When Ukraine native Lyubomyr Pinchuk enters the ring at New York’s Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady on Saturday likely on his mind will be his embattled homeland. He is worried over his family’s safety.
His father and mother still live in Lviv, Ukraine near the Polish border. The region has experienced some destruction as the war with Russia continues.
Still, it has not been as decimated as other parts of the nation. Many refugees have found their way to the city. His parents remain protected.
They just sleep wherever they can. They’re hiding from all of this war,” Pinchuk recently told the Times Union newspaper based in Albany, N.Y. “I guess [Lviv] is the safest city in Ukraine now.”
Pinchuk must overcome worries over his parents’ safety in order to face this weekend’s opponent: Simone Federici of Italy. Up for grabs is the WBC Continental Americas and NABA Gold Cruiserweight title.
After all, looking back, Pinchuk owes much of his boxing career to his father.
“My dad was addicted to boxing. He never did it himself, but he was always watching it,” Pinchuk revealed to the Times Union.
Pinchuk’s father told him at the age of seven, he could try boxing but warned it was going to be hard. At first, Pinchuk really did not like the sport.
I was like a little chubby kid. Next thing I knew he’s sending me to a gym and I had to be disciplined. Everyone was making fun of me, and I didn’t like to do any exercise at all,” Pinchuk recalled.
But his father kept on encouraging him to stick it out. And so he did. He left Ukraine five years ago to begin his boxing career in the US. Now, he is known by the nickname of Demolition Man.
In recent weeks, Pinchuk has been able to talk to his parents almost daily. His father is younger than 60, so the Ukrainian military might need him to join the fight, the newspaper said. So, he remains in the nation. Pinchuk’s mother will not leave Ukraine without her husband.
Boxing Is Sanctuary
Many times, training for boxing helps him to keep his mind off of the violence plaguing Ukraine.
As soon as I step into a gym, [being in a] gym helps a lot. It’s like a sanctuary …,” he told the Times Union. “My mind sets to training, to the fight.”
The 25-year-old stands 6-feet, 3-inches tall. He has a 14-2-1 record of wins, losses, and draws, and has eight knockouts.
Federici has a 18-2-1 record. He too has eight knockouts.
Saturday’s action represents the first time since September 2017 that professional boxing will be at Rivers Casino. It is presented by Star Boxing.
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