Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Shabranskyy Prepared To Do Everything Possible To Beat Kovalev

image

By Thomas Gerbasi

While the wider boxing world will be getting their first real dose of Vyacheslav Shabranskyy this Saturday when the Ukrainian faces Sergey Kovalev for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, hardcore fight fans already celebrate the gritty style and intensity of “Lionheart,” and there’s little wonder why.

But to illustrate the true appeal of the 30-year-old, ask him about his attitude in the ring and the kind of mindset that says to beat him, an opponent will have to dig down and get into a fight.

“Right this second, my attitude is very hungry and I’m angry,” he said on Monday. Then he laughed, his wife Dina joining in as she said that everyone tries to avoid him when weigh-in time draws near. In that sequence, it was clear that fans follow Shabranskyy because he fights like he’s hungry and angry, but that when it’s not fight time, he’s quick with a smile and a laugh.

So while many fighters make the move to the United States to pursue their version of the American Dream in the United States, few are accepted in their new communities like Shabranskyy was. And that feeling is mutual and one that hit the future light heavyweight title challenger shortly after he permanently moved to the U.S. in 2012.

“From the second that I got here when I first met (coach) Manny (Robles), the first thing that happened to me was that Manny invited me to be with the family for Christmas because he knew I was here alone,” Shabranskyy recalled. “I felt right at home, and I feel at home in Mexican communities because there’s not that much difference from Ukrainians, from Russians. Everybody sticks together and it’s all about family. And the community of boxing here in LA is so diverse that I feel right at home here and I’m happy that I’ve been accepted.”

shabranskyy (8)

That means that should he upset Kovalev this weekend, there will likely be celebrations in the unlikeliest places for a native of Zhytomyr to be celebrated. At this moment, though, he refuses to entertain such talk, saying, “I don’t want to run ahead of myself. It’s boxing, but I feel very excited and I’ll tell you about everything else on Saturday.”

Saturday is only a few days away, and for those watching, it’s just another interesting fight on a Thanksgiving weekend. But out of a simple question comes the realization of what this means for Shabranskyy. Following the lone loss of his 20-fight career, a seventh round knockout at the hands of Sullivan Barrera in December 2016, I asked him if he would have believed he would be fighting for a world title now if someone told him that in January.

“No,” he said without hesitation. “At the beginning of this year, I probably wouldn’t believe that I would be given this opportunity. But this is something I have been working towards for the last 17 years that I’ve trained in boxing. I feel very blessed.”

Seventeen years. That’s a long time to do anything, let alone compete in a sport as punishing as this one. So to weather the ups and downs of the fight game, remain standing, and now be on the verge of the culmination of a dream, that’s more than just a payday. In fact, it may even be destiny for Shabranskyy, who had his eye on Kovalev for a while.

“When I was in Bernard Hopkins’ camp a couple years ago, I watched Kovalev box with Bernard from the audience and I could tell that I’d be very happy if one day I would be at the same stage as Kovalev was at that moment and possibly fight him or a fighter of his caliber for a world title.”

Now he’s here, 12 rounds or less away from leaving New York City as a world champion.

“I feel very motivated and I’m going to do everything in my power and with my experience to take the belt home,” he said. That’s what you expect him to say. What you don’t expect is when he laughs about his long, strange trip to the Big Apple and says how it didn’t go the way you would assume it did.

“Time flies so fast.”

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by [email protected] on 11-23-2017

KKKovalev has glass balls. Once you graze them it's over for him.

Comment by ThomasJK on 11-23-2017

[QUOTE=yoshik;18230648]So is Ward, Mayweather, Stevenson, Wilder, Fury etc and the like. Man up and be a fight fan or go back to Barbie Dolls. It's not about the guy's personality, it's about fighting. Ward got gifts. Wards a punk.[/QUOTE] I'm…

Comment by Dr.Cool on 11-22-2017

Kov has no heart, no soul. It was stolen by Ward and by body shots. If there is VADA testing, Kov might very well lose again. He is 0-2 on fights he has been tested for. With no testing, peds…

Comment by ruedboy on 11-22-2017

On the plus side, Shabranksky is a big, durable fighter with a pretty good chin. Unfortunately, he's a predictable, straight ahead guy who gets embarrassed if the other fighter doesn't hit him in the face. Kovalev is a level or…

Comment by MDPopescu on 11-22-2017

[QUOTE=Shadoww702;18230207]Those were some questionable borderline low blows and im a Ward fan but that was some BS. I guarantee Kovalov would of been warned if he was doing that. One of the most biased ref. Out there is Floyd Bayless…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (22)
Top Headlines Gvozdyk To Take Voluntary Before Mandatory Versus Browne Pacquiao To Have Scratched Cornea Re-Examined Monday In L.A. Andrade: I Want Golovkin Next, To Prove I'm #1 at Middleweight Hearn: Don't Be Surprised if Joshua is on DAZN in the US in June Broner: Ain’t Got Mark On Me; They Thought They’d F*** Me Up Pacquiao: I Was Surprised Broner Didn't Throw Lot Of Punches Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner: Afterthoughts Broner Falls Very Short on Promised 'New Beginning' For Career Luis Coria Win Big in First Garcia Brothers Promoted Card Badou Jack Gets Stitched Up, Has No Excuses Over Loss Manny Pacquiao Says Injury To His Left Eye is Not Serious Manny Pacquiao Dishes Out Adrien Broner's Comeuppance Pacquiao's LA Home is Burglarized a Day After Broner Win Claressa Shields: Anybody Who Thinks Broner Won is Crazy! Video: Shawn Porter Reacts To Pacquiao Defeating Broner Video: Buboy Reacts To Pacquiao Defeating Adrien Broner Video: Mayweather Sr. Throws Shade at Adrien Broner For Loss Pacquiao: We Can't Blame Broner For Thinking He Won Fight Former Champ Gamache Assaulted on Street By Mystery Man Video: Roy Jones Jr. Reacts To Pacquiao Defeating Broner Video: Devin Haney Reacts To Pacquiao Defeating Broner Video: Daniel Jacobs Discusses Canelo Alvarez Fight WBO To Review Saunders Suspension, Could Be in Line For Andrade Video: Adrien Broner Explains Why He Beat Manny Pacquiao Video: Mikey Garcia Reacts To Pacquio's Win Over Broner Video: Pacquiao Reacts To Win Over Broner, Wanting Mayweather Gervonta Davis Embraces Challenge of Fight in Mares' Backyard Ellerbe: Mayweather’s Retired; 'No Interest' In Pacquiao Rematch Wilder-Fury Rematch Could Land on April 27 or May, Says Warren Kell Book Looks at Jeff Horn, Jessie Vargas, Smith as Options Marcus Browne Dares Teddy Atlas: Bring Me Oleksandr Gvozdyk! Pacquiao Open To Rematch, Mayweather Remains Noncommital Photos: Manny Pacquiao Dominates Broner - MONSTER Gallery Photos: Marcus Browne Decisions a Bloody Badou Jack Photos: Nordine Oubaali Beats Rau'shee Warren, Wins WBC Belt Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner - CompuBox Punch Stats Pacquiao: I Proved it Again - The Pacquiao Journey Will Continue Broner: Everybody Knows I Beat Pacquiao; I Controlled Fight! Manny Pacquiao Rocks, Dominates Adrien Broner For Decision Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement