An adopted son of Cork will return to the ring on Saturday December 2nd as he looks to build on a big win that has gotten people in Irish boxing circles talking.
Talented 22 year old Vladimir Belujsky will fight in Dublin on the massive Celtic Clash 4 card – the largest in Irish boxing history – at the National Stadium. Headlining the bill will be former top amateur and RTÉ pundit Eric Donovan who defends his BUI Celtic featherweight title against Juancho Gonzalez, while there is a local grudge match between Dubliners Crank Whitehouse and Jay Byrne for the BUI Celtic welterweight belt.
Originally from Slovakia, Belujsky has been living in Mitchelstown for the past decade. While here, the Bratislava super middleweight had over 80 fights with Togher BC and had hoped to represent the country of his birth at the 2016 Olympics. Belujsky looked like he would get the opportunity, beating the reigning Slovak champion at the Olympic Team Trials, however ‘politics’ intervened and he was unfairly overlooked. To add further insult, the boxer chosen, already beaten by Belujsky, did not even attend the Olympic qualifiers due to anti-doping violations
Undeterred, ‘The Slovak Rebel’ Belujsky made the big move to the pro game last year, signing with English outfit Assassin Boxing – however he got off to a rocky start. Back in March at the Connaught Rooms in London, Belujsky was held to a four-round draw on his debut by notably tough journeyman Anthony Fox. The grounded CIT graduate however did let the debut disappointment derail him.
He recalled how “I think, and everybody thinks, that I did enough to win but it doesn’t matter now. I should have made more effort in making the decision a lot more clear – or not leave the fight to go the distance. I’ve learnt so much from it and I am happy that it happened so early in my career because I can only get better. I am definitely over it and I put it behind me but, of course, I look back on it to motivate me to do better.”
While fight number one didn’t go to plan, fight number two certainly did. Here, last month at the National Stadium, Belujsky went up against Dublin-Dominican Manny Bique – a shockingly tough match-up for one’s second fight. The Leesider though grabbed his opportunity with both gloves, knocking Bique out heavily in the second round, a result he had privately predicted beforehand.
A statement-making performance, Belujsky notes how “it was a special moment for me getting my first win, and to do in Dublin made it even better. I got great support and I couldn’t let people down. Even though people said it was 50-50 fight, I was never going to lose. I actually have messages to my promoter saying ‘second round knockout, TKO, it’s going to happen’ and it happened exactly as I predicted”
Before the sensational knockout, Belujsky had been getting in some confidence-boosting, world class sparring with none other than Chris Eubank Jr, and the son of a legend had some complimentary things to say about the Cork prospect. Belujsky revealed how “I didn’t expect it off Eubank but he said ‘you punch so hard, you’ve sting behind your shots’ and that got me thinking that maybe I do punch hard! It was a great opportunity to share the ring with a top fighter like Eubank. He was helping me with my own preparation, and I was helping him for his own fight.”
With the sparring, Belujsky is already building a reputation around gyms and his manager Kaz Evans is delighted with the talent he has on his hands. The Assassin Boxing boss described how “Vlad is a top top talent, and he is still only 22. He is very exciting to watch and I think he can be a big star. Vladimir is one of the most dedicated boxers I have worked with. He is not in boxing for easy fights, and relishes 50/50 fights. After a stop start introduction to the paid ranks, he has his mojo back and the confidence is flowing. We have to keep him busy and there is no better place than Dublin for him to put on another top performance. Hopefully we go into the Christmas break as 2-0, and we can look forward to a huge 2018.”
Now Belujsky is focused on fight number three and rounding off his first year as a pro with a bang. Fighting at home is important for the proud youngster and he explained how “I sat down with my management team after the last fight, and they had a date of November 25th for me in Portsmouth. After much deliberation, we all felt it was right to make the most of a great show in Dublin on December 2nd and get the exposure in Ireland on a top card. The support I got last time out was fantastic. I’m hoping for more of the same this time around, and I will put on another great performance.”
“I’ve good amateur background and I think for me to fight lesser opposition it brings me back, I don’t need to do that. If you’re fighting at a high level in the amateurs you should be able to jump into a good level as a pro. I want the big fights. I know how good I am, added to that my work ethic, I know how far I can go in the sport. I don’t want to waste any time. I just want to get up there because I’m well able for it.”
Celtic Clash 4 also features Cork’s Colin O’Donovan, as well as John Joyce, Jake Hanney, Regan Buckley, Stephen McAfee, James Cahill, Martin Quinn, Dylan McDonagh, Craig O’Brien, Thomas Finnegan, and Niall O’Connor.
Tickets for the card cost €30, €40, €60, and €100 and can be purchased from Vladimir at 085 769 3763 or via Ticketmaster.