Publish Date: 09/11/2018
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
Vasyl Lomachenko has become an idol in Slavic boxing circles, and why wouldn’t he be? He is a post-Soviet trailblazer who is earning his stripes like few have ever done. Therefore, it’s only natural for men to gravitate towards him, whether as simple admirers, or as someone wanting to incorporate his in-ring tendencies into their own game.
We have seen over the course of boxing’s history how marquee names can become stylistic trendsetters. A recent example is the Floyd Mayweather Jr. imitators who assume this sort of “Philly Shell” posture and rely on potshots offensively. Regarding “Hi-Tech”, many are aware of his friend and now cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk because there is no mistaken case of identity there—they are evolutionary branches of the same fighting tree. However, fewer people are tuned into the welterweight variant in Alexander Besputin.
The former amateur Russian standout, who allegedly accumulated a record of 300-15, employs recognizable tactics from his southpaw stance—angle creation, feinting, body punching, etc.—but with distinctive features. For instance, while Lomachenko and Usyk occasionally toss several throw-away punches to either keep their opponent’s hands and home or bait them into counters, Besputin prefers going for the gusto, winging in quick flurries with some weight behind them. He has used it to great effect, particularly in the Breidis Prescott fight.
The 11-time Russian National titleholder is also more consistently aggressive than his peers. While Oleksandr Usyk and Vasyl Lomachenko have performed nearly entire contests on the back-foot, Besputin has yet to turn in one of those performances. He prefers to apply the pressure, bang away with accurate shots (whether he’s forcing the pace or countering forcefully), and get his man out of there.
His quick hands are maybe the most recognizable feature of his game. Intrinsic values like that cannot be taught. It’s something you have, or you don’t, and any potential foe is fighting an uphill battle simply trying to square Besputin’s timing. That’s exactly what has transpired in his filmed contests. Alexander has out-sped every man he’s been paired against and I imagine there are but a few at the top-level who could match it.
So far Besputin has racked up a healthy 10-0 record that has included 8 knockouts. Whether win number eleven and stoppage number nine is on its way is something one can surmise, but Alan Sanchez, his upcoming test, is a 5’11”, 24-fight veteran (20-3-1, 10 KOs) who has mixed it up with a few notable names and has always seen the final bell in his losses. He is also riding an eight-fight win-streak since his last ‘L’ in 2013 against the still viable Luis Collazo.
A victory, regardless of whether it comes inside the distance or not, sets Alexander Besputin near fringe contention and closer to his goal, a world championship. He’s managed by Egis Klimas and promoted by Top Rank, two parties who both know how to move as well as any in the business, so there is good reason to suspect he should be confident in the path laid bare before him.