The President of the Boxing Federation of the city of Kiev, Alexander Negoda, in an interview with Sport.ua, summed up the results of the “Kyiv Cup”, which was held in the capital for the first time in a new format from February 7 to 12, spoke about holding sports competitions during the war, and also shared his opinion about the fights of Ukrainian boxers last weekend: return to boxing of Alexander Gvozdik (18-1, 14 KOs) in a fight with Mexican Josue Obando (20-35-2, 15 KOs) and the defeat of Viktor Vykhrist (11-1, 8 KOs) from Cuban Leinier Pero (9-0, 6 KOs).
The winners of the “Cup of Kyiv”, we note, for the first time received the title of “Master of Sports of Ukraine”. In total, 133 participants took part in the tournament, who competed in 13 weight categories among men and 12 among girls.
– From February 7 to 12, Kyiv hosted the “Kyiv Cup” in boxing among amateurs. For the first time, the tournament had the status of “master”, that is, its winners received the title of “Master of Sports”. Are you happy with how it went?
– Yes, the tournament was held in this format for the first time. I’m very happy with how it went. After its completion, he thanked the boxers and coaches who came to us from all regions of Ukraine. The tournament turned out to be really large-scale, 133 participants took part in it.
I really hope that in the future the competitions will become traditional and will be held in Kyiv.
– On the part of boxers, coaches and functionaries, was there additional attention to the competitions because of their status – due to the fact that the fighters could achieve the title of “Master of Sports”?
– Yes, sure. This is evidenced by the number of participants and their level. The leaders of the Ukrainian national team among the elite, as well as participants of the world championships, took part in the Kyiv Cup. These are, for example, such boxers as the participant of the World Championship, the champion of Ukraine-2021 Maxim Zhigarov, the silver medalist of the championship of Ukraine Daniil Zhasan, and many other fighters. All these athletes helped the tournament to pass at the level at which it was held.
– We show with such tournaments that the Russians have not broken us and will never break us. Despite the war, many sporting events take place in our country, and boxing is not far behind.
– You know, on the eve of the start of a full-scale invasion, when there was already a lot of news that there would be a big war, I talked with a comrade and told him that such global upheavals as wars or other catastrophes unite people and make a nation out of the people. Driven by a colossal motivation to survive and live better, we become real people, we become much better than we were. We begin to appreciate every day of our lives and live it as efficiently as possible.
I am very glad that we hold tournaments and develop sports in spite of the war. It seemed that many would lose heart, but Ukrainians are a different nation. It is such that it only gets stronger and becomes a real nation. Everything that is happening now in our country helps our people become a nation.
Kiev boxing federation
– Let’s also talk about two fights of Ukrainian boxers that took place last weekend. Alexander Gvozdyk returned to boxing after a three-year break, and Viktor Vykhryst suffered his debut defeat in his career. How do you like Gvozdik’s victory on points over unknown Mexican Josue Obando?
– I don’t think it was such an idea to go through all the rounds with such an opponent. It’s just that Alexander, because of his condition, probably could not win the fight ahead of schedule. I watched a short segment of the fight, because there is no video of the full fight anywhere on the net, I will say that Alexander could have entered the Kiev championship against an opponent, and he would have given him stronger opposition.
– After the fight, Alexander said that he plans to reach the title next year. You, as a person who has been in boxing for a long time, do you think such a plan is realistic – to become a world champion in a year?
– Well, in general, everything happens in life, and anything can happen. If Alexander wants it, it’s probably real. The question is different: what will be the result when Gvozdyk enters the championship fight? This is a big question. And the second point is whether the reigning world champions, and we understand who is holding the division there now, will want to meet with him.
– Let’s move on to Viktor Vykhrist. Victor, unfortunately, lost ahead of schedule to the Cuban, the champion of the Youth Olympic Games and the two-time champion of the Pan American Games, Leinier Pero, in the United States. Did you expect the Ukrainian heavyweight to lose in his 12th pro fight?
– You know, before this fight I had not seen Pero at all. When I looked at this fight, it reminded me of the duel Vitali Klitschko – Corrie Sanders. A gnarled, incomprehensibly built southpaw with a quick punch against a classic heavyweight boxer with a great body constitution. I liked the fight, it was a great fight.
I think that Vyhrist’s loss is a mistake of his corner. He went to fight without a plan or a fight with a plan, but not adapted to the opponent. Pay attention to how the Cuban boxed: he initially broke the body, he had a clear task. These straight powerful jabs to the body came all the time. The paradox is that Vitya also hit, but he was aimed at the head. The feather broke it from below and went to the head.
In the third round, when Vykhrist hit, there simply wasn’t enough time to finish it. In the fourth round, he could not, and there again blows flew from the Cuban. Pero is a great boxer, fast, powerful. And he, most importantly, implemented his plan for the fight.
– Boxing, which Vyhryst showed in this fight, gives us hope that Victor is still waiting for big fights?
“I don’t even doubt it. Vykhrist is the boxer who will definitely continue on. Losing is often much more useful than winning, especially since he has all the data to go through this stage and go to title fights. It is only important who will work with him in the corner.
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