The Impact of Eastern European Fighters in Boxing

Published On January 10, 2013 | By Niall Doran | Boxing News

The Impact of Eastern European Fighters in Boxing

The Impact of Eastern European Fighters in Boxing


By Niall Doran

It seems like a life time ago when the Americans dominated the heavyweight division. Down through the years you had famous champions like Johnson, Louis, Dempsey, Ali, Frazier, Norton, Holmes, Foreman, Tyson, to name but a few. However over the last decade there has been a fundamental shift in not just the Heavyweight division, but through all of boxing.

More and more it seems that Champions are cropping up from Eastern Europe. None more so than the Klitschko brothers have embodied this change. Since Lennox Lewis retired they have dominated Heavyweight Boxing and amassed a huge following.

Some argue that this is part of why boxing isn’t exciting anymore. I tend to disagree. I think a lot of these guys from Eastern Europe are not fan favourites with people is because they have not being promoted nearly as much as fighters from America or the UK. It’s just a case of fans simply not knowing who they are, along with the ending of their names possibly not sounding as easy on the ear to some people.

I think the great success of late in the professional ranks for Eastern Europeans  all stems from the terrific amateur boxing program that is in place in most of these countries. Take the Olympics for example. Every four years countries from Eastern Europe always come back with a haul of medals and do very well. Time after time they churn out the results.

Evander Holyfield spoke recently on the fact that the amateur boxing program in America is nothing on what it used to be. There is not nearly the funding that it used to enjoy. This could be an integral part on why there is so few decent Heavyweights coming out of America these days.

I’d imagine over the next few years this trend of successful Olympians coming out of Eastern Europe will remain the same. However as the sport as a whole seems to be on the way up again, you might begin to see see more high profile and better marketed Eastern European fighters like the Klitschkos emerging over the next few years. Time will tell…


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About The Author

Niall Doran
Founder of Boxing News and Views (@NiallerDoran). Writer at the Huffington Post. Digital marketing guy. Journalist. Irish tech entrepreneur. Avid Yellow M&M's hound! Favourite boxing related quote: "It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen." - Muhammad Ali

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