ANTHONY YARDE WILL challenge long-standing world champion Sergey Kovalev for his WBO World Light Heavyweight championship in Chelyabinsk, Russia on August 24. The fight will be broadcast live and exclusive in the UK on BT Sport.

Yarde, 18-0 with 17 Kos, has again accepted the delayed mission of heading into the home nation of the world champion known as Krusher in order to fulfill the first part of his dream of holding multiple world title belts and ruling the division for years to come.

The 27-year-old now gets the opportunity to take on the most experienced and formidable of the current world champions, with the 36-year-old having clocked up 28 Kos from his 33 wins. Kovalev has operated in world title competition since parting Nathan Cleverly from his WBO belt in August 2013 in Cardiff.

“This is my time now and I am going to show the world what I am all about,” said the challenger, the self-styled Beast from the East of London. “Waiting for my time to come around could have been a frustration but we turned it into a positive and I am even more ready to seize the moment.

“Everything has fallen perfectly into place for me, this will be my coronation as world champion and I am going to realize my dream by beating the most decorated of the current world title holders.

“I am more than happy to achieve my goal in Russia and I think it is only right that a great world champion such as Kovalev is given the opportunity to defend in his home country. He has earned that right.

“What I know is that on August 24 another world title belt will be under British ownership and I will have done it the hard way, one that nobody will be able to question.

“My promoter and my manager have made all the right moves to get me into this position and I thank Frank Warren and Tunde Ajayi for creating this opportunity for me. They have done their part and it is now up to me to deliver.”

Frank Warren said the self-belief of his light heavyweight star was the key to accepting a mandatory challenge on away territory.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for Anthony and he has earned his shot by working his way to the No.1 spot in the rankings,” said the promoter. “He has showed what he is all about by being prepared to go into Kovalev’s back yard and it demonstrates the confidence he has in his own ability.

“Everybody knows Kovalev is a tremendous puncher and a fearsome presence in the ring. It is something we first saw over here when he fought Nathan Cleverly and he has continued to operate at the very highest level.

“Anthony possesses tremendous self-belief and we back him to come away with the spoils but, whatever does happen in the fight, it is one that he will take a lot of valuable experience from.”

Yarde’s trainer-manager Tunde Ajayi added: “We’re here now! It’s been stage by stage, it’s been calculated and everything is timing, which I have said from the start.

“The time is now and we are about to shock the world. I cannot remember a fighter with so little experience going over to another man’s back yard to take on a great champion, so I don’t want to hear any excuses when Anthony knocks him out.

“I know that is going to happen.”

Boxing Federation of Russia (RBF) secretary general Umar Kremlev has claimed the second edition of the World Boxing Forum in Yekaterinburg will provide impetus for resolving the crisis in the sport at Olympic level.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to suspend the International Boxing Association (AIBA) last month after a report from its Inquiry Committee said the situation at the embattled governing body “is such that its practices and activities continue to fall short of full conformity and compliance with the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics”.

The IOC warned that this “presents serious legal, financial and reputational risks to the IOC and the Olympic Movement”.

An IOC taskforce has been set up, chaired by Japan’s International Gymnastics Federation President Morinari Watanabe, to ensure the delivery of a boxing competition at Tokyo 2020.

The group will also be tasked with organising the qualification system.

Speaking prior to the World Boxing Forum, which is scheduled to take place from today through to Sunday (June 16) and will be attended by representatives of the IOC, AIBA Executive Committee member Kremlev said that Olympic boxing is “suffering a lot” but that the unity the RBF is striving to achieve at the event will “help us to move forward”.

“Our task is to make sure that the entire boxing community is united,” he said.

“As for the situation in Olympic boxing, it is now more important than ever to unite and make serious decisions.

“I believe that it is the boxing community that should decide the future of Olympic boxing.

“The Forum will have a lasting purpose, we will take decisions and make proposals.

“Regarding the recommendation of the IOC Executive Board to deny AIBA’s recognition, which was presented at the meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, I think this is an issue which we can solve together.

“But first, it is necessary to make reforms, to change the structure of the organisation completely before closing the debts.”

Kremlev also insisted the 2019 AIBA Men’s and Women’s World Championships, both of which are due to be hosted by Russia, can remain qualification events for Tokyo 2020.

The men’s event is due to take place in Yekaterinburg from September 7 to 21 while the women’s is scheduled for Ulan-Ude from October 3 to 13.

Kremlev’s claim comes despite the fact qualifying events are set to run between January and May next year.

“We will conduct such work so that the World Championships are qualifying for the Olympic Games,” he was reported as saying by Russia’s official state news agencyTASS.

“This is very important.”

Last month, Kremlev called for the entire leadership at AIBA to be replaced and backtracked on his intention to run for President in a series of proposals he claims will help preserve the future of the organisation.

Kremlev, whose influence appeared to be growing within AIBA until it was suspended by the IOC, revealed he would create a “special fund” to help wipe AIBA’s debt.

He had originally proposed to personally clear AIBA’s arrears, which stand at around CHF17 million (£13 million/$17 million/€15 million).

The lack of due diligence carried out by AIBA on the offer, welcomed by its executive director Tom Virgets but which has not yet been officially ruled on by the Executive Committee, was among several severe concerns outlined by the IOC Inquiry Committee in its report.

Kremlev revealed the offer “still remained in force”, despite the issues raised by the IOC, which questioned its source and also said the proposal, coupled with his intention to run for President, constituted a “major conflict of interest”.

He stated that “people, individuals and legal entities who are not indifferent to boxing will attract funds, including me” and will put money into the fund to eliminate the debt.

The Russian also promised he would seek the involvement of an auditing firm to “report on where the money came from and how each debt was repaid”.

The Forum is to bring together heads and representatives of all major world organizations & leading promotional companies to reach a strategic agreement on the development of boxing.

Kremlev revealed members of the AIBA Executive Committee would meet in Belarus’ capital Minsk this month to discuss reform of the organisation.

They will gather during the European Games in the city which will run from June 21 to 30.

“At the end of the month, we are planning to hold a meeting with the AIBA Executive Committee members, where we will set up a commission to deal with the concerns and cooperation with the IOC,” Kremlev said.

“Since the current management was unable to solve the issue, we, as members of the AIBA Executive Committee, will take responsibility, unite and solve the problem.

“There are no concerns about debts, everything is possible to achieve, but at the same time, it is necessary to do everything correctly and transparently.

“So that there is no doubt where the money came from.

“It will come from the boxing community, there are a lot of people who want to pay off the debts.

“But it will happen only after we achieve all the goals inside AIBA.”

Kremlev thinks that after the changes and closing of debts, it will be possible to reinstate the status of AIBA because there will be “no reason not to do so”.

“The IOC and the members of the AIBA Executive Committee have the same task – to solve the existing problems,” he added.

“The mistakes were not made by us, and there is only one question – why those who did it, who brought AIBA to such debts, are not held responsible?

“We have to ask them where the money went.

“We don’t have to think about the past, we have to look to the future.”

Organised by the RBF, the World Boxing Forum brings together the heads and representatives of all the sport’s major organisations – the World Boxing Association, the World Boxing Council, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and the International Boxing Federation.

Representing the WBO is President Francisco Valcárcel, who stated he would like to use the Forum to discuss the unification of rules for all international boxing organisations, bringing the Olympic and professional sides of the sport together under a single body.

“This will help to ensure safety for all participants,” he said.

“We have to find a compromise, it is important for us – this issue is the most critical.

“We have different weight classes and different titles, that is why professionals, for example, cannot compete at the World Championships and Olympic Games.

“Our task is to unite boxing so that it becomes a single body, not only Olympic or professional.

“We want the Olympics to be enriched by boxing as well.”

The World Boxing Forum, which will be attended by the likes of legendary American boxer Roy Jones Jr, will see participants plan to reach strategic agreements on the development of boxing.

In particular, they will discuss the protection of boxers’ health, differences in the rules of international sanctioning bodies, gender equality, the creation of a business platform for promoters and many other strategic issues regarding the development of world boxing.

Russian boxer Egor Mekhontsev, head of the Boxing Federation of the Sverdlovsk region, believes the event brings Russian boxing to a new level of popularity.

“I see how many people are here, how much attention [is being paid] to the Forum – I am very glad that [there is] so much attention to my sport, to which I gave 20 years of my life,” he was reported as saying by TASS.

“Boxing is reaching a new level of popularity, a new level of attention from the world community.”

The inaugural World Boxing Forum was held in Sochi in 2018.


photo via

Tete: “I will adjust & take him out!” – Final Press Conference from Ekaterinburg, Russia

The Ali Trophy 118lb QF and WBO World Championship – Zolani Tete vs Mikhail Aloyan – and the 200 lb QF and IBF Eliminator – Ruslan Fayfer vs Andrew Tabiti – will be contested this Saturday at the Ekaterinburg Expo in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

All four fighters were in confident mood at Thursday’s press conference in Ekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city and the cultural center of the Urals.

“I am in good shape, ready for the fight,” said South Africa’s Zolani Tete (27-3, 21 KOs), the WBO World Champion.

“As a world champion you must be ready to adjust and adapt, so whatever Aloyan will be bringing I will adjust and take him out.”

Russia’s Mikhail Aloyan (4-0) is hoping the home advantage will give him the edge over Tete.

“The fact that we are fighting in Ekaterinburg will bring out the best in me. I am ready for the fight.”

His countryman Ruslan Fayfer (23-0, 16 KOs) is relying on his greater experience to beat American Andrew ‘The Beast’ Tabiti (16-0, 13 KOs).

“I have more experience than Tabiti,” said Fayfer. “I am not going to reveal anything, I will show everything during the fight. Everything you should see you will see on Saturday night.”

Tabiti was diametrically opposite in his answer.

“I’m on my A-game,” he said. “I came here for the W, nothing else. I am going to knock this guy out!”

The quarterfinal match of the second season of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), at the Bantamweight limit, will see WBO World Champion Zolani Tete go up against Olympian Mikhael “Misha”Aloyan in Yekaterinburg on October 13.

This fight was announced on Monday at a press conference by the Secretary-General of the Russian Boxing Federation, Umar Kremlev.

“It is planned that on October 13 at the Expo Center in Yekaterinburg, there will be the fight between Aloyan and Tete, and another quarter-final, but the draw of that weight category has not happened as of yet,” Kremlev said.

Last month’s draw matched up Tete and Aloyan in the opening round of the competition.

“This is an opponent with a lot of experience, he has 30 fights, a lot of knockouts. I hope for a spectacular fight, we will train hard,” Aloyan said.

Kremlev added that in Yekaterinburg, there is a lot of attention being paid to boxing.

“There is a boxing academy here, it’s the only place in Russia where you can professionally train athletes. Here we can bring national teams to the training camp… We hope that there will be fights from both the semifinals and finals held here,” he said.

The 29-year-old Aloyan is the owner of the title of the International championship of the World Boxing Association (WBA) in the bantamweight division. He made his professional debut on May 2017, he has four wins (no knockouts) and no defeats. He is also a bronze medalist in the 2012 London Olympic Games, a two-time world champion and European champion.

On the record of the 30-year-old Tete, he has 27 wins (21 by KO), 3 losses. He held the world title of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) in the super flyweight division during 2014-2015, and he’s held the WBO belt at bantamweight since November 2017, and he’s made one defense of that belt.

By Igor Lozarin, tass–130674

(Atlantic City, New Jersey) – In a stunning turnaround, Eleider Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) of Montreal, Canada scored a seventh round knockout victory over Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) of Russia before a sellout crowd of 5,642 fans at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Etess Arena. Alvarez now becomes the WBO and IBA World Light Heavyweight Champion.

Alvarez found success with his jab early in the fight, snapping Kovalev’s head back at times. In the fourth round, Kovalev found his range and started strafing Alvarez with pounding head shots from right and left, with body work mixed in. Most other opponents would have withered under the assault, but Alvarez made it out of the round on his feet.

The pair continued to trade punches for several rounds. Two minutes into the seventh round, Alvarez, not previously known as a knockout puncher, delivered perhaps the single hardest punch of his life, a perfectly placed right to the head which threw Kovalev back onto the canvas. Kovalev beat the count, but as the final seconds ticked down, Alvarez knocked Kovalev down twice more, and referee David Fields ended the fight at 2:45 of the seventh round.

“I can’t describe how I feel,” said an elated Alvarez, thanking God and his entire team including trainer Marc Ramsey and promoter Yvon Michel, along with his family and the people of both Quebec and Colombia.

“I wanted to show him I’m strong, I have a good chin, and I’m ready for big things,” said Alvarez. On the knockout blow, Alvarez said “We practiced that punch during training camp, and that’s how it went … I always practiced that punch in training.”

Alvarez, a native of Colombia, had waited on a title shot as the WBC mandatory challenger for three years. When offered, he jumped at the chance to face Kovalev, earning him tremendous respect. Now he sits at the top of the division. Asked if he’d like to face the winner of the co-main event, Dmitry Bivol, Alvarez said “I’m ready for the best in the world. I’m ready for the best in the division. I’ve been waiting for five years. I’m ready for anybody.”

Speaking on Instagram from the back of an ambulance en route to a local hospital, an upbeat Kovalev reassured fans he was all right. “I am on my way to the hospital to check my head, check my body … I feel OK. Thank you everyone, thank you very much to all the fans around the world for your support. I love you, and I’m fine.”

WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev of Russia hosted a media workout at The Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard, California on Thursday, July 26, in preparation for his title defense against undefeated light heavyweight contender Eleider “Storm” Alvarez of Colombia at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday, August 4. The fight card will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:0 p.m. ET/PT.

Promoter Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events, Manager of the Year Egis Klimas, and trainer Abror Tursunpulatov also attended and spoke with boxing media.

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, WBO and IBA Light Heavyweight World Champion:

About his opponent, Eleider Alvarez: “It’s a big test for me. He is very motivated. He’s hungry for this fight and for a victory. He’s undefeated. It’s not an easy fight and I must be ready for what he will bring.”

“He’s dangerous. I cannot say whether I can knock him out or get a victory by points. It’s a good fight for the boxing fans. I never said that I don’t want to fight this guy because he’s very strong. I’m ready for everybody. As a champion, as a boxer, I’m ready for anybody.”

About the importance of this fight: “It’s not the biggest fight in my life, but it’s a big for me because it’s the next chapter in my boxing career. Next time, it will be a harder opponent. He’s undefeated, he’s motivated, he’s hungry. I should be ready for whatever he can bring.”

About his desire to unify the division: “I’m building right now in my mind, my head, my personal championship in my division. In this division, it’s tough. We don’t have the opportunity to make a Super Series (tournament) like Oleksandr Usyk. My congratulations to him and to his team. He’s motivated me.

“We don’t have a tournament series in this division. But in my head, I have a schedule of my tournament, my championship. I am driven to win this championship. I have a picture in my head, I see my goals and my championship win.”

“It’s already started unofficially, between us. Because everybody wants to make unification fights I hope. Everyone who is a champion in the light heavyweight division wants to get all the belts together. We want to see who is first between us.”

About his preparation to face Eleider Alvarez: “I should prove I deserve to be champion. He is a good test for me. I saw a couple rounds in a couple of fights. I don’t spend a long time on this. I see enough to get the style he has. But he will be fighting different because right now, he is getting in shape to fight me. I have a plan, what to do in my head. I have completed my strategy, I will be ready for everything he can bring and inside the ring, after the first or second round, I will make adaptations because I’ll understand what I need to do.”

About his preparation for all his opponents: “If you come inside the ring, you should be ready for everything. For any situation, for any of his tactics. If you have only one plan for the fight, you will be losing, Be ready for an inside fight, outside fight, long distance, short distance, counter attack, anything.”

About his fifth camp training in Oxnard: “Here, there are a lot of guys who can help me with sparring sessions, It’s close to the ocean with a fresh breeze. It’s just your coach, your training. For me it is difficult to make training camp with family living at home. You always need to go somewhere, or my son wants me to play with him. Here it’s training, nap, training, rest. I train on time, lay down on time, nap on time, and keep working.”

About working with trainer Abror Tursunpulatov: “we’ve been working together, we understand each other. He gives me the same boxing study since I was 11 years old. It’s very comfortable. We speak I the same language, it’s easy. I follow his exact instructions. Before this, I did it with all of my amateur experience to the pros. Before, it was enough. But I spent all that amateur baggage. Right now, I need the help of a coach, and Abror helps me.”

About what he’s thinking during a fight: “In the ring, usually I don’t hear anybody. I am focused on the fight and the plans from what we’re doing right now in the gym with my coach. They are already inside of me. Sometimes, if you’re in trouble, you can hear something. Sometimes you even hear advice from the public, the fans! Really. Maybe only three or four times in my experience, not here in America, but in Russia when I was an amateur. I understand myself, whether it was a good round or a bad round.”

About his future opponents: “I am fighting everybody who is ready to fight me, who is available at this point. I never had a choice; do I want this fight or this other guy to fight. Egis (Klimas) or Kathy (Duva) inform me, ‘your next opponent is Eleider Alvarez.’ OK. It’s new, I keep my head and prepare for this guy, because I should be better than him.”

“I don’t think about this, who is next. Because I’m thinking right now about Alvarez. I don’t want to spend time looking behind at this (watching his past fights). He’s busy making plans for me.”

About opponents unwilling to face him: “It means they are not real champions. They are businessmen. Remember in the past, fighters like Mike Tyson or Evander Holyfield, Diego Corrales, I respect these guys. It’s sport. Guys, if you will fight like a real fighter, against everybody, everywhere, if you do your job, this is real boxing.”

About his desire to keep improving: “Some fights, I like myself. Some fights, I don’t like myself – I mean my fights. I didn’t like my last fight. I didn’t like my performance. Right now, I am trying to delete these mistakes and do better every fight. Every fight, something happens. I thought I knew a lot, but something always happens new. I get a new experience from each fight and each preparation.”

About who he would like to face next: “I don’t want speak about anybody except Alvarez. Right now, I have a fight with him and I respect this guy. I’m very happy God gave me this opportunity to get in with this guy to see who I am right now at this point. Who am I, me, myself. I don’t go back. I only look forward. Maybe the one step back and two steps forward. I already did the one step back (laughs), and now only step forward.”

About his life changing visit to the Greek monastery one year ago: “I should visit there every year, for recharging mentally. Every man and every woman should be alone with his Spirit, his God, for two or three days a year. I mean, you should be with God always. But I went there four nights. It recharged me. I cleaned up my mind and body. You follow the prayers. It is a saintly place. I already miss it. Maybe if I have the opportunity this year, I will go again.”

About what the sport means to him: “It’s not be my goal to be famous. I do this boxing not to be famous, not to be a star. I do this for myself. I love this, competing. I still live my life with interest. I travel a lot, I’m meeting people worldwide, I love it. I dreamed about this when I was young.”

Photo credit: Craig Bennett/Main Events

WBSS Final Usyk vs. Gassiev a Hot Ticket in Moscow

The final bout of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) cruiserweight tournament is a very hot ticket.

The contest takes place on July 21 at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia.

In the final bout, unbeaten world champions Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine and Murat Gassiev of Russia will collide for the WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC world titles.

Initially, the fight was scheduled to take place on May 11 and was due to happen in Saudi Arabia, but the event was postponed because of an injury to the Ukrainian boxer.

“I was ready to fight with Usyk anywhere in the world,” Gassiev said. “I’m confident that our fight will turn out great. The winner will get everything.”

Usyk is not worried about taking the fight in Gassiev’s backyard. He captured both of his titles, the WBO and WBC, by beating the champions on their home soil.

“Once again I’m going to fight in the territory of my opponent,” Usyk said. “I successfully coped with this in the quarter-finals and in the semifinals. Now I’m going to win in Moscow. ”

In the quarter finals of the Super Series, Usyk defeated traveled over to Germany to stop former world champion Marco Huck by technical knockout in a match was held in Berlin, and in the semi-finals the Ukrainian boxer won a unanimous decision over undefeated Latvian Maris Briedis in a bout that took place before a hot crowd in Riga.

Gassiev is the world champion under the versions of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and the World Boxing Association (WBA). His fearsome record includes 26 wins (19 – by knockout) and no defeats. And as far as Usyk, he’s holding the world titles of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and the World Boxing Council (WBC) and has clean record of 14 wins (11 – by knockout), no defeats.

Luke Furman covers boxing for–129602

Date: Saturday, October 5, 2013

WBO Heavyweight Championship

Location:  Olimpiyskiy, Moscow, Russia

Promoter: K2 Promotions/Hrunov Promotion

Supervisor:   Igor Mazurov

Referee:   Luis Pabon

Judges:  Ted Gimza, Glen Feldman, Philliplpe Vebeke

Results:   Wladimir Klitschko retains the WBO/IBF/WBA Heavyweight Title against Alexander Povetkin by UD; the scores 119-104 on all three cards of Judges.

Dmitry Pirog has seemingly sneaked up on boxing fans across the world. Without a solid amateur background, Pirog has managed to remain low profile unless you follow European boxing. Since his pro debut in 2005, he was matched really well, fighting against several solid and dependable boxers, and won several regional titles during the process. In only his fourth pro fight, Pirog won the Russia Middleweight title. In 2007 he defeated Aliaksandr Vaiavoda by technical knockout to claim the vacant WBC CIS and Slovenian Boxing Bureau Middleweight title. Pirog went on to collect four more regional titles, and in 2010, he got his first shot at a title. On July 31, he faced the undefeated contender Daniel Jacobs for the vacant WBO Middleweight title. Pirog shockingly upset Jacobs via knockout with a hard right hand in the 5th round to win the title, on the Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz II undercard. After making his first successful defense against Javier Francisco Maciel, Pirog defeated Gennady Martirosyan by way of knockout. His most recent title defense was a unanimous decision victory over Nobuhiro Ishida


1. WBC CIS Middleweight Champion

2. WBC Asian Boxing Council Middleweight Champion

3. WBO Asia Pacific Middlweight Champion

4. WBC International Middlweight Champion

5. WBC Baltic Middlweight Champion


1. WBO Middlweight Champion

WBO middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog (20-0) and his promoter, Kyril Pchelnikov, have no issue with facing mandatory challenger Hassan N’Dam (27-0) in any location or venue. Pchelnikov states that recent comments regarding the possibility of unfair judging in N’Dam’s backyard of France were taken out of context. In a recent interview on, N’Dam’s promoter, Sebastian Acaries, expressed his goal of placing Pirog-N’Dam in France. If the offer is right, Pirog is willing to fight anywhere in the world.

“Neither myself, Kyril Pchelnikov or Dmitry Pirog, ever gave an interview regarding our fear of going to France and the possibility of unfair judging. Besides myself, Kyril Pchelnikov and Dmitry Pirog, nobody else can discuss this subject [for us]. According our staff, some comments were taken out of context by journalists and attributed to me. All four of Dmitry Pirog’s fights [involving] the WBO world title have had no problems whatsoever with judging, no complaints. We did not have and do not have [any complaints with the judging in our fights]. And thanks to the contrary,” Pchelnikov said.

“I suggest that the promoter of N’Dam begin discussions with me – let’s negotiate! We never discussed the subject that caused your anger.”

By Ruslan Chikov

On May 8th, the World Boxing Organization ordered the camps of full champion Dmitry Pirog and interim-king Hassan N’Dam to reach a deal by May 28th for the middleweight world championship.

French Promoter Sébastien Acariès, who takes care of N’Dam, declared:

“Negotiations have already started, I have made an offer to the Pirog team. I hope that we can find an agreement, interesting for the fans and satisfying for both sides. I am deeply determined to bring the fight to France, where this boxing event is highly expected”

On May 16th, Kiril Pchilnikov, the co-promoter of Dmitry Pirog declared:

“We are not unfounded in concerns about the impartiality of the judges. The scoring in N’dams fight for the interim-WBA title, where Avtandil Khurtsidze beat the French fighter, and not vice versa, is well documented by the scorecards which were in favor of Hassan N’dam.”

Sébastien Acariès, was very surprised with the comments, because the judges will be neutral officials appointed by the WBO and that should clear up any concerns with the local judging.

“Team Pirog should not fear the judges and respect them and their work, since the WBO judges are neutrals. It is an insult to the World Boxing Organization to think that there could be concerns regarding their impartiality. The WBO have always considered scoring as an important matter and always take precautions.”

“Moreover my family has been involved with boxing promotions for three generations, and therefore I will not accept any disrespectful comments regarding the manner to do my job correctly. France has never been a land of bad decisions or corruption.”

“The higher justice is proved by the number of local fights where there were unexpected decisions in such a manner that even their opponents were surprised. For example Julien Lorcy, who deserved the win for the WBO super featherweight belt against Castillo, and saw his fight declared a draw or even Bernard Inom who deserved the win against Andrea Sarritzu in a WBO title eliminator and gets a draw.”

“Furthermore, regarding the interim-WBA title fight, Hassan N’Dam won the fight against Avtandil Khurtsidze. It was a really close decision but my fighter deserved the win, no doubt”.

By Kamel Messani–53038

Former WBA interim-junior middleweight champion Nobuhiro Ishida (29-7-2, 9KOs) has issued a warning to WBO middleweight king Dmitry Pirog (19-0, 15KOs), advising the Russian star to expect a very difficult fight on May 1st at the Sport Complex Krylatskoe in Moscow, Russia. In his last bout, in February, Ishida lost a twelve round decision to former champion Paul Williams.

“I want to thank Dmitry Pirog and his promoters for the opportunity to compete for the world championship of the WBO. I know that Pirog is a very good boxer. He has good skills and punching power, but I’m going to Russia for the win. I am ready to fight, confident in my abilities, and I’m sure that I will win. I will train very hard. I believe in myself and my team. I guarantee that you will see a great fight on May 1,” Ishida said.


By Gregory Stangrit,

Russian boxer Dmitry Pirog will defend his WBO world middleweight title against Japanese contender Nobuhiro Ishida in Moscow next month, Pirog’s representative Nikolai Baklanov said Thursday.

The fight will be Pirog’s third title defense and will take place on May 1.

“The negotiations for this fight went on for quite some time and both fighters have been on an intensive training regime for long enough,” Baklanov said in an emailed statement

“Nobuhiro Ishida is one of the most experienced opponents in Dmitry Pirog’s professional career,” he added.

The Russian fighter is rumored to be lining up a unification bout in August with IBF champion Daniel Geale, an Australian with a 27-1 with record.

Pirog is undefeated in 19 fights, winning 15 of them by knockout, and won the WBO belt when he stopped Daniel Jacobs in Las Vegas in July 2010.

Ishida held the WBA interim light middleweight title for 14 months before losing it to Rigoberto Alvarez in October 2010, and lost his last fight on points to U.S. fighter Paul Williams in February.

Undefeated WBO middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog (19-0, 15KOs) is ready to face WBA king Felix Sturm (36-2-2, 15KOs) in any location – even in Sturm’s home of Germany. Pirog has been mentioned as possible opponent for Sturm on April 13th. Pirog is holding out hope that Sturm follows through with a possible fight, but he’s not sure if anything is going to actually happen with the ongoing rumors.

“Finally, [Sturm] has already started talking about a fight with me, although in the past he’s been silent on this subject. So, there is the possibility to organize a fight between us, although he had previously tried to ignore me. I hope this fight doesn’t just stay at the level of conversation, because I’m ready to act – even in Germany,” Pirog said. “If Sturm decides to fight me, I’m ready to sign the contract tomorrow. It’s important for me to have this fight happen.”


By Ruslan Chikov & Alexander Pavlov

The WBO world middleweight champion, Dmitry Pirog (19-0, 15KOs) of Russia, has been trying to get a fight with WBA king Felix Sturm (36-2-2, 15KOs) of Germany. Pirog claims to have been chasing Sturm since 2010, when the Russian boxer shocked everyone by knocking out heavy favorite Daniel Jacobs in five rounds. In the opinion of Pirog, Sturm is more interested in making money and doesn’t care as much about furthering his craft as a boxer. The Russian champion was very disappointed with Sturm’s twelve round draw with the inexperienced Martin Murray from last Friday.

“We tried to negotiate with the Sturm immediately after my championship bout against Daniel Jacobs, but attempts to contact him have failed. It seems to me that Felix just runs from me. At the same time, constructive dialogue is possible with other top fighters in our division. Therefore, we agreed to a fight with the IBF titleholder Daniel Geale. Incidentally, the last performance of Sturm left me very unimpressed. In my opinion, the German is not progressing. It is likely, he became too interested in making money, and boxing, apparently, [has become a secondary] business to Sturm,” Pirog told FE.

WBO world middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog believes WBA champion Felix Sturm (36-2, 15KOs) will struggle when he finally meets hard hitter Gennady Golovkin (21-0, 18KOs). Sturm is the WBA’s “super champion” at 160-pounds, while Golovkin is the “regular champion” at 160. The WBA ordered Sturm to defend the title against Golovkin, the current mandatory challenger, but the sanctioning body has not forced the issue to make this fight happen.

Based on Sturm’s recent performances, a controversial split decision win over Matthew Macklin and a close twelve round draw with the far less experienced Martin Murray, Pirog feels the German boxer will have problems when he steps in the ring a heavy handed boxer like Golovkin.

“I think [Felix Sturm] has ceased to develop as a boxer. I’ve been able to form this opinion on the basis of his recent fights. If he is to meet Gennady Golovkin in the near future, I think that it’s going to be difficult for him,” Pirog said.

In a recent interview, Sturm praised Pirog and called him “the most difficult” fighter to beat at 160-pounds. Sturm feels Golovkin is “very overrated.”


By Gregory Stangrit,

In an earlier report on, IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale revealed that his management team is currently negotiating a possible unification with WBO king Dmitry Pirog for a date in late December. In the report, Geale (26-1, 15 KOs) said he was “90% certain” that a deal to fight Pirog (19-0, 15 KOs) would get finalized, with a Las Vegas venue being considered.

Pirog has now personally confirmed the serious nature of the ongoing negotiations.

“Immediately after the victory over [Danny] Jacobs when I won the world title in 2010, I asked my promoters to organize a unification fight. But, none of the other boxers wanted to fight. My promoters made proposals to various middleweight champions, but none of them responded. The only boxer willing to talk, is IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale of Australia. Like myself, Geale is not an American. And to get on American TV, he needs a big fight. That is why our discussions are the most realistic. It is possible that we’ll reach an agreement with him. At the moment, my promoters Kyril Pchelnikov and Artie Pelullo are negotiating with Geale’s side,” Pirog said.

By Ruslan Chikov–45171