New Faces: Fiodor Czerkaszyn
Born: Kharkiv, Ukraine
Hometown: Warsaw, Poland
Weight class: Middleweight
Height/ Reach: 6-foot-0 (183 cm) / 72′ (183 cm)
Amateur record: No amateur experience
Turned pro: 2015
Pro record: 18-0 (12 knockouts)
Trainer: Andrzej Liczik
Manager: No manager
Promoter: KnockOut Promotions
Best night of pro career and why: Czerkaszyn is most pleased with a 10-round unanimous decision shutout over a world-rated opponent in Rzesow, Poland in 2019.
“When I signed a [promotional] contract with Andrzej Wasilewski, my career has started to improve,” Czerkaszyn told The Ring through Jacek Szelagowski. “I had a fight with a Wes Capper from Australia. It was my first 10 rounder. It was good experience for me.”
Worst night of pro career and why: Early in his career he learnt a valuable lesson that has since stood him in good stead.
“I started my professional boxing career in 2015 and I remember my fifth fight in Monaco,” Czerkaszyn said. “I had problems with preparation and making weight. I won that fight by [six-round] unanimous decision, but it was physically hard fight for me. After that I started to make weight the right way.”
What’s Next: The 25-year-old had been due to face once-beaten Oziel Santoyo, however, late last week he was replaced by Gonzalo Coria (18-4, 7 KOs). The fight will take place in Nosalowy Dwór, Zakopane, Poland.
Coria turned professional in 2016. He lost early on in the notoriously difficult Argentinean circuit but rebounded to beat 2016 Olympian Alberto Palmetta (KO 5). Coria dropped decisions to Artur Akavov (UD 10) and Francisco Torres (UD 10) and was stopped by world-rated Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (KO 2). He has since won two fights at home.
The Argentinean should provide Czerkaszyn with rounds.
Why he’s a prospect: Czerkaszyn didn’t box as an amateur but had plenty of other combat sport experience. He had over 350 kickboxing and Muay Thai contests and took part in 20 professional bouts, winning national, European and world championships along the way.
“I started training boxing in 2014 because I wanted to try something new,” Czerkaszyn said. “I turned pro few months later. I love boxing and I want to succeed in it.”
Since making the transition he has gained valuable experience sparring English trio, Mark Heffron, Zach Parker and former world champion Callum Smith. He also sparred with 2020 Olympic silver medalist Oleksandr Khyzhniak, former world title challenger Kamil Szeremeta and, when he was younger, the reigning unified heavyweight titleholder Oleksandr Usyk.
The Ukrainian-born fighter believes that he’s very adept at finding an opponent’s weaknesses. “I think I can anticipate my opponent’s moves quite well and react the right way,” he said. “I guess it’s a part of my martial arts experience.”
Czerkaszyn’s trainer, Andrzej Liczik, believes his fighter has considerable upside.
“I think Fiodor has natural boxing talent,” said Liczik. “He moves very well, punches easily from every angle and he loves to learn new things – it’s very important.”
His promoter, Andrew Wasilewski of KnockOut Promotions, is also very high on the young fighter.
“I think Fiodor is the great talent and really fantastic guy to work with,” said Wasilewski “He’s motivated, humble, ambitious. I’m sure he’s able to achieve great things in the sport.
“Our plan was to introduce him to American public this year. He was to fight on the [Jaime] Munguia-[Kamil] Szeremeta undercard, but we had some visa issues. Now everything is good, so we hope he’ll fight in the U.S soon.”
Perhaps he could take aim at the European title in 2022.
Why he’s a suspect: Czerkaszyn has taken huge steps since making the transition to pro-boxing, but it’s a long process to gain the requisite experience.
He appears to have the natural ability to make a big impression and is driven to succeed as illustrated by traveling for sparring.
Czerkaszyn is eager to learn and knows he’s far from the finished product.
“I think that defense is the part of boxing which you need to improve all the time,” he said. “Recently I’ve been working on timing with my new coach. I hope to improve this skill. I have a great team around me and I feel I’m getting better with every fight.”
Liczik and Czerkaszyn have only worked together for one fight.
“I’m happy with what I see in the gym,” said the trainer. “Right now, we’re working on his timing and on using his power properly.”
Storylines: Czerkaszyn was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine. As a child he was inspired by Jean-Claude Van Damme and his father took him to kickboxing. He began training around the age of six or seven.
“I didn’t spend a lot of time on the streets with my friends because I was a disciplined child,” Czerkaszyn said. “I spent a lot of time in training [at the] gym and training camps.
“I wanted to be a professional boxer in a good team. I heard about KnockOut Promotions, the biggest promotion in Central Europe. They had good coach Fiodor Lapin and world champions Krzysztof Włodarczyk and Krzysztof Głowacki.
“I decided to take my chance and went to Warsaw. I asked if I could spar with their fighters and trainer Lapin agreed. I think I did well. Eventually I signed my pro contract with KnockOut Promotions.
“Later I applied for Polish citizenship because my grandmother was Polish and I got it. So, now I live in Poland.”
The young prospect looks up to three boxers in particular.
“When I started boxing, I was inspired by Floyd Mayweather because of his boxing IQ, Vasyl Lomachenko because of his footwork and his boxing technique, Kostya Tszyu because of his timing,” Czerkaszyn explained. “I try to take something from everyone. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
The rising fighter has lofty long-term goals and is taking aim at one boxer in particular.
“[I want to] become a world champion,” Czerkaszyn said. “I want to fight on top level in my weight category. Let’s start with Jaime Munguia. Boxing is popular in Poland and Ukraine and I want to be an example for young people who start their sport careers.”
Czerkaszyn lives in Warsaw with his wife, and during his down time he enjoys traveling and visiting new places and experiencing different cultures. He likes to visit his friends back in Kharkiv and goes fishing with them. He also enjoys extreme sports and has jumped 120 meters on a Bungee rope and took part in parachute jumping.
July 17 – Damian Bonelli – TKO 1
Mar. 27 – Javier Maciel UD 10
Mar. 7 – Patrick Mendy – KO 7
Nov. 30 – Mathias Eklund TKO 3
Oct. 26 – Guido Pitto – TKO 1
July 6 – Wes Capper – UD 10
March 23 – Kassim Ouma – TKO 2
Oct. 6 – Bartlomiej Grafka – UD 8
June 2 – Ayoub Nefzi – TKO 2
May 12 – Daniel Urbanski – KO 1
Feb. 10 – Artem Karasev – KO 1
Feb. 20 – Nadzir Bakhshyieu – RTD 4
Dec. 21 – Anton Rusak – PTS 6
Oct. 2 – Victor Garcia – UD 6
July 31 – Yuriy Tkachenko – RTD 5
July 10 – Mikalai Shaplou – KO 1
May 21 – Oleksandr Kovaliov – KO 1
May 9 – Konstantin Alexandrov – UD 6