WBC: Klitschko among world’s all-time best heavyweights
The World Boxing Council (WBC) has named Vitali Klitschko among the world’s best all-time heavyweight boxers, taking the eighth spot in the rankings. The news was posted to the klitschko-brothers.com website on April 8. The list is topped by Muhammad Ali, followed by Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston and Ken Norton. Lewis (Great Britain) and Klitschko (Ukraine) were the only non-American boxers on the list.
Bohachuk loses by eighth-round TKO
Middleweight Serhii Bohachuk (18-1, 18 KO) suffered his first professional defeat against Brandon Adams (23-3, 15 KO) of the U.S.A. on April 3 in Puerto Rico. The fight saw the WBC Continental Americas super welterweight title go to Adams after the American unloaded a combination that was punctuated by a left hook that ended Bohachuk’s night at 2:47 of the eighth round. Adams was down on points with the three judges’ cards at the time of the stoppage.
Berinchyk wins with third-round TKO
Lightweight Denys Bernichyk (15-0, 9 KO) won by third-round TKO against Jose Sanchez (18-2, 7 KO) of Chile on March 21 at the Ice Palace Terminal in Brovary, Ukraine. Berinchyk, ranked No. 3 in the lightweight division by the WBO, retained for the fifth time the WBO International lightweight title following the result of the fight that was scheduled for 12 rounds. Following the fight Berinchyk announced his intention to challenge.
Lomachenko next fight in discussions, Usyk faces Joyce
Lightweight Vasyl Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KO) is scheduled to fight against Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13 KO) of Japan with a date (June 26 or July 10, according to promoter Bob Arum) and location to be confirmed. Heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KO) is scheduled to fight Joseph Joyce (10-0, 9 KO) of Great Britain on June 26, with the winner being named the mandatory WBO challenger for the winner of the Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua heavyweight title unification that is scheduled for June 26 in Las Vegas. Usyk was declared by the WBO as the mandatory heavyweight challenger prior to his preliminary fight against Joyce, which has been previously postponed over contract negotiations that have stalled due to failure to agree on how the purse is to be split. Usyk’s team has said that they will petition the WBO to declare Usyk the mandatory WBO challenger against the winner of the Joshua-Fury fight if the Joyce fight does not materialize.
Ukraine in second place in Euro 2022 Group 1
Ukraine won 8-2 against Denmark on April 8 in Zaporizhia as part of the Group 1 matches of the UEFA Futsal Euro 2022 tournament. Ukraine is in second place in Group 1 after five matches played with nine points (three wins – 10-3 against Albania on January 31 and 6-2 against Denmark on April 7; and two losses – 2-3 against Croatia on March 3 and 2-7 against Croatia on March 7). Croatia tops the group with 18 points after six matches (undefeated). Ukraine was scheduled to play against Albania (fourth place in the group with 3 points) on April 11, but the match was cancelled. Despite the match not taking place, Ukraine, which is still confirmed as a qualifying group stage runner-up after its big win against Denmark (in third place in the group with 9 points), is expected to qualify among the 16 teams for the final tournament or will earn a playoff spot with matches scheduled for November 14-17. The final stage of the tournament is hosted by the Netherlands and is scheduled for January 19 through February 6, 2022.
Ukraine’s women’s team hosts Group 3
Ukraine’s women’s futsal team has drawn Group 3 as hosts of the main round of the UEFA Women’s Futsal Euro 2022 tournament. The group, following the draw held on February 13 in Nyon, Switzerland, includes Finland, the Czech Republic and the winner of the preliminary round Group C (Kazakhstan, Belgium or Gibraltar). The four group winners of the main round advance to the knockout finals in mid-February, with one of the nations appointed as hosts. Matches for the main round are scheduled for October 19-24, with the final stage scheduled for March 24-27, 2022.
Reizlin wins gold in men’s épée in Kazan
Ihor Reizlin won gold in the men’s épée individual competition at the Fencing World Cup in Kazan, Russia, on March 19-21. Reizlin won 15-11 against Gergely Siklosi of Hungary in the final. In the semifinal, Reizlin won 15-7 against Ahmed Elsayed of Egypt.
Svitolina makes semifinal in Miami
Elina Svitolina has put together an impressive career, although the World No. 5 has not made the most of opportunities presented to her to win big titles, particularly at Grand Slams. She has faced criticism for being too passive on the court at times, including her play in 2021. Heading into the Miami Open (March 23 through April 3), the 26-year-old held just a 9-5 record for the season, with a fourth-round loss at the Australian Open to unheralded Jessica Pegula, followed by lackluster displays of tennis in Dubai and Doha. She recaptured some of her best form in Miami, rallying to defeat a tough Shelby Rogers of the U.S.A., 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in her first match, then defeating Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia, 7-6, 6-4, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, and a very convincing straight sets win over Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, 6-3, 6-2, to reach her first semifinal of the season. In the semis, Svitolina was matched up against top-seeded Ashleigh Barty of Australia, who cruised into the final with a 6-3, 6-3 win over the fifth-seeded Ukrainian. Barty needed a mere 89 minutes to dispatch her rival, winning her 11th straight match at the event. She had only won one of six previous head-to-head matches against Svitolina. Nadia Podoroska lost in the Round of 64 to Ekaterina Alexandrova, 0-6, 4-6. Marta Kostyuk lost in the Round of 128 to Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6. In doubles action, the tandem of Ukrainian Lyudmyla Kichenok and Latvian Jelena Ostapenko made it to the quarterfinal before losing to Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the U.S.A. and Iga Swiatek of Poland, 1-6, 4-6.
Svitolina tops Ukrainian women’s rankings
As balls are served and volleyed over nets heading into April 2021, Elina Svitolina sits No. 5 in overall WTA rankings, first among Ukrainian women. Now 26 years old, she has amassed over $270,000 in 2021 winnings and over $20 million in her career. Svitolina has won 15 titles and hit No. 3 in the world several years back. Twenty-year-old Dayana Yastremska is currently ranked No. 31 in the world, having peaked at No. 21. She has not earned any monies in the current season due to her suspension for use of illegal substances. Overall Yastremska has won three career titles and earned over $2 million. Argentine-Ukrainian Nadia Podoroska is No. 48 in the world at 24 years young, with some $140,000 in winnings this year and well over $900,000 total. She has not yet won a title and hit No. 44 in world rankings a year ago. Eighteen-year-old Marta Kostyuk is the fourth Ukrainian ranked in the top 100 (No. 85), with over $750,000 in career prize money and over $110,000 in 2021. Veteran Lesia Tsurenko sits at No. 144 in the world with over $4.6 million earned and four career titles. The now 31-year-old was once No. 23 in the world and has entered the twilight years of an underrated run in women’s tennis.
Credit to Ihor Stelmach for the tennis entries.