Titov on GTB’s Plans, Provodnikov, Gusev and More
By Alexey Sukachev
A year or so ago German Titov Boxing Promotions was top of the list, king of the hill and, arguably, a number one Russian pugilistic company. Skeptics would say this distinction belonged to his chief business partner Kirill Pchelnikov but it was Titov, who not only stepped into the ring to greet his fighters, but took care of matchmaking and promoting shows in his Ural citadel of Yekaterinburg.
However, since taking part in arranging a bout between Ruslan Provodnikov and Jose Reynoso, Team Titov wasn’t involved in any notable promotions. Moreover, its last significant intrinsic event dates back to April 30, which was a long time ago. Meanwhile, Kirill Pchelnikov didn’t lose any time, setting another title defense for then-champion Dmitry Pirog and taking part in various promotions in Russia and abroad; his last notable idea being a new Russian-German promotional company, which has recently been established in Hamburg, Germany.
But Titov couldn’t be gone forever. To check the latest and greatest of him, BoxingScene contacted his son and starting promoter/matchmaker Alexey to know more about his and his Dad’s plans.
- Alexey, tell us, please, more about GTB’s current situation. Is the company feeling alright?
- We are feeling great – that’s for sure. We have just conducted a small show in Yekaterinburg (on Jan. 24, with Sukhrab Shidaev and Evgueny Chuprakov taking their parts in). We are planning a big return in March now. Definitely, 2013 will be a fascinating year for German Titov and his company. We have changed a concept, we are now staging less shows than earlier, just because we want to avoid priceless patronage at all costs. Prizefighting is about earning money, and that’s what we plan to do.
- Rumors are widespread, that GTB is now in some kind of conflict with its chief partner Kirill Pchelnikov, and that the latter took the cream of GTB, while cancelling his partnership with your dad. Is there any truth to these words?
- We have a business relationship with Pchelinkov. There are a number of fighters, who are some way or another are linked to us, and Kirill employs them for his cards. Some of them have previously signed three-party agreements with Dad, Kirill and Artie Pellulo of Banner Promotions. This list includes Dmitry Pirog, Alisher Rakhimov, Sherzod Husanov and Fedor Papazov.
- GTB isn’t as active this year and the last one, as it was two or three years ago. What is the reason for this decreased activity?
- First of all, I have already pointed out a significant shift of our concept. We are targeting shows in different places and of different caliber. The first took its place on January 24. And, secondly, for the last two years we have been steadily and carefully working under a very huge and significant project. The Project, I would say. If God would be so kind to us, I hope you will hear about it in the nearest future.
Another fact, which shows we are very far from any decay, is that our fighters are prosperous abroad. WBO #2 light welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov challenges Timothy Bradley on March 16 in the States. It will be a helluva fight and it will be broadcasted by HBO. Also in March, WBO #7 rated featherweight Vyacheslav Gusev (20-2, 5 KOs) will participate in a ten-round fight, which is gonna be televised by the Showtime.
- Is it right, that Moscow will host another of your shows on Feb. 16?
- WBO #7 welterweight Dmitry “Southern” Mikhailenko (14-0, 5 KOs), who was scheduled to participate in the main event, suffered a slight injury to his hand, hence the show was re-scheduled. It will take place on March 22 in Yekaterinburg. Mikhailenko will risk his WBO Europe title against a boxer from Uzbekistan. Comebacking former Russian and BBU light heavyweight champion Vasiliy Lepikhin (12-0, 5 KOs), who was forced to miss almost three years out of the ring, returns against Mikhail Krinitsin (11-2-2, 7 KOs). Finally, our Belarussian gem Andrey Isaev (23-3, 7 KOs), who forced both Kevin Mitchell and Rendall Munroe to make a run for their money, fights a fighter from Southern Russia, who will be announced later.
- Any new names, you are planning to sign with?
- I won’t name any fighters now. But that’s for now. You’ll hear from us soon, and that will be the Word. I hope we shall sign really stellar fighters.
- Tell us more on Ruslan Provodnikov, Vyacheslav Glazkov and Grigoriy Drozd, and their contracts.
- Provodinkov has a bilateral contract with Artie Pellulo and German Titov. He is up for the biggest fight in his career. He is ready to shine, and Tim Bradley will soon get to know what a Russian Fighter is all about. Drozd (36-1, 25 KOs) has a promotional agreement with my Dad, and his manager is Vladimir Hryunov, who uses him on his shows. Vyacheslav Glazkov (14-0, 10 KOs) is on the verge of becoming the heavyweight division's newest star-in-making. To achieve this status he needs to overcome undefeated and very talented Malik Scott. And he will, I think. He has a managerial contract with our representatives in Russia and Ukraine, and he fights for us.