Vyacheslav Glazkov photo by Main Events
by Sarah Deming
BROOKLYN, N.Y.—How do you sell the quiet skill of a Ukrainian heavyweight to American fight fans?
The anxiety of this question seemed to hang in the air of Underground Boxing as Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov began his media workout. Everything about the 29-year-old, from his crewcut to his trunks to his musculature, bespoke function over flash.
On March 15, Glazkov will face former world champion Tomasz Adamek at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Glazkov and team hope this will be the final hurdle before a shot at heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. It is an intriguing match. The 37-year-old Adamek is post-peak, but he only has two losses. Glazkov, a 2008 Olympic bronze medallist, is bigger and fresher, but he looked less than stellar in a disputed draw last year with Malik Scott.
The misleadingly named Underground Boxing occupies the sunny third floor of a storefront in Sheepshead Bay. Its floors are covered with rubber tiles that mandate the removal of high heeled shoes. All the ladies in stocking feet contributed to the feeling of being at some kind of intimate Russian family party rather than a press event. The affable proprietor Ilya Mesishchev circulated among the guests, making introductions and pointing out his wall of trophies.
Glazkov bullied the heavy bag for a while then went in the ring to work pads with trainer Eduard Menchakov. The two men have known each other for 20 years.
“He started boxing when he was ten,” Menchakov told me through an interpreter. “His father was with him everywhere.”
Photos by Gautham Nagesh and Trey Pollard for StiffJab.com
by Gautham Nagesh
NEWARK, N.J.—As I have frequently opined, boxing can be a painful sport to follow and even more confounding to cover. The most-hyped fights are often the biggest disappointments, and sometimes innocuous undercard matchups turn into the sport’s finest moments.
I had low expectations when I drove up from Washington to cover Saturday’s heavyweight card at the Prudential Center here. I wasn’t alone, judging by the sparse, mostly pro-Adamek crowd that showed up for the 2 p.m. matinee aimed at Polish PPV subscribers. But Main Events and Peltz Boxing have repeatedly defied expectations with their low-budget shows, and they managed to do so again on this September afternoon.
Those fans that did brave the intermittent thunderstorms were rewarded with an stellar six-fight show featuring four knockouts, including impressive performances by headliner Tomasz Adamek and rising Philly prospect Bryant Jennings (below). Adamek was sensational, recovering from early knockdown to stop Travis Walker in the fifth round of an absolute barnburner. Meanwhile, Jennings needed only four punches to finish the overwhelmed Chris Koval. Former cruiserweight champ Steve Cunningham won his heavyweight debut over Jason Gavern, and Jerry Belmontes of Texas won a tough fight against fellow 130-lb prospect Joselito Collado of Queens.
by Gautham Nagesh
If last week was a disaster for most sensible boxing fans, tonight offers some respite. Two different networks have quality shows, which means everyone with cable can catch a decent fight tonight. HBO will air the replay of Manny Pacquiao vs Tim Bradley from last weekend for subscribers, followed by Andy Lee vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a middleweight title bout from El Paso, Texas. If you didn’t pay for the Pay Per View, you can finally figure out what everyone has been going on about all week.
NBC Sports continues its better-than-expected Fight Night series with another quality card from Newark, headlined by heavyweights Tomasz Adamek and Fast Eddie Chambers. Also fighting on that card will be promising Philly heavyweight Bryant Jennings, a loyal reader unafraid to let us know when he disagrees with our take. Full previews after the jump:
by Gautham Nagesh
The big news today from Ring Magazine’s Lem Satterfield: DC fight fans enthralled by December’s slugfest between Lamont Peterson (left) and Amir Khan won’t have to wait another 18 years for championship boxing to return to the DMV. It looks like rising local featherweight Gary Russell Jr. will return to action June 30 at the Verizon Center. The news is music to the ears of local fight aficianados hoping DC would capitalize on momentum from the Khan-Peterson fight.
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told Lem they have the Verizon Center on hold and are working with local attorney Jeff Fried to finalize the card. While Lamont is tied up in a May 19th rematch with Khan in Las Vegas, his brother Anthony (right) would appear to be a leading candidate to fight in DC. He told me at last month’s presser that he’s planning to fight on the May 19th show, but an opponent hadn’t been found yet. Seth Mitchell is another possibility, if he’s willing to take a stay-busy fight so soon after his turn against Chazz Witherspoon on the undercard of Chad Dawson-Bernard Hopkins 2 on April 28.
By Trey Pollard
BROOKLYN, NY - Going to see boxing in Brooklyn is an overwhelming sensory experience. And, if you catch it on the right night, that might even be because of the fights themselves.