by Tamas Pradarics
Hungarian amateur star Balazs Bacskai is looking to have his pro debut on June 10 in Hungary. The 29-year-old says good-bye to an accomplished career in the unpaid ranks highlighted by gold medals at the Junior World Championship in 2006 and at the European Championship in Moscow in 2010.
In his last major shot in the amateurs Bacskai travelled to the Olympic Games in Rio in the summer of 2016 but got beaten in the first round by his French opponent. He signed with leading Hungarian promoter/manager Felix Racz this Wednesday and will competing at middleweight.
”I said right after the Olympics that my goal is to turn pro. Since than I measured my options. I got a serious offer from Germany, but finally I decided to join Imre Szello and others and signed with Felix Promotion. I would definitely like to have a full career as a pro just like I had one in the amateurs,” said Bacskai in a statement.
The news of Balazs’s switch to the pro ranks was kind of an expected one. The curious details regarding his debut, however, raised eyebrows on Wednesday.
Bacskai is scheduled to face unbeaten up-and-comer Norbert Harcsa (8-0, 1 KO) in a ten round bout for the vacant Hungarian title. The belt was previously held by Harcsa’s arch rival Szabolcs Pintye (14-0-1, 5 KOs) until he had to forfeit it because of a chronic shoulder injury just days ago.
Harcsa was a celebrated amateur himself before turning pro in October 2015. He has good technical skills but his questionable work ethic so far overshadowed his run in the paid ranks. All in all Harcsa seems to be a more than risky choise for a debut of Bacskai.
”I know this fight is a big step up for me, but I believe in myself and in my team and am going to rise to the occasion. I am an athlete who love challenges, so I had to take this one as well,” concluded Bacskai who also changed trainers and now works under the guidance of former IBO 154-pound titlist Mihaly Kotai.
”I think Bacskai’s team takes me lightly. That is why he is willing to take this fight on five weeks notice after a switch of trainers. It is what it is. I think he over calculated this. They think I have conditional issues and I will be tired [by the middle rounds],” said Harcsa to BoxingScene.com.
The unbeaten prospect thinks his eight-bout, forty-round pro experience can serve him well in this interesting match-up.
”I am a pro for one and a half years. That is not that much but I still think it is an advantage for me. Ten pro rounds are not equal to three amateur rounds nor to five rounds at the WSB [World Series Boxing]. I know I had vulnerable performances in the past against lesser opposition. That was because I was pushing for the knockout too hard. But now I will be patient and show my speed off.”
Harcsa is in good shape and he is looking forward to a big event come June 10.
”Originally I was training for another bout against Szabolcs Pintye but he got injured. Weeks later this opportunity turned in. Now I think this [fight against Bacskai] is even a bigger challenge for me. It is going to be a great fight.”
The middleweight grudge match that serves as the featured bout on Felix Racz’s next show is going to be televised live by M4 Sport in Hungary.