By Steve Kim

The last time we saw middleweight prospect Ievgen Khytrov he struggled a bit in defeating Aaron Coley over eight rounds on April 10th. When he returns, his promoters expect to see a better version of 'the Ukrainian Lion'.

"He went back to the Ukraine for one month. We've got him a new strength-and-conditioning coach, the guy that trains Leo Santa Cruz," said Max Alperovich, who was referring to one Daniel Garcia.

"We're going to whip him into shape. It's the first time he's really working with a strength coach and in his previous fight he went to Big Bear to prepare and he had a small cut over his eye which prevented him from sparring and we're attributing his less-than-expected performance to that."

Khytrov, has a mark of 10-0 (9 KO's) and after ripping off a series of early knockouts to begin his career, he has gone into the eighth round in last two outings. There is also a very good possibility that other changes could be made in terms of trainers.

''So when he comes back he'll do a month or two of strength-and-conditioning and then we'll start preparing for a fight and then after that we're expecting a big step up," said Alperovich, who he expects Khytrov to return to the ring sometime in July.

Steve Kim is the news editor for