Boxing


Sergiy Dzinziruk - The Best Light-Middleweight In The World?

Segiy Dzinzirukby James Slater - According to the view of a number of people, not least the fighter himself, unbeaten Ukraine southpaw Segiy Dzinziruk is the only man the feared Paul Williams does not want to fight. Fans have heard the comments from the 32-year-old WBO light-middleweight champion for a while now, with the 36-0(22) German-based fighter claiming that interim WBO 154-pound champion and former WBO welterweight champion Williams wants nothing to do with him.

This is open to debate, but the fact is the talented southpaw who was a very good amateur deserves a big fight, against a big name. So far having boxed his entire pro career in Europe, mostly in either Germany, Ukraine or Poland, the 6'0" champion has not had exposure to a US audience. This should change, however, because as good as he clearly is, and as good as he claims he can be, Dzinziruk is a fighter who needs to be seen by as many fans as possible. Thus far, the 32-year-old has not met any marquee names - with the also low-key (and underrated) Daniel Santos being the Ukrainian's most recognisable foe. Dzinziruk picked up another good points win, over Joel Julio, last time out, and this win too proves he can definitely fight, but before he runs the risk of seeing his best days pass him by, the WBO boss needs something as close to a mega-fight as he can get.

Dzinziruk wants the big opportunities, as he has said in the past. So what's the problem? Are gifted and formidable fighters like "The Punisher" really avoiding the unbeaten southpaw, or have terms simply not been reachable? Until a fighter who has been dominating in Europe either defeats a top-notch American fighter or, better still, comes over to America and performs, the jury will remain very much out on him. Unfair as this may be - just ask Joe Calzaghe, who was busily defending his own WBO belt in Europe for years, only to be looked at as a protected fighter by many US fight fans and experts until he beat Jeff Lacy and then finally boxed in the States - it is a fact of boxing. The acid test of fighting while under the bright lights and the scrutiny only a big US stage can bring is something Dzinziruk has yet to pass.

Without a doubt, the talented and determined fighter is someone who has begun to get some serious interest from fans other than those in Europe, and as such these fans would welcome a US debut by Dzinziruk. Curious to see if he is as good as they have heard, these fans would welcome the man nicknamed "Razor" with open arms and be willing to pay to see him do his stuff against a star opponent.

Dzinziruk and his team seem convinced Williams has ducked him, whereas "The Punisher" himself has said out loud how he himself has struggled in getting the fights he wants. Next up for Williams is Winky Wright, at middleweight - therefore it seems the Georgian will not be facing the Ukrainian any time soon. This is bad new for fight fans, because Williams and Dzinziruk aside, today's 154-pound division is pretty thin on the ground when it comes to peaking and attractive fighters. If this match-up fails to materialise, what else is there to get the fans excited about at the weight?

Maybe we will never know who was to blame if this fight does not go ahead, but the fans seem divided - either Williams has indeed avoided Dzinziruk, or Dzinziruk has been unwilling to travel to fight. Sadly, if the two supreme southpaws do not get it on one day, the argument will remain, forever unanswered - and yet another potentially great and truly meaningful fight will be lost.

Article posted on 14.01.2009



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