By Alexey Sukachev and Yuri Tarantin (Allboxing.ru)
On Saturday night, Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado will collide in a rubbermatch in what, many predict, will be the fiercest winter fight in a very long time. In the co-feature, talented and highly regarded and very highly ranked (WBC/WBA/WBO #2 and IBF #3) super middleweight Gilbert Ramirez Sanchez (30-0, 24 KOs) is expected to be tested hard by a hard-nosed lanky Russian, named Maxim Vlasov (30-1, 15 KOs), who is rated #6 by the IBF, #9 by the WBO and #10 by the WBC.
Vlasov is presently in Denver, finishing up his preparations for the upcoming show together with yet another Russian who is part of the show – WBO #10 light welterweight Aik Shakhnazaryan (15-0, 6 KOs), who is expected to face 21-4, 19 KOs, Mexican hard-hitter Abner Lopez. Both Vlasov and Shakhnazaryan are trained by Victor Petrochenko, the same coach who helped to propel Dmitry Pirog’s career and was his guide during Dmitry’s champion days.
“The last training sessions were rather tough for me, as they coincided with my acclimatization. But they were very, very fruitful”, commented Vlasov. “I’ll be in a tip-top shape for the fight. The weather in California [where I’ve trained before] was great, helping me to feel fitter both physically and mentally. I’m positively focused, and losing to the Mexican is not an option. I had no problems in the camp, so I’m totally focused on winning”.