They do still come to America to make it, to see for themselves if the streets are paved with gold…
He came to Detroit last October from Uzbekistan, and so I wondered, how has it been for 13-0 Shohjahon Ergashev?
“At first, it was challenging to be away from my family and friends. But I adjusted quickly, now I love it! The training is incredible and keeps me busy during the day. We go to Kronk at around 11 am, and at around 7 or 8 pm I go to run or do conditioning training not too far from my house. I live in the neighborhood called Oak Park, about 15 minutes away from the gym and downtown.”
The lefty 140 pounder is part of the Detroit boxing resurgence, and he boasts 12 KOs to his record. Yes, he’s acclimating to the American lifestyle.
“The stores are in walking distance and so is Starbucks, one of my favorite places,” said the hitter, promoted by Dmitriy Salita. “I came to the U.S. to train and become a great world champion. My focus every day is to get the best training so I can be in the best possible condition when I step in the ring.”
Training, tell me about training, please. What have you improved on? What can be improved, I asked.
“At the Kronk Gym I have sparring that has been very good,” he said. “My trainers are working on me using my jab and body punches but my goal is to score a knockout, I just can’t help it!”
“Shoh is a special fighter who has incredible punching power that I have seen not only in fights but in the gym with 16 ounce gloves against quality heavier fighters,” promoter Salita told me. “He has an incredible work ethic and has that special ingredient to be a star in the sport. What drives all of this is that he wants to fight the best most competitive fights to prove his point.”
On August 19, Ergashov, ranked No. 7 in the WBA, scored another stoppage, taking down 10-2-1 Juma Waswa in Moscow. He told the world he’d like a tango with ex-champ Brandon Rios next.
So, who else does he want to target?
“I want to fight the world champions and top rated contenders. Josh Taylor (No. 1 WBC), Regis Prograis (WBC sliver champ), Kiryl Relikh (WBA champ), I would love to get an opportunity to fight all those who are very good fighters but I believe my skills and power will dominate!”
“He is either going to fight in mid November or beginning of December,” Salita said on Friday. “He was born with power, most of his amateur wins over 150 have been by KO. Training in Detroit has helped him learn the finer points, much of the slickness, tricks, IQ that the general public hasn’t seen yet but it’s happening in the gym! He is a celebrity in Uzbekistan, has over 200,000 followers on Twitter, his wins and fights are mentioned in the national news…and when he fought in the US many Uzbekistan fans flew in from other countries and the US to see him fight!”
Sounds like this guy is on a roll, and we are advised to keep two eyes trained on him…