It’s impossible for him to not think of home country — even if he’s the main event at The Paramount in Huntington.
“It’s hard,” Ukrianian boxer Oleh Dovhun told greaterlongisland.com. “I try to block it out in my mind but I think about it all the time.”
At 13-0, Dovhun dreams of being a world champion.
But focusing on boxing hasn’t been easy for the Ukrainian born fighter.
“All the time, I watch the news, but I have to focus on the fight,” he said. “I want to make the people happy. They want me to win tonight, so they can be happy for at least one night.”
Friday marked day 23 of Russia’s invasion into the Ukraine.
Dovhun’s family lives there.
“Every day, twice a day I call them… but now I focus on boxing,” he said. “I can’t be boxing war in Ukraine and the opponent.”
Dovhun began boxing in his hometown of Stebnyk, Ukraine, when he was 10 years old. At 13, he won the Ukrainian national championship.
Nicknamed the “Ukrainian Pitbull”, he takes on Geram Eloyan tonight in a 10-round NABA Super Bantamweight bout.
Dovhun is currently ranked No. 6 in WBA and says he wants to fight for a world championship in the next two years.
He said he will donate part of his purse money tonight towards the relief efforts in Ukraine.
But for now, he is focused on getting win number 14, and talking to his family after the fight.
“I fight for Ukranian people. For freedom.”
Doors open tonight at The Paramount at 7 p.m. The fight is part of Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing “Rockin’ Fights” series. Tickets can be purchased here.
Long Island fighters on the card
A few Long Island boxers will be on the fight card Friday night.
- Elmont’s Tyrone “Pretty Boy” James (11-0, 8 KOs) takes on Jimmy “Quiet Storm” Williams (New Haven, Conn., 18-6-2, 6 KOs). The two face-off in an eight-round bout for the ABO North America Super Welterweight Title.
- Huntington’s Wendy “Haitian Fire” Toussaint (12-2, 5 KOs) fights Travis Gambardella (Revere, Ma., 7-1-2, 3 KOs).
- Elmont’s Isaah Flaherty (2-0, 1 KO) fights Angelo Thompson (Newark, N.J., 0-1).
Top: Credit: Star Boxing