Sergey Kovalev shocked to find out about meteor hitting his hometown

In the wake of the meteor that exploded over Sergey Kovalev’s hometown of Chelyabinsk earlier this morning, many people have called or sent messages asking about the welfare of the cruiserweight’s family. Sergey wanted to express his thanks for their concern and give an update.

“I was shocked to find out what happened last night in my home town Chelyabinsk, the news shook not just Russia, but the whole world,” said Sergey Kovalev. “I contacted my family and friends as soon I heard about it. Everyone was OK, just scared because they did not know what happened.”

Kovalev added, “In Ural mountain region we never have any kind of Mother Nature disasters, when the meteor shower started exploding in the sky and hit, the earth start shaking. My family said people got very scared and did not know what to do.”

“I am thankful no one was killed. I thank God my family and friends were safe. I am very sorry for the people in my home town who were injured and suffered distress from this natural disaster.” Kovalev added thanks, “I am grateful to all of the people who have contacted me and my promoters to express their concern.”

USA Boxing’s Independence Cup Squad Wraps Training Camp at the Olympic Training Center

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Team USA will complete training camp today for the 2013 Independence Cup in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The eight-athlete squad arrived in Colorado Springs on January 28 and spent the two and half week camp honing their skills with USA Boxing International Teaching Coach Pedro Roque and the Olympic Training center staff.

While 2012 U.S. Olympian Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.), Olympic training partner Shawn Simpson (Chicago, Ill.) and 2012 Women’s World Championships silver medalist Raquel Miller (San Francisco, Calif.) are all returned to familiar territory at the Olympic Training Center while their teammates embraced new surroundings. Light flyweight Leroy Davila (New Brunswick, N.J.), bantamweight Gary Salazar (Fresno, Calif.), lightweight Kenneth Sims, Jr. (Chicago, Ill.), light welterweight Erickson Lubin (Kissimmee, Fla.), and welterweight Rashidi Ellis (Lynn, Mass.) joined the three OTC veterans for the preparatory training camp.

The tight-knit squad took advantage of many Olympic Training Center perks, attending sports psychology, USADA, nutrition and media training classes as well as utilizing the sports medicine and recovery facilities on site. Coach Roque oversaw daily boxing training sessions as well as strength and conditioning work and the team enjoyed the opportunity to spar with several elite athletes in town for their own training camp with WBC Lightweight World Champion Adrien Broner. Three-time Olympian Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio), 2012 light welterweight Olympian Jamel Herring (Coram, N.Y.) and 2012 Olympic Training partner Robert Easter (Toledo, Ohio) all sparred with members of the Independence Cup squad and provided them with some insight on what to expect at the high level international competition.

In addition to their competition preparation, USA Boxing hosted a super bowl party at the Olympic Training Center for the team and Lubin, a junior in high school, kept up with his school work through daily study hall in the Athlete Services area.

Head Coach Eddie Rivas (San Antonio, Texas) and coach Jason Galarza (Orlando, Fla.) will lead the team into action in the Dominican Republic with Dr. Robin Goodfellow (Albion, Mich.) serving as the Physician and Team Manager. The squad will depart from Colorado Springs on Saturday and travel to Santiago, Dominican Republic on the first day of official team arrivals. The general weigh-in, tournament draw, and the first day of preliminary round competition will take place on Monday, February 18. Preliminary action will continue through Tuesday, February 19 with quarterfinal round bouts taking place on Wednesday, February 20 and semifinal contests on Thursday, February 21. The event will conclude with championship bouts on Friday, February 22.

Teams from Cuba, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Guatemala, Canada and additional nations are expected to compete in the annual event, which featured squads from 16 countries at the 2012 event. As the first multi-nation event of 2013 for USA Boxing, the tournament will provide valuable international experience for all of the competitors.

Bios for all the eight athletes representing the United States at the Independence Cup are attached and results will be disseminated daily. For the latest information on the event and all of the latest with USA Boxing, go to www.usaboxing.org and follow us on twitter @usaboxing.

Independence Cup Team Roster

108 lbs/male: Leroy Davila, Brunswick, N.J.

114 lbs/male: Shawn Simpson, Chicago, Ill.

123 lbs/male: Gary Salazar, Fresno, Calif.

132 lbs/male: Kenneth Sims, Jr., Chicago, Ill.

132 lbs/female: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash.

141 lbs/male: Erickson Lubin, Kissimmee, Fla.

152 lbs/male: Rashidi Ellis, Lynn, Mass.

165 lbs/female: Raquel Miller, San Francisco, Calif.

International Teaching Coach: Pedro Roque Otano, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Coach: Edward Rivas, San Antonio, Texas

Coach: Jason Galarza, Orlando, Fla.

Team Manager/Team Physician: Dr. Robin Goodfellow, Albion, Mich.

USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

Russia back in qualification mix after victory on Algerian soil (2-3)

Lausanne, Switzerland, 15 February 2013 – The Russian team ensured they got themselves back in the hunt for a place in the knockout phase of this season’s World Series of Boxing (WSB) after claiming an important away win in Group A against Algeria Desert Hawks at the Salle Harcha Hassan in Algiers. A night full of drama saw the home team’s Mohamed Amine Ouadahi and Fouzi Bouanka both retire injured with Russian debutants Maxim Dadashev and Petr Khamukov as well Eduard Yakushev getting those vital wins for the visitors.

It was a confident start by Algeria’s French southpaw Vincent Legrand in the opening contest of the night with the 21-year-old Bantamweight (50-54kg) dictating proceedings from the centre of the ring against Russia’s Evgeny Averin in the first round. Averin stepped up his intensity to take the second. The Frenchman had the reach and from then on comfortably went about his business, by always being on the offensive and constantly hounding down his opponent, using that jab before unloading some good one-two combinations to extend his dominance into the third round. A couple of good left hooks and some good work to the body by Legrand then had the Russian on the back foot for much of the fourth. In the end it was an accomplished performance by the fledgling French star as he recorded his first WSB victory to give his team a vital early lead in the match.

London Olympian and 25-year-old Lightweight (57-61kg) Ouadahi received a nasty cut above his right eye in the early exchanges of the first round of his bout against Russian WSB debutant Dadashev, putting him at a big disadvantage because after looking lively early on, he was now in damage limitation mode. Dadashev was taller and clever on the counter and from then on constantly targeting Ouadahi’s gash, he took rounds one and two. The Algerian orthodox fighter came back strong in the third but with the blood still seeping from his eye in the fourth, the referee stepped into stop the fight. With Dadashev ahead on the judges’ scorecards, the Russian was awarded the victory by TKO-I which saw his team draw level on the night.

It was tentative in the first round of the Middleweight (68-73kg) contest between 2011 African Champion Abdelmalek Rahou and the other Russian WSB debutant Khamukov. The 26-year-old Algerian looked inhibited, which invited the orthodox Khamukov to take the initiative and move inside early on. The Russian was quick and precise, landing some good shots to take round one. A big left hook by the Russian midway through the second sent Rahou crashing to the canvas and although he recovered, from the on it was all one-way traffic with Khamukov mixing it up well and unloading at will with the left once more threatening to do some serious damage as he also claimed rounds three and four. In the end, it was straightforward for the 21-year-old Russian as he began his WSB career with a win to put his team 2-1 ahead in the tie.

An apparent dislocation of the shoulder by Bouanka in the first round of the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) showdown saw the bout unfortunately cut short and the Russian orthodox boxer Yakushev awarded the victory, giving the visitors an unassailable lead and guaranteeing them the win.

It took a while to get going in the much anticipated fight of the night between Algerian superstar Chouaib Bouloudinats and Russian hard man Vitaly Kudukhov at Heavyweight (91+kg). The away boxer immediately took the initiative, constantly moving forward and not letting the 26-year-old Bouloudinats find any kind of rhythm as Kudukhov took round one with his superior work rate. Lifted by the fans in the packed arena, Bouloudinats dug deep and began to find success with the overheads as he picked off his onrushing opponent to claim the following round. It was scrappy and ugly in the following two rounds as the frames were shared on the judges’ scorecards. The fifth saw both boxers showing signs of fatigue, it was Bouloudinats, a WSB veteran with three seasons, who showed more endeavour in the final moments to take the win and reduce the deficit for his team.

The Russian victory meant that they leapfrogged Algeria into fifth place in Group A, blowing the table wide open. After this home defeat, Algeria find themselves in a precarious position and need a win in their next match at home against Hussars Poland on Sunday 24 February (19:00 local time) to stay within touching distance of the quarter-final qualification places. Russia are away to Argentina Condors the night before. There is all to fight for still.


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