Followers of the sweet science tend to understand, after a few trips to the rodeos, that it isn't that wise to plan too far in advance in boxing.
What a difference a year can make….Fate can turn on that dime, one punch can change a chin, wreck a trajectory.
And things progress, consistently…but we sometimes forget that new ones, new mega-talent, will bubble up…because we are fixated on the status quo, and forget to remember that 12 months from now, it could all be different.
Which brings me to super middleweight Vladimir Shiskin; the 9-0 Russian is someone who his promoter believes will be in the mix to fight the top of the heap sorts of guys…soon.
“Shishkin is a blue chip contender,” promoter Dmitriy Salita told me of the 28 year old who bested DeAndre Ware on August 23.
“He is ready for the top guys in his weight class today as he has shown with his impressive performances. With only nine fights he is rated number twelve on BoxRec, higher than elites guys like David Benavidez, Anthony Dirrell and Peter Quillin.
“With training and fighting in the US his experience and profile will grow and boxing fans will see him as a real owner and threat to all the top guys in the division. Canelo is now hovering in the super middleweight, light heavyweight division, and in a year or so, that can be a huge fight. Shishkin is special, I'm very excited about his potential!”
I reached out to the esteemed Steve Farhood, who does analysis on the ShoBox programs, asked him what did he think of Shishkin, who snagged the TKO8 win over the 31-year-old foe, Ware? What was his take on the orthdox fighter and his effort in Oklahoma?
”Shishkin was very impressive against Ware, largely because of how quickly and thoroughly he discouraged Ware, both physically and mentally. Ware is a tough dude, and he was all but out of the fight after one round,” said Farhood.
What were his on display strengths and weakness, I asked Farhood.
“Shishkin has excellent footwork for a big guy (he’s 6’1”), and his jab and cross are formidable. Whether he can fight at close range is still to be determined, but he seems strong enough to do so. Added time in Detroit with trainer Sugar Hill Steward will undoubtedly benefit him greatly. He’s certainly one to watch.”
And what about the fighter…is he as optimistic as promoter Salita is?
“I am very happy right now, working with Salita Promotions (pic below, Shiskin poses with Salita) and being co-managed by Mark Taffet and Surge Management Group,” Shishkin said, through interpretation.
“Even though I have had less than 10 professional fights, I am ranked in the top 15 in the WBC and WBA already. I won 301 amateur fights and have been working hard for years to progress to the top level of the sport. My last two fights were victories over a veteran fighter Nadjib Mohammedi and an excellent fighter in Deandre Ware – those victories have taught me a lot and prepared me for the top fighters in the division. I watched and admired the best in my division — Andre Ward, Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin – for many of their fights. I want to follow in their footsteps of greatness, and I believe I can step in the ring and be successful with fighters like Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and Rocky Fielding within the next year. And it would be my dream to fight Canelo Alvarez for a world title sometime in the next year or two. I love boxing, and I will do whatever it takes to realize my dreams of being a great champion in this sport.”