NEWS ON: Mohammedi, Lepikhin

Nadjib-Mohammedi

Training Camp Notes: Nadjib Mohammedi

A Simple Twist of Fate and “The Algerian Assassin” is now Working with World Renowned Trainer, Abel Sanchez, While He Patiently Waits to Face the Winner of Kovalev-Pascal

Big Bear Lake, CA:

On March 14, Nadjib “The Algerian Assassin” Mohammedi (36-3, 22 KOs) will face Lee Campbell (8-1, 4 KOs) on the undercard of the Kovalev-Pascal fight in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. A roller coaster of events that brought him to this place in his career. When Nadjib defeated Anatoliy Dudchenko to secure the #1 position in the IBF, he thought his next opponent would be Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins as Hopkins' mandatory challenger. When Hopkins decided to face Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev in a unification fight for the WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight Championships, Mohammedi agreed to fight on the Hopkins-Kovalev undercard and wait to face the winner.

Vince Caruso, Nadjib's manager said, “I told him to let Sergey win all three titles and then take the bigger fight with Kovalev. We knew defeating a 50 year old fighter would not be as prestigious as defeating the hardest puncher in boxing.”

When Mohammedi arrived in New Jersey ahead of his fight with Demetrius Walker on November 8, he found out that his trainer was unable to get to the United States. Nadjib and his team scrambled to someone to work his corner. As fate would have it, legendary trainer Abel Sanchez was in town working with fellow light heavyweight Sullivan Barrera. Abel agreed to work Mohammedi's corner. Mohammedi stopped Walker in the first round. Vince said, “Nadjib was ecstatic with Abel at that fight.”

After the fight, Sanchez became Mohammedi's head trainer. Although Nadjib was eager to fight Kovalev, the newly crowned unified champion, both he and Abel knew they would benefit from more time together before taking on such a challenge. So, when Main Events sought a special exception from the IBF to allow Kovalev to fight Jean Pascal on March 14, the 29-year old from Gardanne, Bouches-du-Rhône, France once again agreed to wait.

According to Sanchez, “I am glad that they did it because it gives us time to adjust to one another. That is the business part of it and they handle that. I'm the coach. They confer with me obviously but it does give us more time and another training camp to be ready for the winner.” He added, “I have a different method from other coaches, so I think it took a little time for adjustment. But I think he now understands my philosophy and my style of training now. Everyone around him here in Big Bear is doing the same hard work that he is starting to do now. He is adjusting to the lifestyle. He likes that everyone around him is working just as hard as he is and he isn't the only one.”

Nadjib added, “For me, working with Abel is going very well. He has changed my life. I get to work with very many good fighters. The team is very good and I want to face Kovalev next in America. Kovalev is the best light heavyweight right now and I only want to face the best. I only have one trajectory, the victory.”

When asked about the game plan for Lee Campbell on March 14 in Canada, Sanchez said, “I've always trained my guys to do what we do best and Lee Campbell is going to have to adjust to us. If we start trying to adapt to some opponent then we aren't being 100% ourselves. We have to take Nadjib's pluses and improve on them and also work on his minuses. Most of all we need to work on his pluses because we have only had one training camp so it is not much time to change anything.”

Vasily-Lepikhin

Training Camp Notes: Vasily Lepikhin

Less Than a Year After His US Debut Lepikhin Signed a Co-Promotional Deal With Interbox and Landed the Opening Slot on the Kovalev-Pascal HBO World Championship Boxing® Telecast

Oxnard, CA:

As Vasily “The Professor” Lepikhin (17-0, 9 KOs) prepares to face Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (23-2-2, 10 KOs) for the NABF Light Heavyweight Title on March 14 in the opening bout of the Kovalev-Pascal HBO World Championship Boxing® telecast he cannot help to reflect on his career thus far.

The common misconception is that Lepikhin earned the nickname, “The Professor” while attending university in his hometown of Gelendzhik, Russia. Although he does have two degrees, one in sports (similar to a US degree in athletic training) and one in management, he was coined “The Professor” when he made his professional debut back in 2005 at the age of 19. He explained, “When I had my pro debut in Russia, the promoter of the show thought I was so smart in the ring he said I was a professor of boxing. From that point on I was known professionally as 'The Professor.'”

Berridg-LepikhinBerridge & Lepikhin

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

The undefeated Lepikhin has had a stellar career so far. He has an impressive 53% (9 of 17) knockout-to win ratio with the majority of his fights taking place in his home country of Russia. He made his US debut back in August of 2014 with an impressive fifth round stoppage of Robert Berridge of New Zealand to secure the PABA and WBO Oriental Light Heavyweight Titles. Shortly after the fight Lepikhin and his promoter, German Titov of German Titov Promotions, signed a co-promotional agreement with Main Events.

Lepikhin-JuniorLepikhin & Junior

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

In November, he returned to the US to face Brazilian Jackson Junior. Lepikhin appeared to struggle against Junior but still managed to secure the ten-round unanimous decision victory. He explained, “In my last fight I arrived to Pennsylvania and got very sick. I went into the ring sick.”

For this upcoming fight Lepikhin and his camp traveled from Russia to Oxnard, CA on February 21 to finish out the remainder of his training camp in the United States. “I came to Oxnard so I could adjust to the time difference and to get in a little sparring before heading to Canada,” said Vasily.

 Igor,-Vasily-and-Andrey-Lepikhin

Igor, Vasily and Andrey Lepikhin

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

For Lepikhin, boxing is a family affair. He is trained by his father, Andrey Lepikhin, the same trainer that also trains fellow Main Events' stable mate, middleweight Dmitry Mikhaylenko. His brother, Igor Lepikhin, will also work his corner for him on March 14 when he faces Chilemba in Canada. Vasily said, “I love training with my father. I love every single minute of it. It is great for me because I get to work with my family.”

Early in 2015 Lepikhin, Main Events and German Titov Promotions were approached about joining forces with Interbox to co-promote Lepikhin and add a fight between Vasily and Isaac Chilemba to the HBO World Championship Boxing® telecast. Lepikhin said, “I am very excited about fighting on HBO and this new opportunity with Interbox. I am looking forward to showcasing my skills on this large international scale.”

The fight with Chilemba, who is currently ranked #2 in the IBF, will be a ten-round fight for the NABF Light Heavyweight Title. When asked about the fight with Chilemba, Lepikhin said, “I think Chilemba is a very good, experienced fighter. It is going to be a very good bout.” His father/trainer added, “We travelled a long road to get to this point. We are very, very happy to finally be here. We are ready.”

About Kovalev vs. Pascal

Kovalev vs. Pascal is a 12-round fight for the WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Championship Titles. The fight will be televised as part of a live triple header on HBO World Championship Boxing® Saturday, March 14 from the Centre Bell in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Tickets are on sale now at the Centre Bell ticket office, at www.evenko.ca, by telephone at 1-855-310-2525 or through Club de Boxe Champion 514-376-0980. This event is a co-promotion of Main Events and InterBox, presented by Vidéotron in association with Mise-O-Jeu.

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