Courtesy of boxrec.com
Although it seems like a life time ago Rocky 4 was almost a foretelling of what was to come in the boxing world. Prior to Ivan Drago, Rocky's rival in the movie, there was little really to make people think about Russian boxers taking over the boxing world.
Whilst the movie was fictional, it hasn't stopped the Russians (and Eastern Europeans in general) from making a mark on the boxing with a number of top fighters coming from Russia. One such fighter is Denis Grachev (13-1-1, 8) who has genuinely started to make his name in recent years.
Aged 30 Grachev first came to prominence in kick boxing where he compiled and excellent record and claimed various world titles. Since then however Grachev has turned his hand to both MMA and boxing.
It's as a boxer than Grachev has achieved major international fame thanks to televised fights from the US, Canada and Monaco which has seen him beating Zsolt Erdei and Ismayl Sillakh whilst suffering a controversial loss to former world champion Lucien Bute.
Despite his achievement in the ring, Grachev is probably getting more recognition for his new nickname, "Drago's Son" a name clearly taken from the aforementioned Rocky 4 character.
Movie goers amongst us may think that the only link between boxing and Adam Sandler movie "Happy Gilmore" is Carl Weathers. The actor who featured prominently in the "Rocky" series as "Apollo Creed" and also featured in "Happy Gilmore" (as "Chubbs Peterson"). We'd be wrong thanks to Russian Super Featherweight Evgeny Chuprakov (3-0, 2 at the time of writing).
The young Russian first made his name in his home country as an amateur at the turn of the decade when he fought in a number of low level competitions including the 208 Russian Junior National Championships. Sadly Chuprakov never really made a big splash in the amateurs and turned professional in 2011 aged just 21.
On debut Chuprakov in December 2011 stopped Ivan Varlamov inside 2 rounds before bagging his second win within a week as he out pointed Shavkat Madaminov just 4 days later.
Despite starting his career with 2 wins inside a week Chuprakov has only fought once since December 2011, scoring a 2nd round TKO victory over Suhrobjon Usmonov. He is now expected to return to the ring to face a yet to be announced opponent on January 24th.