By Tomi Pradarics

Unbeaten contender Denys Berinchyk is planning to keep it busy this year in order to elevate his ranking position in the lightweight division.

The Ukrainian fighter, who crowned his long and successful amateur career with a silver medal at the London Olympic Games in 2012, is currently rated No. 11 by the WBO at 135 pounds and his goal is to improve that position by participating in meaningful matchups in 2019.

Berinchyk (10-0, 7 KOs) had his last visit in the squared circle this past December when he systematically beat down Filipino Rosekie Cristobal, ended matters in the seventh session. The victory brought a new belt to the Ukrainian in the form of the vacant WBO International title.

After stepping in the ring only twice in 2018, the 30-year-old Kiev-based pugilist is hoping for a more active season this year, a goal Berinchyk’s promoter and K2 Ukraine’s General Director Alexander Krassyuk is planning to accomplish.

“At least two, or, ideally, four [fights are planned for this year for Berinchyk]. He asked for three fights this year and my goal is to deliver him this amount,” stated Krassyuk, then added that the first of those bouts is scheduled to take place on K2 Ukraine’s upcoming show in late April.

“God willing, everything is falling into place for April 20th. We have already scheduled to do this show at this date at the Sports Palace [in Kiev].”

The opponent is currently unknown, but the Ukrainian promoter hinted the plan is to catch the attention of a fellow highly-ranked fighter by the World Boxing Organization.

“Now, we are negotiating with potential opponents for Berinchyk. Our matchmaker is working on to get a top 15 rated foe for Denys so that we would have every reason to believe we can elevate him to a mandatory position soon,” discussed Krassyuk, before adding some details about the nature of their job in matchmaking.

“[To move Berinchyk into a mandatory spot], we are looking to get him a fellow top 15 rated contender as an opponent. With Denys being the reigning WBO International titleholder, he is rated No. 11 at the moment. And, having fought with another boxer rated by the WBO, he will automatically get rated in the top 5 according to sanctioning body rules.”

The Ukrainian businessman is positive after elevating to the top 5 in the world with the WBO, they would be only one fight from becoming the mandatory, a position that usually means the challenger is in arms-length to share a ring with the defending champion in the foreseeable future.

“Defending his belt for a second time, regardless of the shape of that win, will upgrade Berinchyk to the mandatory challenger status. All he has to do is win,” concluded Krassyuk.

The irony of the situation is the reigning belt holder of the World Boxing Organization at lightweight is WBA/WBO/Ring unified champion and P4P top-rated Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs), a fellow Ukrainian who was a long-time teammate of Berinchyk in the Ukrainian national team as an amateur. The boxers still have a great friendship.

You can reach Tomi Pradarics at and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.