FROM RUS­SIA WITH LOVE

These Rus­sian world cham­pi­ons might be root­ing for Alexan­der Povetkin this week­end

Boxing News - - Letters -

1. KOSTYA TSZYU

Though more com­monly as­so­ci­ated with Aus­tralia, the heavy-handed ‘Thun­der from Down Un­der’ was born in Serov, Rus­sia, and used a lot of traits from the Soviet Union am­a­teur style to be­come the WBA, WBC and IBF su­per-light­weight cham­pion of the world.

2. SERGEY KO­VALEV

Ko­valev ripped the WBO light-heavy­weight ti­tle from Nathan Clev­erly in 2013, and then added the IBF and WBA belts to the col­lec­tion with a thor­ough thrash­ing of Bernard Hop­kins the fol­low­ing year. A big puncher, Ko­valev even­tu­ally came un­stuck against An­dre Ward.

3. DE­NIS LEBEDEV

A WBA and IBF world cham­pion at cruis­er­weight, hard-nosed Lebedev has lost just twice in 33 fights (to Marco Huck and Mu­rat Gassiev), both split de­ci­sions.

4. YURI ARBACHAKOV

Based in Ja­pan, Arbachakov won the WBC fly­weight ti­tle in 1992 and went on to make nine de­fences of the ti­tle, all in Ja­pan, be­fore los­ing it in ’97. He never fought again.

5. MU­RAT GASSIEV

Re­cently given a box­ing les­son by Olek­sandr Usyk, this knock­out artist from Vladikavkaz had pre­vi­ously stopped the likes of Yu­nier Dor­ti­cos and Krzysztof Wlo­dar­czyk en route to WBA and IBF cruis­er­weight ti­tles.

6. DMITRY PIROG

Forced to pre­ma­turely re­tire be­cause of a re­cur­ring back in­jury, Pirog, a WBO world mid­dleweight cham­pion, is best re­mem­bered for knock­ing out Daniel Ja­cobs in bru­tal fash­ion in 2010.

7. NIKO­LAY VALUEV

Valuev, the seven-foot ‘Beast from the East’, was con­sid­ered a heavy­weight gim­mick for a long time, but this didn’t stop him claim­ing the WBA heavy­weight ti­tle and de­fend­ing it four times, los­ing only to Rus­lan Cha­gaev and David Haye.

8. RO­MAN KARMAZIN

15 years ago, Karmazin ven­tured to Lon­don to out­class David Walker for a Euro­pean ti­tle. Af­ter that, he beat Kas­sim Ouma to win an IBF su­per-wel­ter­weight ti­tle.

9. RUS­LAN PROVODNIKOV

Fan favourite Provodnikov, an ex­po­nent of the art of take-one-to-give-one, achieved his crown­ing mo­ment in 2013, when forc­ing Mike Al­varado to re­tire af­ter 10 rounds of a WBO su­per-light­weight ti­tle fight.

10. DE­NIS INKIN

Fol­low­ing an ex­ten­sive am­a­teur ca­reer, Inkin out­pointed Ful­gen­cio Zu­niga in 2008 to win the WBO world su­per-mid­dleweight ti­tle – Joe Calza­ghe’s old belt – only to then lose it in his very first de­fence.

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