Egis Klimas isn't one of those guys known beyond the hardcore fight followers, but every month, he's getting his profile upped. The manager, who came to the US from Lithuania in 1989, helms Sergey Kovalev, and also Vasyl Lomachenko, and Evgeny Gradovich (19-0; from Russia; age 27).
Three champions, that's not to be sniffed at.
He also advises and steers other fighters, not as well known, but Klimas is busier these days hashing out bigger and bigger bouts with his name clients. He told TSS, during a Saturday press session to hype Kovalev's light heavy title defense against Blake Caparello in Atlantic City (and on HBO) on Saturday that he isn't sure what is next for his most impressive Ukrainian champ, Vasyl Lomachenko, who impressed mightily in his last outing, against Gary Russell Jr.
"I spoke with Top Rank and they will be speaking with HBO," Klimas said. "HBO people are going to Vegas for the Brandon Rios (vs. Diego Chaves) fight," he said, and he expects those parties to get some clarity on what's next for Loma then.
Does he have any preferences? "I would just say give him a defense, defend his title. Because he had two difficult fights, toe to toe."
But Loma isn't one of these new breed cherry pickers, so that makes things easier for Klimas. "I asked him what he wants to do next, and he said, 'I want number one. Give me number one."
The 26-year-old, who won two Olympic golds, now holds the WBO featherweight crown, and sports a 2-1 pro record. He debuted with a win over 25-3 Jose Ramirez last October, dropped a SD12 to ultra-vet Orlando Salido in March, and then drew across-the-board hurrays for his showing against the fleet-fisted Russell on June 21. Jhonny Gonzalez holds the WBC's feather crown, Nonito Donaire and Nicholas Walters have the WBA versions and Gradovich is the IBF champ at 126, if your are curious about ideas for consolidation in that division. (Regarding Gradovich, is from the same stock as Loma. Klimas reached out to him, asked him to furnish a couple names of guys he wants to fight. "Egis, I'm not going to give you names. Whoever Top Rank is going to give me, I'm going to fight," Gradovich told Klimas.)
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Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV