Any Good Footage Of Valery Abadzhyan??? The Man Who Sparked Out Lewis In The Ams

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by CooperKupp, Sep 9, 2023.

  1. CooperKupp

    CooperKupp This Town Needs An Anema!! Full Member

    Aug 28, 2022
    Apparently he knocked out Lennox Lewis in the amateurs!

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    Curious to see some fights of this guy! I’ve looked for highlights of him but haven’t found too much. Many of those old Soviet guys weren’t allowed to go pro and fight in the states back then. A shame. A lot of talent from over there.
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  2. Usyk Slickness

    Usyk Slickness P4P banned Full Member

    Aug 26, 2023
    Lewis certainly didn't have the best chin

    And it seems to be a very common theme. That all the so called great heavyweights, have losses to fighters from the Soviet Union in the amateurs. Such a shame they weren't able to turn pro, history would have been very different indeed!
  3. Barrf

    Barrf Well-Known Member Full Member

    Sep 19, 2021
    Please excuse my lack of cold war knowledge. Why couldn't the soviet guys turn pro? Was that a mandate from their government? Or would the licensing bodies not license them? Seems a shame either way, I'm sure the athletes themselves would have loved to compete.
  4. Journeyman92

    Journeyman92 Resident Gadfly Full Member

    Sep 22, 2021
    “So called” as if losing amateur fights determines greatness.
  5. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    The Soviet system was all about serving the state.

    And the state determined that it would not have pro athletes and they could instead stay amateur for their entire careers (being paid as soldiers or whatever and allowed to train full-time) and represent the country in the Olympics and world championships and such to bring the USSR more glory.

    They were also worried about defections: a world-class athlete who was allowed to compete professionally (in boxing or any other sport) would obviously travel abroad and they could lose some (maybe most) of their high-profile athletes to defections — they could leave to become citizens of the U.S. or anywhere else and make lots of money and live a more opulent lifestyle … which would fly in the face of the Soviet myth that all its citizens were happy and wanted to stay there rather than leave for the ‘decadent’ West.

    In short, it would send a bad message to the average Soviet citizen that athletes who had been held up as great examples of their ‘superior’ system might want out for a better life.

    The result makes things a bit lopsided in comparing Soviet ‘amateurs’ to ‘true’ amateurs from other parts of the world. You’d get 30-year-old ‘career amateurs’ with 300+ fights, many of them at the world level, as amateurs going up against relatively green competition who were mostly far less experienced and not mature physically yet — because a dominant Soviet middleweight (or whatever) could stay at or near the top of the amateur scene for years and years while the top guys from ‘free’ states would be turning pro by age 20 or so. Often it was men against boys.
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  6. Barrf

    Barrf Well-Known Member Full Member

    Sep 19, 2021
    Makes sense. Still unfortunate for the athletes themselves, who probably mostly just cared about their sport and not political crap.
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  7. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    I would like to see some training footage of Valery to compare it to that we have of Harry Greb.