There Are No Chickens In Kiev: Why It Seems The Ukrainians Are Taking Over Boxing

Ievgen Khytrov vs Maurice Louishome

FROM SHOWTIME BOXING ANALYST STEVE FARHOOD

Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko will be remembered as two of the most dominant heavyweights of all-time.

They are Ukrainian.

Vasyl Lomachenko is among the five greatest amateurs in history, and now he’s a professional world titlist.

He is Ukrainian.

List the top prospects in boxing and you have to include Ivan Redkach, Vyacheslav Glazkov, Oleksandr Usyk, Ievgen Khytrov, and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

They are all Ukrainian.

The Ukrainians may or may not be taking over boxing, but for one night at least, they’re taking over ShoBox.

On Friday night in Brooklyn, local favorite Frank Galarza will return to ShoBox and tackle Belgium’s Sheldon Moore in the main event. But much of the focus will be on the fights of Khytrov and Derevyanchenko, who live in Brooklyn after having relocated from Ukraine.

A quickie preview:

Frank Galarza-Sheldon Moore, junior middleweights: Galarza is known as “The Brooklyn Rocky,” and he’ll make his third ShoBox appearance vs. Moore.

No, Adrian will not be there. If Galarza wins, he better call for somebody else.

Galarza, 16-0-2, has both boxed and slugged his way to wins on ShoBox, and it’ll be interesting to see what he’ll choose to do against Moore, 13-2-1, a bit of a mystery man who’s fought mostly in Europe.

Brooklyn vs. Belgium. I’m waffling on my pick.

Ievgen Khytrov-Aaron Coley, middleweights: Khytrov (pronounced HEE-Trof) has star potential because of the way he looks and because of the way he fights. He’s relentless, dangerous with his right hand, and about as fan-friendly as any prospect in the game. He’s a perfect 9-0 with 9 kayos as a pro, and his most recent win, a stoppage of power-punching veteran Jorge Melendez, suggests that he’ll be contending before the end of the year.

Khytrov is 26 years old. He had no less than 500 amateur bouts, which means he must’ve been engaging in official fights while walking to school, eating dinner, and brushing his teeth.

He represented Ukraine in the 2012 Olympics.

Coley, 9-0-1, is a southpaw from Northern California who trains at Virgil Hunter’s gym. He’s faced only one winner as a pro, so this is a jump in class of almost unimaginable proportions.

Sergiy Derevyanchenko-Alan Campa, super middleweights: Like countryman Khytrov, the 29-year-old Derevyanchenko is on a fast track. He fought 24 times in the quasi-professional World Series of Boxing, so if you count those bouts, he’s 27-1. If you dismiss those fights, he’s 4-0.

Lou DiBella, who promotes Derevyanchenko, claims his charge will be a ranked contender before 10 pro fights. And why not? “The Technician” had 300 amateur bouts, fought in the 2008 Olympics, and last time out, blew away the veteran Vlad Biosse in two rounds.

Campa, 13-1 with 1 no-contest, will be fighting outside of his native Mexico for the first time. He was a good enough amateur to have fought in the prestigious Pan Am Games in 2009, so his pedigree is solid.

Whether he can hold off Derevyanchenko is another matter entirely.

See you on Friday night!

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