th Round Parker's Trainer: We Made Compromise - Up To Joshua To Agree! Lee Selby Inks Three-Fight Deal With Frank Warren UK News: Ohara Davies, David Allen, Nicola Adams, Natasha Jonas Alex Leapai To Appeal Technical Draw: Lenny Z, Paul Fleming Win Team Hammer Smile at UKAD Ruling To Reverse Tyson Fury Loss Melindo Vows To Take Down Ryoichi Taguchi in Unification Bout De La Hoya: I Don't Think Anything Can Stop Canelo-GGG Deal Video: Kell Brook Discusses His Ring Return, Injuries, More Caleb Truax: I Worked My Ass Off - Everything Came Together Corcoran to Horn: This Isn't a Head-Butting Contest; Fight Fair! WBA: Rigondeaux Will Be Stripped After Loss To Lomachenko! Photos: Cletus Seldin, Antoine Douglas, O'Sullivan Workouts Video: Billy Joe Saunders Aims To Box Lemieux's Ears Off
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement