2009 wasn't a banner year professionally for manager Ivaylo Gotzev. His main client is Samuel Peter, and 2009 was a year of transition for Peter, who went 1-1 as he looked to get back on the winning track after a disastrous showing against Vitali Klitschko in October 2008.
The Nightmare Nightmare has apparently woken up from a slumber, if we can use a telling tipoff: his weight... he was 253 1/2 against Klitschko, an even more corpulent 265 in a March loss to Eddie Chambers, but has dipped to 243 and 239 for his July and September wins over crash test dummies Marcus McGee and Ronald Bellamy.
TSS chatted with Gotzev in NY recently, and the Bulgarian born advisor promises that Peter, now under the Top Rank banner, is refocused on the sweet science.
Peter is being trained by Abel Sanchez in Big Bear, as he counts down to a Dec. 19 clash with Gabe Brown in Youngstown on the Pavlik-Espino undercard. Gotzev isn't looking past Brown...oh, let's dispense with the BS, Gotzev is pretty darned certain Peter won't get Aguilera-d like Oleg Maskaev did last week, and will move into 2010 with some momentum. Gotzev has his eye on the IBF's No. 1 ranked heavyweight, Alex Povetkin, who has seemingly held that top slot for eons, but has been fighting sub 10 top-10 foes as he waits for a crack against IBF champ Wladimir Klitschko. Peter (32-3, 25 KOs) has some more waiting to do, as Wlad will get it on with the IBF's third ranked heavy, Eddie Chambers, in March.
Gotzev has a plan that could engender a bit of interest in the IBF strap, a good thing since Wlad fought just once in 2009 (a stoppage win over Ruslan Chagaev in June) and has been nursing his left shoulder since he had surgery to repair a tendon this summer. Why not, he says, have Peter fight Povetkin, for an interim title, with the winner to meet up with the Klitschko/Chambers victor?
Sounds good to us. Can he make it happen?
Gotzev said he's tried, and thinks Povetkin's promoter, Sauerland Events of Germany, might be open to it. But he thinks Povetkin trainer Teddy Atlas might be gumming up the wheels of progress.
"I think Atlas is unsure about Povetkin, about his potential," Gotzev says. "Povetkin has been stagnant for two years."
If not screamingly stagnant, then Povetkin has certainly been selective in his fighting frequency. He beat Chambers, and was granted the No. slot, and then journeyman Taurus Sykes in 2008, and top 25er Jason Estrada in April. Povetkin took out 27-1 Leon Nolan ten days ago, a solid scalping on surface, until you peruse Nolan's record and see that his won-loss record is built on spongy turf. TSS called Atlas and left a message asking for his side of the story, but hasn't heard back as of yet.
"If I was Povetkin's management, I'd take a fight with Sam, after all Sam lost to both Klitschkos," Gotzev said.
The 30-year-old Povetkin was supposed to fight Wlad in Dec. 2008, but had to beg off two months, with an injured ankle ligament. Gotzev thinks it's time for the 2004 super heavyweight gold medallist to prove he owns that No. ranking, and urges Sauerland and/or Atlas to call him.
"I want to see what Povetkin is made of," Gotzev says. "I think Teddy has cold feet with Povetkin. He knows his guy isn't ready. I would ask Teddy to put up or shut up. I'm tired of looking at his honeymoon photos taken with Povetkin. Just make an effin fight!"
And if Povetkin can't be lured into a scrum, what then?
"We'd like to take a shot at Arreola," Gotzev says. "His promoter Dan Goossen is probably shaking in his boots. HBO please make it happen. It would be bombs away."
Gotzev is looking to land Peter a slot on the Jan. 8 Friday Night Fights card.
---Gotzev signed Shannon Briggs three months ago. He's angling for a Briggs versus One Klitschko Or Another fight. The manager says he's not too concerned that Shannon was 272 for his Dec. 3 comeback fight against Marcus McGee in NYC. "He holds 270 well, and you have to know, he has lost a lot of weight to get there."
---Gotzev manages another heavyweight, 28-1 Ukrainian Oleg Platov. "He's a crowd pleaser with a killer instinct," Gotzev says of Platov, age 26. Ivaylo ain't lyin'. Check out the vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzmQV2btTtk...His best win is a SD over Henry Akinwande in 2006.
---Gotzev says we should keep an eye out for another one of his crew, 24-year-old Ukrainian Ismayl Sillakh (9-0, 8 KOs), a light heavyweight from the Ukraine. "He's a future superstar," Gotzev says.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?