Vladimir Belujsky secures surprise shot at WBO rankings title THIS WEEKEND


Cork super middleweight Vladimir Belujsky [6(6)-1(0)-1] has secured a surprise tilt at a title this weekend.

This Saturday night [November 17th], the ‘Slovak Rebel’ will face unbeaten German James Kraft [14(9)-0-1] at the EWS Arena in Goeppingen near Stuttgart.

The ten-round fight will have the vacant WBO Youth super middleweight title and a win may lead to a Top 15 ranking with the organisation whose current champion, Zurdo Ramirez, sparred with Belujsky earlier this year.

21-year-old Kraft turned pro as a teenager at middleweight before moving to light heavyweight where he won the WBC Youth World title in 2016 following a third-round stoppage win over Hungarian journeyman Peter Orlick. Earlier this year the Munich puncher was held to a draw over eight by veteran Cameroonian gatekeeper Bernard Donfack.

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23-year-old Belujsky debuted last March with a draw versus English dangerman Anthony Fox and, following two wins, was defeated in the opening round of Ireland’s Last Man Standing by eventual winner Roy Sheahan – a tournament in which he was a late replacement.

The Mitchelstown-based boxer followed this up with three wins on the bounce before seeing a BUI Celtic middleweight title fight with Nick Quigley last month fall through after he suffered a minor break in his hand. Belujsky recovered quickly, and was out again earlier this month in Tijuana where he scored a third-round stoppage over Israel Ornelas in a scheduled eight-rounder, thus garnering him with title eligibility.

While the fight is being officially confirmed with just days to spare, it is understood that the bout has been under discussion for almost a month now.

It’s a massive opportunity and what looks to be a winnable fight for the power-punching Assassin Boxing man who had been expected to appear on the Ray Moylette Homecoming card next month but will instead roll the dice in Southern Germany.

The card this weekend is headlined by a cruiserweight clash which sees Germany’s Firat Arslan, at the age of 48, defend his WBO Inter-Continental belt against Albanian Sefer Seferi – Tyson Fury’s infamous comeback opponent.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie