With new trainer, Glazkov back in action
August, 7, 2014
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Rich Graessle/Main Events Heavyweight contender Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov returns to action Saturday against Derric Rossy.Last time out, heavyweight contender Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov scored his biggest victory, taking a clear 12-round unanimous decision against longtime contender Tomasz Adamek, the former cruiserweight and light heavyweight titleholder.
The March victory pushed Glazkov a step closer to a mandatory shot against world champion Wladimir Klitschko. However, that potential fight is a ways off, and the 29-year-old Glazkov (17-0-1, 11 KOs), who recently moved with his wife and daughter to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from Ukraine to escape the strife in his country, is not about to sit around waiting for a title shot.
So, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist will stay busy when he takes on veteran Derric Rossy in a scheduled 10-round bout that headlines a tripleheader Saturday night (NBC Sports Net, 8 ET) at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The fight will be Glazkov's first under the tutelage of John David Jackson, who also trains Glazkov stablemate and light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev.
"I just went through the very good camp with John David Jackson and [assistant] Derik Santos. I got more experience and I can't wait to showcase that Saturday night," Glazkov said. "The strongest man is going to win Saturday night."
Santos said that he and Jackson pushed Glazkov hard in training camp. They want to make him a more aggressive fighter.
"We have pushed him hard since he got here. He has liked it," Santos said. "I am not sure that he was pushed that hard before. I am not sure that the technical aspect was broken down for him. One thing that John does really well, he breaks things down and explains to the fighter why they are doing it."
Main Events promoter Kathy Duva endorsed Glazkov's move to Jackson.
"I've seen what John David Jackson accomplished with Sergey Kovalev. Knowing how good Glazkov was before he started working with John, I can't wait to see what he looks like now," Duva said. "This is an important fight to see where Czar is in his training and development. Bigger things are on the horizon for him when he's ready."
Rossy (29-8-0, 14 KOs), 34, of Medford, New York, is a journeyman opponent who has lost two of his past three fights and six of his past 10. But he did outpoint Joe Hanks in his last fight in May and was the one guy willing to face Glazkov among the several fighters offered the bout.
"We've seen some film on him," Rossy said. "The kid is a really sound fighter. We need to be at our best. There is no slacking on this. There are no easy fights but this kid can really fight. We are excited to meet the challenge. With the Adamek fight he really showed that he wasn't just a prospect. He is very sound at what he does."
Said Sal Musumeci, Rossy's promoter, "[Rossy] was an iron worker earlier this year. He quit to box full time. I give Glazkov a lot of credit for taking the fight. He is taking a big risk and putting his No. 2 position [in the IBF] on the line. He has big balls. This is what fighters need to do."
Also on the tripleheader: Robert Berridge (24-1-1, 20 KOs), a 29-year-old southpaw from New Zealand, will meet Russia's Vasily Lepikhin (15-0, 8 KOs), 29, in a 12-round light heavyweight contest. They will both be fighting in the United States for the first time. In the six-round opener, 22-year-old blue-chip heavyweight prospect Joseph Parker (9-0, 8 KOs), of New Zealand, will fight in the United States for the second time when he faces Birmingham, Alabama's Keith Thompson (7-2, 4 KOs).