Weights: Sergiy Dzinziruk 160 vs. Brian Vera 160

VERONA, NY (JANUARY 24, 2013)—On Thursday evening, all the fighters for the ESPN Friday Night Fights championship boxing card weighed in for the card that will take place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino.

In the main event, Sergiy Dzinziruk takes on Brian Vera for the NABO Middleweight championship.  The co-feature will pit undefeated Tony Luis against Jose Hernandez in a ten round Jr. Welterweight bout.



Dmitry Pirog

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

Team Pirog Have No Issue With Facing N’Dam, Anywhere

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 BoxingScene.com, 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


Team N’Dam: No Reason For Pirog To Avoid France Bout

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


Team Pirog Won’t Rule Out N’Dam Mandatory Title Clash

The team of WBO middleweight world champion Dmitry Pirog (20-0) will not rule out a possible fight with undefeated Frenchman Hassan N’Dam (27-0), who on May 4th won a twelve round decision against the tough Ukrainian boxer Maksym “The Tiger” Bursak (24-1) to capture the WBO’s “interim” middleweight crown.

On May 8th, the WBO ordered both sides to reach a deal by May 28th or a purse bid would be ordered.

Although Pirog’s team is interested, the champion’s handlers are currently trying to reach an agreement to face IBF titleholder Daniel Geale in a unification fight on August 25th. HBO is interested in televising the fight.

One thing Pirog will not do is face N’Dam in his backyard of France.

“We would try to arrange a fight in Moscow or in a neutral territory. All of Hassan’s fights have taken place on his land, and we are not unfounded in concerns about the impartiality of the judges. [The scoring in N’Dam’s] fight for the interim-WBA title in October 2010, where [everyone thought] Avtandil Khurtsidze beat Frenchman, and not vice versa, is well documented by the scorecards [which were ruled in favor of N’Dam,” said Kyril Pchelnikov, co-promoter of Pirog.


By Ruslan Chikov


Pirog vs. N’Dam is WBO Ordered, Geale Clash in Jeopardy

On May 1st in Moscow, the current WBO middleweight world champion Dmitry Pirog (20-0) retained his belt winning a twelve round decision against Japanese contender Nobuhiro Ishida (24-8). On May 4th in Levallois, undefeated Frenchman Hassan N’Dam (27-0) won a twelve round decision against the tough Ukrainian boxer Maksym “The Tiger” Bursak (24-1) to capture the WBO’s “interim” middleweight crown.

On May 8th, the WBO sent a letter to both sides ( Pirog and N’Dam’s promoters) advising them that they have until May 28th – “to negotiate an agreement for the WBO Middleweight Championship bout between champion Dmitry Pirog and Interim Champion Hassan N’ Dam.  If an accord is not reached within the time frame, a Purse Bid will be ordered.”

N’Dam’s promoter Sébastien Acariès, the CEO of Asventure Promotion, is currently in Ukraine for the fight between his talented prospect Michel Soro and WBO 154-pound king Zaurbek Baysangurov.

He declared – “Upon returning to France, I will make an offer to Team Pirog in order to host the championship bout. In the event that they do not agree, then we will go to a purse bid. We really want this fight to happen. It has been two years now that Hassan N’Dam is fighting at the top level and waiting for a real title shot. We would like to stage this event in France where Hassan N’Dam has a significant fan base. We strongly believe that this will be a great night for boxing, as it will match two undefeated and exciting fighters”.

Some reports stated that Dmitry Pirog is trying to reach an agreement to face IBF titleholder Daniel Geale in a unification fight on August 25th. However, the World Boxing Organization through its president, Francisco Valcarcel, clearly specified on May 1st – “That the winner of the bout between Pirog and Ishida must face the winner of the fight between N’Dam and Bursak within 90 days.”


By Kamel Messani


Statement by WBO President Regarding Dmitry Pirog

 World Boxing Organization President Francisco Valcarcel sets the story straight on an article that appeared titled ‘Pirog-Geale Unification Nearly Set’. He says that “No one can talk about a unification bout without a written sanction letter from the WBO, and for this bout there is no approval. There is no sanction. Dmitry Pirog faces Nobuhiro Ishida today in the Moscow, Russia. The winner of this bout will face the winner of the May 4th bout between Hassan N’Dam vs. Max Bursak within 90 days of the bout.”

N’Dam vs. Bursak Card is Shaping Up With Local Talent

On May 4th, Team ASVENTURE (Sébastien Acariès), in association with the city of Levallois Perret, will stage the WBO-interim world middleweight championship event at “Palais des Sports” in Levallois Perret, a city near Paris. The card will be broadcast live from Paris on the French channel Direct 8 at 10:45 P.M. 
Unbeaten local hero HASSAN “EL FENOMENO” N’DAM (26-0, 17 KO), will fight for the WBO “interim” world title against MAKSYM “THE TIGER” BURSAK (24-0, 10 KO), a tough Ukrainian contender.
N’DAM has been inactive for more than one year, and in his last two fights he defeated Giovanni Lorenzo and Avtandil Khurtsidze – meanwhile BURSAK has kept his WBO Intercontinental belt with a big win over Brian Vera.
N’DAM has been training for more than eight weeks with local coach Mouss Ouicher. French fans call him “EL FENOMENO” because of he constantly changes style in the ring. He is definitely a great showman and he is ready to face the best of the middleweight division.

The winner of this bout should face the winner of Dmitry Pirog vs Nobuhiro Ishida, scheduled for May 1, within 4 months.
In the other big fight of the evening: French titleholder and ex-Olympic participant ALI HALLAB (11-0,5KO) will try to capture the WBO European belt against the Spanish fighter Jorge Perez (10-4).
HALLAB has been training for 5 weeks in Panama.

The rest of the undercard features:

Ahmed El Mousaoui (12-1, 2KO) at only 22, he wants to show the world that he can compete.

Sofiane Cherfioui (19-0, 13 KO), a tough middleweight prospect from Algeria who wants to prove that he is a serious candidate for a world title in a near future.

Jaoid Chiguer (1-0), an ex-Olympic boxer who has just started his professional career.

Christopher Rebrassé (17-2, 4KO), the super-middleweight French titleholder.

Denis Farias (12-3), a true lightweight warrior.

Youri Kalenga (10-0, 6KO), a young and powerful cruiserweight.

Christopher Dettinger (16-2, 7KO), former French cruiserweight champion.


By Kamel Messani


Pirog Puts WBO Title on Line Against Ishida

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.



Konecny-Larbi; Hammer-Tshabalala Officials

WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel announced today the referees and judges who will work on the world title bouts between Lukas Konekny against Salim Larbo and Christina Hammer versus Julie “Queen” Tshabalala tomorrow at the Vodova Arena, Brno, Czech Republic.

For the vacant WBO Interim junior middleweight title between Konecny (47-3, 22 KOs) and Larbi (17-1-1, 4 KOs), the referee will be Andre Van Grootenbruel. The judges for the Konekny-Larbi fight are Paul Thomas, Manuel Oliver Palomo and Zoltan Enyedi. WBO supervisor for this bout will be Istvan Kovacs.

For the Hammer’s (11-0, 7 KOs) third defense of the WBO Female Middleweight title against Tshabalala (4-1-1, 1 KOs), the referee will be Paul Thomas. The judges are Zoltan Enyedi, Andre Van Grootenbruel and Manuel Oliver Palomo. WBO supervisor will be Istvan Kovacs.

Konecny-Larbi, Hammer public workout

Here is a photo gallery of the public workout in Brno, Czech Republic, where locals hope Lukas Konecny will be their first professional world champion when he takes on Salim Larbi for the vacant WBO interim light middleweight world championship.

In the co-feature, WBO female middleweight world champion Christina Hammer takes on Queen Tshabalala.


Photos: Team SES


N’jikam vs Bursak WBO Title Clash Moves Forward on 5/4

It’s official. Talented middleweight Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (26-0, 17 KO) will place his undefeated record at stake against another unblemished boxer, Ukrainian Max “Tiger” Bursak (24-0-1, 10 KO), on May 4th. The two fighters will battle for the WBO’s interim-middleweight belt at the Palais des Sports Marcel Cerdan in Levallois-Perret. The fight was originally scheduled for April 20th in Malabo in Equatorial Guinea. The team behind full champion Dmitry Pirog were against the scheduling of this fight, but the World Boxing Organization still sanctioned the contest.


By Kamel Messani


Pirog vs Ishida Bout in The Works For May 1 in Russia

According to promoter Kirill Pchelnikov, Nobuhiro Ishida (24-7-2, 9KOs) is a candidate to face WBO middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog (19-0, 15KOs) on May 1 in Moscow, Russia. There were rumors of an offer being made to Marco Antonio Rubio, but Rubio is ranked at number 12, while Ishida is ranked at number 9 in the WBO’s top ten. Pirog was close to a deal to face Darren Barker, how suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw. Team Pirog is waiting for the WBO to sanction the fight.

“In preparation for this fight, we negotiated with many of top middleweights boxers, among [Sergio] Martinez, Geale, Sturm, Murray, Bursak, Barker, Zbik, N’Jikam. All of the boxers were offered a substantial fee for coming to Russia. They were offered hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions, as was the case with Martinez. Some of boxers have just ignored us [like Felix Sturm], others made their own plans in May, and someone got injured in the negotiations process [Barker]. In the end, it was only with Ishida that we could reach an agreement for May 1. As for Rubio, we are very interesting and we can not exclude meeting with him at a later date, but in order to stage a title defense we have to choose an opponent from the WBO’s top ten. At the moment, Rubio is ranked at twelve and Nobuhiro Ishida at nine,” Pchelnikov said.

If Pirog wins in May, then a possible unification with IBF champion Daniel Geale is being discussed for August, and HBO is interested in televising.

“The other day I received a letter from our American partners, in which I was told
that the channel HBO is interested in this fight. Right now, Pirog must successfully make a defense, and I hope that the WBO will sanction the fight and everything will be all right, and we believe that after the unification bout will take place at last…..most likely in Las Vegas,” Pchelnikov said.


By Ruslan Chikov



Team Pirog: Focused on May Bout, Then Geale on HBO

Kyril Pchelnikov, co-promoter for WBO middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog (19-0, 15KOs), says the boxer is fully focused on a May 1st defense in Russia. The opponent has not been secured, but Pchelnikov is looking for someone in the WBO’s top ten. If everything goes as planned, then the focus will shift to finalize a deal for an August unification clash with IBF champion Daniel Geale (27-1, 15KOs) of Australia, which may be televised by American cable network HBO.

“Our main task right now – is [for Pirog] to defend his title in May against a fighter in the WBO’s top ten, whose name we will issue at a later date,” said Pchelnikov.” Next, we plan to stage a unification bout with the IBF world champion Daniel Geale on HBO. Negotiations [for a fight with Geale] have been taking place for some time.”


By Ruslan Chikov


Dmitry Pirog To Return To Action on May 1 in Moscow

Undefeated WBO middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog (19-0, 15KOs) of Russia will return to the ring on May 1 in Moscow, according to his promoters. Pirog last fought on September 25 in Krasnodar, when he stopped mandatory challenger Gennady Martirosyan within ten rounds. Pirog’s handlers plan to match him with a highly ranked contender in the WBO’s top ten.

One possible opponent being mentioned by Pirog’s handlers is undefeated contender Max Bursak (24-0, 10KOs).


By Alexey Sukachev



Pirog Injures Left Shoulder, N’jikam April Fight on Hold

An unfortunate left shoulder injury will postpone a possible April defense for WBO middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog (19-0, 15KOs). He was going to face former WBA-interim champion Hassan N’Dam N’jikam (26-0, 17KOs) of France on April 6th. The fight has now been placed on hold until further notice.

“I want this fight because it’s going to be very interesting. Unfortunately, it will not be held on April 6th. Just two days ago, I slipped and fell on the street right and hurt my left shoulder. Everyone knows about the current elements in Gelendzhik – hurricane, ice. An evaluation showed that my recovery will take about four weeks. I can not even run. If N’jikam is willing to wait four weeks, then we can sit down at the negotiating table. I would love to fight him and neither of us has a loss. If they want this fight, we are ready to sit at the table and negotiate. I will gladly give this fight to the Russian audience. This will be an uncompromising battle between two undefeated fighters,” Pirog said.


By Ruslan Chikov




Pirog: We’ve Tried To Get Sturm, He Just Runs From Me

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.



Pirog Believes Felix Sturm Will Struggle With Golovkin

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, Allboxing.ru