FROM SHOWTIME BOXING ANALYST STEVE FARHOOD
The fall of the Iron Curtain changed the world, and the fighters from the countries that comprised the Soviet Union have changed boxing.
Featured on this Friday’s ShoBox: The New Generation card from Cabazon, Calif., are a pair of streaking prospects from the Ukraine, lightweight Ivan Redkach, 17-0, and middleweight Ievgen Khytrov, 7-0.
Both are pressure fighters who could break through in 2015.
Here are the five most accomplished fighters from the 15 nations that once made up the USSR, and five hot prospects who have had less than 10 pro bouts.
Wladimir Klitschko (Ukraine): Seems he’s been heavyweight champ since the Truman Administration. Who knows how long he’ll continue to dominate.
Gennady Golovkin (Kazakhstan): While the level of his competition hasn’t been top-shelf, he’s kayoed almost everybody he’s faced. And he’s done it with a smile.
Sergey Kovalev (Russia): The first fighter to make Bernard Hopkins look his age. Now a pound-for-pounder and according to some, 2014’s Fighter of the Year.
Vasyl Lomachenko (Ukraine): One of the five greatest amateurs in history, and judging by his comprehensive win over Gary Russell Jr., a pro with the potential for a lasting greatness.
Arthur Abraham (Armenia): The Super Six seems like decades ago, but old Artie, again a world titlist, keeps on rolling at super middleweight.
Artur Beterbiev (Russia): Hard to believe that in his sixth pro bout, this two-time Olympian was matched against Tavoris Cloud. Harder to believe that he kayoed Cloud in two rounds. Now 7-0 and already a legit contender.
Ievgen Khytrov (Ukraine): Friday’s ShoBox bout will be his eighth as a pro. Based in Brooklyn, the 2012 Olympian and 2011 amateur world champ is smashing whomever’s put in front of him.
Egor Mekhontsev (Russia): Southpaw light heavyweight is 7-0, and has already fought in Russia, China, and the U.S. Won gold at the 2012 Olympics in London. At age 30, will be moved in a hurry.
Oleksandr Usyk (Ukraine): Another 2012 gold medalist, and another lefty. Cruiserweight is 6-0, and has already been as far as nine rounds.
Sergey Derevyanchenko (Russia): Middleweight, 3-0, was the king of the World Series of Boxing, where he went 23-1. (So that makes him 26-1 in my book.ard ) Promoter Lou DiBella promises he’ll be top 10 within 10 pro bouts.