It’s do or die for Russia’s Roman “Made In Hell” Karmazin.
With almost 50 pro fights tabulated and just turning 37, the former junior middleweight world champion knows a win is absolutely necessary.
“Absolutely this fight is all or nothing,” said Karmazin.
Karmazin (39-3-1, 25 KOs) meets Colombia’s Dionisio Miranda (20-4-2, 18 KOs) in an IBF middleweight title eliminator at the Glendale Civic Auditorium on Friday Jan. 8. The fight will be shown on ESPN2. The fight card is promoted by Art of Boxing Promotions and Bash Boxing.
Only recently has Karmazin ventured into the rugged middleweight division. His first foray into the 160-pound weight limit was against another veteran with experience and knowledge Bronco McKart.
“The reality is that it was a real tough fight. Going into the McKart fight after the first three rounds I told myself I’m in the ring with an extremely capable fighter,” said Karmazin about the fight that took place a little over a year ago at Hollywood Park Casino. “It was almost like a reality check.”
McKart, a left-hander, used every trick and angle in his vast repertoire to offset Karmazin’s volume punching and power. After an initial attack, Karmazin changed the pace of the fight and picking his shots more carefully. It was a tactical fight that saw both fighters use brainpower as much as manpower. In the end, Karmazin got the win.
“I’ve always said that’s it s a lot easier for me to fight a tough guy and aggressive fighter. It’s a lot tougher to fight a tricky fighter that pulls out all of the stuff,” said Karmazin regarding McKart. “He was a thinking fighter and I had to out think him more than just fighting an aggressive fighter. It lines up with my game plan a lot more.”
Next came hard-hitting middleweight slugger Antwun Echols. The one-punch knockout artist can blow out an opponent with a single punch. Karmazin got a taste of that power in the fifth round, but he rallied and stopped Echols in the seventh.
“I’m very realistic in everything I do in life. If I had stepped in the ring and wasnt successful, I would have stopped fighting,” said the Russian boxer about his come-from-behind win over Echols at the Playboy Mansion in March 2009. I felt comfortable and that’s why I continued fighting.”
A four round beating over Brazil’s Luiz Dos Santos last May has brought the former champion back to Southern California where he trains. Now he fights a Colombian called “Mr. Knockout” and he’ll be fighting in front of a fan base comprised of fellow Russians and Armenians.
Karmazin says that fighting at a heavier weight class has its advantages and disadvantages.
“Not much of any major differences. Probably that I was sometimes much bigger than anyone as a welterweight and junior middleweight. But here, in the middleweights, they’re much bigger than me, but I’m also faster. I’ve lost something in size but gained in a speed advantage,” Karmazin says.
He hopes to have a speed advantage over Colombia’s Miranda. Only a win is acceptable for the Russian boxer.
“I’ve seen one or two videos. What I saw was a real strong, tough fighter with a real dangerous right hand. That’s was predominately what I saw and something to be concerned about,” Karmazin said through a translator. “If it doesn’t turn out the way I wanted to, I can go away to the sunset.”
It’s a strong fight card that takes place in a town that for more than 60 years would not allow pro boxing to take place. Thanks to promoter Kahren Harutyunyan and Steve Bash the city that has a large Armenian population has now opened its doors to pro boxing.
The second Glendale fight card is a good one. Also on list of bouts will be Art Hovannesyan (10-0-1) in a lightweight battle with former world champion Freddie Norwood (43-3-1); heavyweight Andrey Fedosov (20-1) tangling with Lionel Butler (32-15-1); the return of Shibata Flores (43-10) after a seven-year absence from the ring facing Roberto Valenzuela (51-48-2) in a middleweight clash; light heavyweight Anatoli Dudchenko (7-2) meeting Isaac Atencio (2-1-1) and possibly two other bouts.
For tickets and information call (626) 388-8888.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?