With American boxing seemingly on a down swing the base of power has moves from West to East, only 6 recognised champions are from the USA, not a single RING magazine champion is from the US (at the time of writing) and in the eyes of many Americans the sport is dying. Yes the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Timothy Bradley, Andre Berto, Andre Ward and Chad Dawson are top fighters other than Floyd none of them are true PPV fighters (and even then Floyd isn’t the most popular guy in boxing). In fact it seems, via the WBO that the Eastern European fighters and fighters based in Germany are the real emerging talents. Although Wladimir Klitschko is the only fighter from Europe to be a current RING magazine champion the top 10’s are filled with fighters from Russia, Germany, Armenia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Hungary and Romania. In an upcoming “battle of power” an unbeaten fighter from America meets an unbeaten Russian for the WBO Middleweight title in what appears to be a huge fight in the grand scale of things. The American Danny Jacobs is rather well known figure, a former stand out amateur in the US who signed with Golden Boy Promotions as a youngster though his opponent is much less well known.
Dmitry Pirog has seemingly sneaked up on people, born in Russia in 1980 and with out any real note worthy amateur background he’s really managed to remain low profile unless you follow European boxing. Having made his professional debut in 2005, he’s been matched really well fighting against several very solid and dependable boxers and won a variety of minor belts along the way. The first belt he picked up was the Russia middleweight title in his 4th contest, that alone doesn’t say much though he did have to beat Sergey Tatevosyan for the title, a man who has since been in with Carl Froch and Lucien Bute. Wins since have come against solid but relatively unknown fighters to the US boxing fans, fighters like Alexey Chirkov, Aslanbek Kodzoev and Geard Ajetovic were thoroughly beaten by Pirog who seemed on a collision course for a European title fight at some point as his record improved.
Instead of getting a European title fight, Pirog would face more and more solid fighters with the notable Kofi Jantuah, the US based Ghanian who had twice competed for a world title being a relatively easy but impressive victory just over a year ago. Since the victory over Juntuah some hardcore boxing fans have been sitting up and taking note of the Russian who has stopped both Eric Mitchell and Sergei Melis this year. The interest has seen the internet having more and more clips of him and it’s allowed boxing fans to observe that Dmitry is a very capable technically skilled fighter with great combination of fast hands, aggression and power that will almost certainly making him one worth watching.
Although in the eyes of the US boxing press, the meeting between Pirog and Jacobs is seen as the crowning of Jacobs many haven’t realised that Pirog is getting the fight on merit, his 16-0 (13) record hasn’t been against easy touches like Jacobs’ 20-0 (17) record. Don’t be shocked if Dmitry Pirog not only beats “The Golden Child” but helps establish himself as one of the new wave of dominant fighters from Europe.