By Dmitry Mikhalchuk
WBA #2 mandatory challenger Vyachelsav Uzelkov (22-0, 14 KOs) will have a hard time tonight against reigning WBA light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov (9-1, 6 KOs) dealing with problems both in and outside the ring.
In what can only be described as a “Soviet 175 lbs championship”, Uzelkov won’t be assisted by his regular coach Vitaly Vdovkin and cutman Dmitry Luchnikov, who is regarded as one of the best in his profession across the former USSR. Both Luchnikov’s and Vdovkin’s visas were detained by American embassies in Moscow and Kiev respectively without any explanations even though a trainer and a cutman prepared all the papers in time. Luckily, former multi-time Ukrainian amateur champion Sergey Gorodnichev had an effective American visa and will assist Uzelkov in the corner tonight. He has already landed in America. Team Uzelkov is currently looking for a new cutman.
Moreover, according to Ukrainian’s representatives, they weren’t offered an interpreter, while an access to control scales was offered to Uzelkov only hours before an official weigh-in; that has resulted in Ukrainian being forced to starve before scale watch just because he didn’t know his weight for sure.
However, Team Uzelkov is reportedly ensured in the final outcome of the fight and is getting ready to punish Beibut Shumenov for all these controversies inside the ring rather than outside it.