Tan lines to pot-bellies: Shock heavyweight pic stirs boxing license debate

Questions have been asked about the quality of boxing licensing around the world following a heavyweight photo posted recently.

The Ukrainian-based company Champion Boxing Promotions included promoter Serdar Avci making his fifth pro outing against debutant Vadym Shyika.

Avci vs Shyika took place on July 15th at the Champion Boxing Club.

But based on the weigh-in, you’d be hard-pressed to see how either fighter was licensed to participate in the heavyweight contest.

For his part, Avci is 35 years old and seems to be on a late mission to build a padded record. And don’t get me started on Shyika.

Making his first – and possibly last – fight in the paid ranks, the 20-year-old seemed more interested in working on his tan lines than competing.

Avci Heavyweight
Champion Boxing Promotions / Facebook

None-the-less, the pair scrapped on Wednesday and Avic predictably used his ten-pound weight advantage and experience of the situation to take out the hapless Shyika.

The farcical encounter was just another example of how our sport needs to tighten restrictions on who is allowed to compete.

It wasn’t the only questionable match-up on the bill, either.

There are far too many ‘boxers’ being given the opportunity to call themselves professional when they simply are not in the business to face any danger to their record.

No doubt that Avci will knock over a few debutants and fighters with losing records. But all in all, his career will be nothing to write about.


Should promoters really be charging the public for this kind of bout? – That is the big question.

Is it a case of ‘no harm done’ and it’s just for fun. Or is it a serious slant on boxing as a profession?

At the moment, basically any Tom, Dick, or Harry can enter a pro event. Boom, they are a professional boxer. It’s a crazy situation.

Not many other disciplines will allow anyone who can do the very basic of tasks allowed in the sport to have such a status.

Without being too harsh, it looked as though either hadn’t even trained. If they did, it was at the beach and possibly any fast food restaurant after that.

It’s just frustrating when our sport gets ridiculed for allowing such clashes to take place. We could see that kind of fight for free at a local bar.

Anyway, as with most controversial practices in boxing – especially at heavyweight – we are unlikely to see anything change anytime soon.

The views expressed in this article are that of the Editor, Phil Jay. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay