One of the best things about boxing is the way it is a wide-open sport. Barriers to entry can be low, and if you are talented, no matter where you come from, no matter how humble your origins, you will be welcomed with opened arms.
As a journo-fan, I enjoy meeting athletes from other nations, and appreciate that it makes me a better person, because it allows me to get a sense of things outside my narrow sphere.
For instance…Alex Miskirtchian headlines a fight card on Tuesday, in Brooklyn, in Coney Island.
He hails from Armenia, and will be on a card featuring folks from all over the planet. Dmitriy Salita, the promoter, himself comes from the Ukraine, and calls Brooklyn home. He’s open minded to finding talent from everywhere and that is reflected on the fight promotions he puts together.
I hit Miskirtchian with some queries to get a better sense of who he is, and what he brings to the table on Aug. 25: “My background is Armenian, and I was born in Georgia in 1985,” he told me. “I moved to Belgium in 2001, at the age of 16, with my mother and my little brother. I still live there…I’m married with two kids.”
Tell me, how and why did you get into boxing? “I always loved boxing and that’s what I have been dedicating my life to that discipline since I was a teenager.”
The 25-3-1 (9 KOs) featherweight will take Cornelius Lock and needs to get past him to get another ttitle shot. He fell short when he tangled with Evgeny Gradovich last year.
“Boxing taught me respect for people, and to be able to face any kind of difficulties. I started to box in Georgia at age 9 and I fell in love with it!”
The 29-year-old came to California in 2012, to train, and is aligned with a good one, coach Edmund Tarverdyan, hitting coach for Ronda Rousey. He tells me he misses his family, especially his kids, and that’s one element of the life of many foreign fighters which I think demands our respect. The sacrifice they undergo can be considerable…
Alex says that he enjoys fighting in the US. “The fighting style here is very intense, strong, quick and hard, which I like,” he said.
He is especially amped to be fighting on this “Brooklyn Brawl,” the popular series Salita started two years ago. “Fighting in New York is a big challenge for me. I want to thank my promoters for giving me that opportunity. And as for a prediction…it’s going to be a big surprise!”
The promoter filled me in some more on Miskirtchian. “Alex trains in LA for his serious fights, he gets good training and world class boxing,” Salita said. “He is a star in Georgia and Armenia where his fights are televised on TV. He took the fight with (then IBF feather champ) Gradovich on short notice and gave him a very good fight, dropping Gradovich in the sixth round.” Gradovich took a UD12 that night.
“He is ready to fight all the current world champions with sufficient time to prepare, and he and his team are very confident that he will be victorious against today’s champions like Lee Selby and Gary Russell Jr.”
Salita knows that the local community will be out in droves to see one of their own do his thing Tuesday. “Alex is very excited to fight in the world headquarters for boxing, NYC, where he will have many followers from the Russian-speaking community. Also, many of his fans will make the cross-Atlantic trip and be by his side at MCU Park, home to the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team, on August 25th!”