By Luke Furman
WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol of Russia is not surprised with the level of talent to come out of Ukraine in the last few years.
Vasiliy Lomachenko, Artem Dalakian, Oleksandr Usyk and Oleksandr Gvozdyk are fierce world champions who are widely regarded as some of the best fighters in the world. There are several others from Ukraine who are rising up in the ranks.
Most of the Ukraine fighters on the rise were highly successful in the amateur ranks.
Bivol expected most of the Ukraine fighters to find success in the pro ranks.
Lomachenko is a three division world champion with title wins at featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight, Gvozdyk holds the WBC light heavyweight title, Usyk has unified the entire cruiserweight division by winning the WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF titles, and Dalakian holds the WBA title at flyweight.
"When Lomachenko, Gvozdyk, Usyk, and Dalakian moved up to the professional ranks, there was a feeling that they were going to achieve something big," said Bivol to Radio Zenith.
"And that's exactly what happened. They were bright starts, and become strong professionals. As I understand it, at first they trained with the father of Lomachenko, and it was clear from them that they would be in high positions in professional boxing. It’s not to say that amateur boxing is stronger than professional boxing. These are two slightly different sports.
"Of course, if you have an amateur base, you’ll have a much easier time in the professionals. You act properly. And to work on the machine, you have to be very well trained. And these guys just managed to translate their amateur schooling very well into a professional ring, that's all. In principle, this is how it should happen."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.