By Przemek Garczarczyk
Monday is as of a good day as any to watch boxing. Especially in Moscow, where promotional company World of Boxing will present a show with fights with both Russian and world implications at the famous Luzhniki Arena.
The WBC International heavyweight title will be stake with hard-hitting Amir Mansour (23-2, 16 KO) vs. undefeated (and untested) Sergey Kuzmin (11-0, 8 KO), plus former welterweight champ Eduard Troyanovsky (26-1, 23 KO) battling undefeated, WBA #3 ranked Paraguayan Carlos Portillo (21-0, 16 KO) and cruiserweight Aleksei Papin (8-0, 7 KO) trying to prove his worth against more experienced Ismayl Sillakh (25-4, 19 KO).
The 30-year-old Kuzmin was preparing and ready to fight Australian Lucas Brown, but he’s not concerned with a change, knowing that on Monday there will be a very solid replacement with always ready to mix it up Amir Mansour.
“This is professional boxing – you have to be ready for the last moment changes. We were ready for that. We had to make some adjustments, of course, but nothing major,” said Kuzmin in a recent interview with World of Boxing. “Just so happens that I was watching (Mansour’s) bout with Breazeale and we know what he is – an assertive, strong fighter with character who steps into the ring with the will to win.”
For Kuzmin (241.6 lb during today weigh-in), the road is clear – beat Mansour (224.4 lb) become one of the top 15 heavyweights in the world and have a chance to meet champ Deontay Wilder in the ring.
“Wilder constantly avoids fights with strong opponents. The plans for next year (after defeating Mansour) are to become a mandatory contender for any version of the title,” said Kuzmin.
When talking about possible rivals, the Russian fighter seriously doubts that former WBA/IBF/WBO champion Tyson Fury could be one of them.
“(When he’s ready) Tyson is a good fighter. He feels the distance, he throws a lot, and he sees everything. Now he announced his return, but what we see is only 15-second video clips on the Internet. Let him show us at least 1.5 to 2 hour workouts, sparring for ten rounds. Then we can talk about him. Right now, it’s just empty talk.”