Photos: Oleksandr Usyk Arrives Home To a Hero’s Welcome

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

By Vadim Pushkin – WBO cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk (11-0, 9 KOs) arrived at the International airport Borispol of Kiev, Ukraine to a hero’s welcome. After his arrival, Usyk held press conference with the local media to discuss the future of his career.

Last Saturday night at The Forum in Los Angeles, Usyk made his American debut with a ninth round stoppage of Thabiso Mchunu (17-3, 11 KOs). It was Usyk introduction to the American audience as the fight was televised by HBO.

Usyk will make his return on March 18th at Madison Square Garden in New York City. That evening will be headlined by the highly anticipated middleweight fight between Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs. Both Golovkin and Usyk are promoted by K2 Promotions.

The fight will be the second defense for Usyk and his second appearance in the United States.

Usyk had some issues at the start of his first run on American soil, but eventually adjusted and then put Mchunu away.

“I’m very happy with my performance, he was awkward but I’m glad I was able to win by knockout,” said Oleksander Usyk. “Once I was able to find my range and throw combinations my power was too much for him.”

K2 Promotions head and former WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko was sitting at ringside and watched the contest unfold. He was pleased with Usyk performance despite his issues in the early rounds.

“In these types of fights you gain experience. They are uncomfortable for a couple of rounds, but its the type of experience that makes you even better. I was very pleased with the fight. There were a lot of mistakes, but this is the kind of fight that raises you to another level,” Vitali Klitschko said.

oleksandr-usyk-6_1

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

www.boxingscene.com/photos-oleksandr-usyk-arrives-home-heros-welcome–111972?print_friendly=1

Heavyweight Boxing Champ Vitali Klitschko: Can ‘Dr. Ironfist’ Become The Ukraine’s Next President?

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By: Mathilde Hamel –

In the bare-knuckle arena of Ukrainian politics, the emergence of a world-famous boxer would seem a match made in heaven.

Vitali Klitschko, one of the most famous athletes in the world and heavyweight boxing champion, is also the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party and a member of the Kiev parliament. “Dr. Ironfist,” as he is known to aficionados of pugilism, may also become a serious contender for the next presidential election scheduled for 2015.

Perhaps following in the footsteps of athletes in the West who ventured successfully into politics – including bodybuilder/action film hero Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became governor of California, and wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura, who was elected governor of Minnesota – Klitschko’s trajectory into politics would hardly be unprecedented.

But Kitschko is a far more accomplished athlete than the aforementioned gentlemen. Only 13 when he discovered boxing, he first won six World Championship titles in kickboxing, then turned to “traditional” boxing. As an amateur, he was thrice crowned Ukrainian Heavyweight Champion. After turning pro in 1996, when he was 25, Klitschko won 45 fights and lost only two – giving him the second-highest rate of victory in boxing history, behind only the legendary American heavyweight, Rocky Marciano.

Klitschko is, in fact, the ninth longest-reigning world heavyweight champion in history.

Given Klitschko’s stupendous success as a boxer (he also holds a Ph.D.), he would appear well suited to enter the bruising ring of politics. (Debates in the Ukraine parliament sometimes degenerate into actual physical brawls – for example, this past March, lawmakers landed haymakers at each other when one MP started speaking in Russian).

“Ukrainian politics is really a fight, because every day you meet with people that you have to convince, that do not want to listen to you, who conduct different schemes to deceive,” Klitschko told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

“And Ukrainian politics, unfortunately, resembles not a sport, which operates with rules, but a ‘no-rules fight.’ It is hard, but we all want to have not only politics, but life, with rules.”

Klitschko has already lost two elections for the mayoralty of Kiev under the “Vitali Klitschko Bloc” party, but these disappointments hardly knocked him out of the ring.

In 2011, the Vitali Klitschko Bloc renamed itself as the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (the acronym of which, UDAR, not surprisingly means “strike” or punch”). UDAR essentially espouses two platforms: anti-corruption and pro-European. Last year, the party won 14 percent of the seats in parliament (40 seats), making Klitschko an MP.

Yet, Dr. Ironfist has not retired from the boxing ring – in fact, he fought just last September against Manuel Charr of Germany to defend his WBC title (Klitschko won on a technical knockout).

Given his new focus on politics, it is unclear when he will formally retire from prizefighting.

“I cannot say definitely that Vitali will return to the ring, or when,” said Fritz Zdunek, Klitschko’s coach, according to the Boxing Observer.

“Everything will depend on his political activities. Last week, I spoke to him on the phone and he told me ‘do not worry; I am already exercising 90 minutes a day.’ I don’t think that we’ve heard the last word from Vitali when it comes to boxing.”

Klitschko may be compelled to hang up his gloves after a poll in March suggested he could finally be elected mayor of Kiev.

However, the Kiev mayoral election is scheduled for 2015, around the same time as the presidential election. According to political analyst Serhiy Slobodchuk of the Expert Ukraine magazine, Klitschko’s friends and fellow party members are reluctant to have him run for mayor because another loss in that election would kill any chances for him to run for president.

In a poll conducted in May by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology, 16 percent of the voters said they would support Klitschko for the country’s highest office (up from 9 percent last year), while only 14 percent of the voters would vote for incumbent President Viktor Yanukovych (down from 17 percent).

Klitschko is hoping that the opposition will agree to unite in order to nominate only one candidate, thereby increasing the chances to defeat Yanukovych.

With such momentum – and given the fact that former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a major and still popular figure of the opposition, languishes in prison – these circumstances may provide a unique opportunity for Klitschko to one day become the president of his country.

He has yet to formally declare his candidacy. Still, he certainly sounded like a possible future candidate when he spelled out to RFE/RL what he thought were Ukraine’s biggest problems.

“Ukrainians rank no. 1 in Europe among people who would like to leave their country,” he declared. “Ukraine ranks second in the world in per capita mortality rate. And we are in third place as vodka consumers. This data is not very good. We want to live in a normal country. We want to look forward to the future. We want to live in a European country by European rules and standards.”

http://www.ibtimes.com/heavyweight-boxing-champ-vitali-klitschko-can-dr-ironfist-become-ukraines-next-president-1342577#

Huck: Vitali is Afraid of David Haye, Ran From Me Too

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By Alexander Pavlov –

WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck (35-2-1, 25KOs) sent a few verbal jabs in the direction of WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko. Huck is going to face Ola Afolabi in a trilogy bout on June 8th at the Max Schmeling Halle in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany. But what Huck really wants to do is face Vitali or his younger brother Wladimir Klitschko. Huck moved up to the heavyweight division early last year and lost a controversial decision to WBA “regular” champion Alexander Povetkin.

“Look, Vitali wanted to fight with David Haye, but now he is afraid of him. Klitschko knows that battle would be very dangerous for him. Honestly, I would not advise [Vitali to face me]. He repeatedly ran away from me. In addition, there is a political conflict over the television rights between ARD and RTL. My management team offered Klitschko good money, but they refused. What else is there to say? If they want to fight, I’m ready! I’m a fighter who is ready to fight,” Huck said.

http://www.boxingscene.com/huck-vitali-afraid-david-haye-ran-from-me-too–65965

Huck responds to Klitschko trainer

“I bring more to the table than all the tomato cans Vitali is negotiating with at the moment.”

 

Vitali Klitschko’s long time trainer Fritz Sdunek has been quoted on a Russian boxing website stating that “Vitali Klitschko would eat Marco Huck alive.” WBO Cruiserweight champion Huck says he is surprised by the statement. “I respect Mr. Sdunek a lot but I am surely no snack for either Klitschko brother,” says Huck. “I guess there was a mistake in the translation. You only have to look at all the names currently discussed as possible opponents for Vitali for September to know that I would be a far better option than any of the guys they are talking about. At least I always come to fight.

 

“I know that I didn’t have my best day against Ola Afolabi – but I hung in there and defended my title. A fight against either Klitschko brother would be a completely different story. Afolabi was a mandatory fight, so I did what I had to do.
If Fritz Sdunek wants to know what a fight between me and Vitali would look like he should watch the tape of me beating up Alexander Povetkin. That is the kind of Marco Huck Vitali would need to be ready for. And he would look as clumsy as Povetkin who was a huge favourite against me as well.

 

“But instead Vitali prefers to pick some kind of vegetable from the patch which is known as WBC world ratings. Fritz Sdunek was quoted saying I shouldn’t even talk about a Klitschko fight. With all due respect Mr. Sdunek, you mentioned my name and brought it up right now. And I think it’s because you know that none of the tomato cans Vitali is negotiating with at the moment brings as much to the table as I do.”

 

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/huck-responds-to-klitschko-trainer-116858

WBO Condemns Dereck Chisora’s Actions

World Boxing Organization (WBO) president Francisco “Paco” Valcárcel, condemns Dereck Chisora’s recent actions inside and outside the ring. Valcárcel expressed himself strongly when indicating that “Chisora will not be classified (in the WBO), because he is a bad example for the youth. (Chisora) is not what we want for the fans of boxing”. Chisora (15-3, 9 KOs), originally of Zimbabwe and resident in the United Kingdom, has displayed awful behavior recently; striking Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko in the face during the weigh-in ceremony, spitting in the face of Wladimir Klitschko, and starting a brawl with the former heavyweight champion David Haye at the post-fight press conference. Also, Chisora is also facing problems with German authorities.

 

Photos: Klitschko Brothers Train For Mormeck and Chisora

The Klitschko brothers continue working hard in their joint training camp in Austria. The two brothers have scheduled defenses only two weeks apart in Germany. WBO/WBA/IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko defends his titles on March 3rd against Jean Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22KOs) at ESPIRIT Arena in Dusseldorf. Two weeks earlier, on February 18th, Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40KOs) defends the WBC title against Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9KOs) at Olympiahalle in Munich.

 

By Ruslan Chikov

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=49205

Photos: Wladimir, Vitali Klitschko Show Their Heavy Worth

The Klitschko brothers, who are taking part in their first joint training camp in several years, took several promotional photos to show their dominance over the heavyweight division. The joint training camp is taking place in Austria. The two brothers have scheduled defenses only two weeks apart in Germany.

WBO/WBA/IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko defends his titles on March 3rd against Jean Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22KOs) at ESPIRIT Arena in Dusseldorf. Two weeks earlier, on February 18th, Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40KOs) defends the WBC title against Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9KOs) at Olympiahalle in Munich.

 

 

Photos: Wladimir Klitshko vs. Vitali Klitschko in Joint Camp

As BoxingScene.com had reported a few days ago – for the first time in many years, the Klitschko brothers have come together for a joint training camp in Austria. The two brothers have scheduled defenses only two weeks apart in Germany.

WBO/WBA/IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko defends his titles on March 3rd against Jean Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22KOs) at ESPIRIT Arena in Dusseldorf. Two weeks earlier, on February 18th, Vitali Klitshko (43-2, 40KOs) defends the WBC title against Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9KOs) at Olympiahalle in Munich.

We get a short glimpse at the closest the Klitschko brothers will ever get to fighting each other, as the two brothers stepped in the ring and worked with each other for movement and defense. The two brothers have not sparred with each other in many years and this is the first time, in a long time, where both of them stepped in the ring with each other for a training session. The two brothers were very focused and displayed quick moves as they gave each other advice to avoid incoming shots.

 

By Ruslan Chikov

http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&opt=printable&id=49129

Huck calls out the Klitschkos

Last night WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck publicly called out both Klitschko brothers on one of Germany’s biggest TV shows “TV Total.” ‘Captain’ Huck had a special present for host Stefan Raab who hosts a platform diving event this weekend which will feature Huck as one of the guest stars: A life-size cardboard stand-up of himself holding baby-versions of the Klitschkos in his arms, complete with broken teeth and with Wlad sporting a black eye. “I don’t care which brother I can get my hands on. I would fight both of them right away,” proclaimed Huck. Raab stated, “If you win our diving event I will talk to Wladimir and make the fight happen!” David Haye drew the ire of the Klitschko family with an image on a t-shirt. How will they react to this?

 

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/huck-calls-out-the-klitschkos-101257

 

Helenius targets Klitschko

Unbeaten WBO Intercontinental heavyweight champion Robert Helenius (16-0, 11 KOs) says his time is now. “I am ready for the Klitschkos,” proclaims the 6’6 star of the Sauerland stable. Helenius returns December 3 against an opponent to be named in Helsinki, Finland. According to his promoter, negotiations are ongoing with “two top people” and ‘Mister X’ will be announced in the coming days. “For me, it’s no problem,” says Helinius. “I just need a couple of weeks to adjust myself for each opponent.” Helinius has KO’d three former heavyweight champions and has stopped ten of his last eleven opponents.

 

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/helenius-targets-klitschko-101097

 

Afolabi Opponent Injured

Ola Afolabi, WBO Intercontinental Cruiserweight Champion, is scheduled to make his second title defense as the co-feature of the huge Vitali Klitschko vs Tomasz Adamek show September 10 in Wroclaw Poland.

Afolabi is 17-2 and rated #2 in the WBO, #3 WBA, #7 WBC and #7 in the IBF. He was scheduled to fight undefeated Polish cruiserweight star Pawel Kolodziej, 28-0. This was a great matchup of two top cruiserweights that are rated in the top ten of every sanctioning body.

“Everybody was excited about this fight,” stated Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, promotional company of Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko. “We signed Ola one year ago and he is now a completely different fighter since he has started working with Vitali’s trainer, Fritz Sdunek. “K2 has featured Ola on their last 3 shows and he has responded with great results. Afolabi was born in London and his fan base in the UK is very strong from impressive KO wins over two fellow Brits, Enzo Maccarinelli and Terry Dunstan. Afolabi’s last fight was on July 2 with a first round KO over Terry Dunstan, the UK Cruiserweight Champion. This was on the same show where Wladimir Klitschko added the WBA championship to his collection of titles when he dominated David Haye over every round.

Andrew Wasilewski of 12 Round Knockout Promotions, Promoter of Kolodziej, was very dejected when he found out the news. “We regret very much that Pawel will not be able to fight Ola Afolabi September 10 in Wroclaw. This will be the biggest boxing event in Polish history and Pawel wanted to be a part of it. He was involved in a car accident, he is ok, but the doctor said that he could not train properly for the fight because of the injuries that he suffered.” Wasilewski’s company also promotes WBC Cruiserweight champion, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.

K2 is currently looking for a replacement opponent and offered the fight to Mateusz Masternak, 23-0, who is also an undefeated Polish cruiserweight and is scheduled to fight on the same show. “I thought this was the perfect solution,” said Loeffler, “but Masternak’s people turned down the fight because of short notice, even though he has been training to fight on the same show. Ola is like Vitali and at a point in his career where he will fight anyone, even accepting two undefeated Polish fighters in their home country.”

The historic event will be held in the brand new 42,000 seat soccer stadium in Wroclaw, Poland. The show will be broadcast in over 110 countries and on pay per view in Poland starting at 9pm. The Klitschko vs Adamek main event will be shown live on HBO in the US at 5pm EST and also live in Germany on RTL at 11pm.

Mchunu to Take On Dos Santos in South Africa