Tonight, on Saturday June 27th, Star Boxing's jr. middleweight contender Andrey Tsurkan (26- 4, 17KO) takes on 23-year-old up and coming prospect, and 2004 U.S. Olympian,Vanes "The Nightmare" Martirosyan (24-0, 15KO).
The pair clash on the undercard of Latin Fury 9, headlined by WBO super bantamweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez defending his title against Olivier Lontchi.
The card will take place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ and be broadcast live on Pay Per View.
For the 31-year-old Tsurkan, who hails from the rough streets of the Ukraine, but now lives in Brooklyn, NY, he will be entering into familiar territory when he steps into the ring against Martirosyan.
Tsurkan walked down this path before back in 2006 when he took on then highly touted Hector Camacho Jr., who at the time was 41-1-1, 23KO and a two to one betting favorite going into the fight.
Tsurkan, as he has shown time and time again, fought his heart out. He took the fight right to Camacho and as each round progressed you could see that Tsurkan was slowly but surely breaking Camacho down.
Finally in the 8th round Tsurkan began landing at will. With Camacho taking heavy punishment, and not returning any fire, the referee called a halt to the contest, giving Tsurkan his biggest win to date.
Fast forward three years and here we go again. Once again Tsurkan will be coming in as an underdog against a very highly touted prospect in Martirosyan.
Just like against Camacho, the fight will take place in Atlantic City at the Boardwalk Hall. The only question left to ask is will lightening strike twice for the Ukrainian? If you ask any member of Team Tsurkan the answer is a simple yes.
"I am very happy with the way our training camp has gone," stated Tsurkan's highly regarded trainer Mike Skowronski. Skowronkski currently has a nice stable of prospects out of his gym, including Tsurkan's Star Boxing stable-mates, heavyweight contender Vinny Maddalone (32-5, 23KO) and up and coming light heavyweight star Yathomas Riley (5-0, 3KO).
Skowronksi was also an intregal part in the career of former two-time world champion Arturo "Thunder" Gatti serving as a second and assistant trainer for almost all of Gatti's professional career.
This will be the third training camp for Tsurkan and Skowronski. Their first lead to an impressive victory over extremely tough, former world title challenger, Jesse Feliciano. The fight was shown live on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights".
Tsurkan, who is known for his come forward style, showed a much improved jab and boxing skills in his bout against Feliciano, eventually stopping him in the 8th round with a barrage of punches.
In their next fight together, Tsurkan was matched up against then undefeated jr. middleweight prospect Alfredo Angulo, on HBO's Boxing After Dark. Tsurkan was stopped in the tenth round, with just seconds remaining, against the hard punching Angulo, but put forth a warrior effort, never once hitting the canvas and choosing to stand toe-to-toe with Angulo for much of the entire fight.
"We knew going in that the Angulo fight was going to be really tough," stated Skowronski. "You can't take anything away from Angulo, he fought a great fight. I will say though that the training camp we have had for this fight has been much better. I expect a great fight out of Andrey come June 27th." .
Tsurkan voiced a much similar opinion as his trainer, and feels he will come out victorious once again when he enters the Boardwalk Hall.
"I feel great, I am ready to go," said Tsurkan. "I am getting all the sparring I can get. This has been one of the best training camps I have ever had. I have seen some footage of him (Martirosyan), and I can see he has some pretty good skills.
"At this stage of my career though, everyone I fight is going to have pretty good skills. One thing you can't teach or learn in boxing though is heart and I have heart, as you can see in my fights. When an opponent gets in the ring with me they know what type of fight they are in. I keep coming and keep putting pressure on you. Come June 27th we will see if he can withstand that pressure."
The bout is promoted by Top Rank, in association with Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing.