Vassiliy Jirov

Last updated
Vassiliy Jirov
Stamp of Kazakhstan 523.jpg
Jirov on a Kazakhstani postage stamp
Statistics
Real nameVassiliy Valeryevich Jirov
Nickname(s)The Tiger
Weight(s)
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Reach188 cm (74 in)
Nationality Kazakhstani
Born (1974-04-04) 4 April 1974 (age 46)
Balkhash, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union (now Kazakhstan)
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights42
Wins38
Wins by KO32
Losses3
Draws1

Vassiliy Valeryevich Jirov (Russian : Васи́лий Вале́рьевич Жи́ров; born 4 April 1974), sometimes known as Vasily Zhirov, is a Kazakhstani former professional boxer who competed from 1997 to 2009, and held the IBF cruiserweight title from 1999 to 2003. [1] As an amateur he won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics, [2] as well as consecutive bronzes at the 1993 and 1995 World Championships, all in the light heavyweight division.

Contents

Amateur career

Jirov took up boxing in 1986 when he was 12, studying at the Balkhash Technical School. His first coach was Alexander Apachinsky (Merited Trainer of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Master of Sports of the USSR). Jirov later recalled that:

I came to boxing after seeing the movie " Rocky ", I was eager to be like Rocky. The first time in the ring was painful, I welcomed punches, there were bruises. I said that I will go through it, after all it's not so painful, not so sad, it could make life better. My first coach Alexander Ivanovich Apachinsky wanted me to grow up not just a boxer, but to grow up a man. He helped me doing that. He was a tough man, but if you look at life, at that energy of life, its pressure would simply eat you up. He taught me to go all the way, no matter what.

From 1989 to 1991, he became the champion of the Kazakh SSR three times in a row. In 1990 he became the champion of the All-Union Spartakiad of Young Students (4 fights, 4 victories, Moscow,) and also won the USSR Youth Championship (4 fights, 4 victories, Donetsk,) received a degree of Master of Sports of the USSR in boxing.

In 1991, Jirov, who was yet at the junior age class, didn't win the USSR Championship in Saratov (4 fights, 3 wins, 2nd place,) however he received an invitation to the USSR youth team.

In 1994, Vassiliy moved to the light heavyweight division (up to 81 kg.)

In December 1996, Jirov travelled to the United States, where he signed a contract with boxing promoter Bob Arum and began his career as a professional boxer.

Highlights

Jirov was awarded the Val Barker Trophy for outstanding performance at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

He finished his amateur career having 217 fights under his belt, with a record of 207 wins, 10 losses (no stoppages.)

Professional career

Jirov made his debut as a professional on 18 January 1997, with a two-round knockout of Vince Brown in Las Vegas. He won eleven fights that first year, all by knockout, including wins over Exum Speight and Art Jimmerson. In 1998, he won eight fights, six before the final bell. On 5 May he won the WBC's regional cruiserweight title with a 12-round decision over Rich La Montaigne, who became the first boxer to last the full distance against Jirov. On 5 December he once again fought in Ukrainian territory. In his first fight as a professional in Ukraine, he beat Alexander Vasiliev in Kyiv by decision in eight rounds.

IBF cruiserweight champion

In 1999, Jirov was given his first world title try: In front of an HBO Boxing audience, he beat IBF world Cruiserweight champion Arthur Williams by a knockout in seven rounds at Biloxi, Mississippi, to become that organization's world cruiserweight champion.

For his first defense, he fought at the main supportive event at the Felix Trinidad-Oscar De La Hoya undercard on 18 September, retaining the crown with a ten-round knockout of Canadian Dale Brown.

In 2000, he beat Saul Montana by knockout in round nine to retain the world title on an Univision televised fight, and won two non-title bouts, including one over Esteban Pizarro at the Playboy mansion.

On 6 February 2001, Jirov went to Kazakhstan to defend his crown in his home-country for the first time. There, he retained the title with a first-round knockout of Álex González. He won three more fights that year, one a world title affair against Julian Letterlough (knockout win in 8).

In 2002 Jirov, then managed by the Sugar Ray Leonard promotion company, defended his crown once that year, beating former world Middleweight champion Jorge Castro of Argentina by a 12-round decision on 1 February at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix. Talks had begun about a fight of his against former multiple division world champion James Toney. However, negotiations took long and Jirov spent more than one year outside the ring, time in which the IBF threatened to take away recognition of Jirov as world champion if he did not defend his crown soon. As a result of these managerial problems, Jirov also moved from the SAR club gym, favored by his management, to Joe Diaz's Gym, near Downtown Phoenix.

Losing the title to Toney

Jirov and Toney finally met on 26 April 2003, and Jirov suffered his first career defeat, when he lost the IBF cruiserweight title to Toney by a 12-round unanimous decision. On 9 August Jirov came back, beating fringe contender Ernest Mateen by knockout in seven rounds.

On 6 November 2003 he won the NABO regional cruiserweight title with a six-round knockout of Joseph Kiwanuka in Phoenix. Jirov's next fight was against ex-heavyweight champion, Michael Moorer. Jirov was beaten by Moorer via TKO in the ninth round. Over the next six months, Jirov defeated Forrest Neal by knockout in round 3 and defeated Troy Beats by unanimous decision. His next fight was against former heavyweight and cruiserweight contender Orlin Norris. Jirov and Norris fought to a draw.

In his first return bout to the cruiserweight division (April 20, 2006) he defeated Luke Munsen in a unanimous decision.

On 14 July 2007 Jirov defeated Kenny 'The Raven' Craven by TKO in second round of 10 round scheduled bout.

As a heavyweight, Jirov also lost to Joe Mesi by unanimous decision, after throwing a blow to Mesi that resulted in subdural bleeding near the fight's end. It also marked the downturn in Jirov's fighting career, and after a few more fights, he retired in 2009.

Post-fight career in boxing

Jirov lives in Arizona and works at the Scottsdale Boxing Club as a coach. Reflecting on his time as a fighter, Jirov said: “I travelled the world, got paid and kicked some ass.” [3]

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
42 fights38 wins3 losses
By knockout321
By decision62
Draws1
No.ResultRecordOpponentTypeRound, timeDateLocationNotes
42Win38–3–1 Flag of the United States.svg Jonathan WilliamsTKO2 (10), 2:5217 Oct 2009 Flag of the United States.svg Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona, US
41Win37–3–1 Flag of the United States.svg Kenny CravenTKO2 (10), 2:1814 Jul 2007 Flag of the United States.svg 4 Bears Casino & Lodge, New Town, North Dakota, US
40Win36–3–1 Flag of the United States.svg Luke MunsenUD1020 Apr 2006 Flag of the United States.svg Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort Hotel, Worley, Idaho, US
39Draw35–3–1 Flag of the United States.svg Orlin Norris MD821 Jul 2005 Flag of the United States.svg Palace Indian Gaming Center, Lemoore, California, US
38Win35–3 Flag of the United States.svg Troy BeetsUD1014 May 2005 Flag of the United States.svg Coushatta Casino Resort, Kinder, Louisiana, US
37Win34–3 Flag of the United States.svg Forrest NealTKO3 (10), 1:107 Apr 2005 Flag of the United States.svg Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, US
36Loss33–3 Flag of the United States.svg Michael Moorer TKO9 (12), 2:089 Dec 2004 Flag of the United States.svg Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, USFor vacant WBA North American, WBA–NABA, and WBC Continental Americas heavyweight titles
35Loss33–2 Flag of the United States.svg Joe Mesi UD1013 Mar 2004 Flag of the United States.svg Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, US
34Win33–1 Flag of Uganda.svg Joseph KiwanukaRTD6 (12), 3:006 Nov 2003 Flag of the United States.svg Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona, USWon vacant WBONABO cruiserweight title
33Win32–1 Flag of the United States.svg Ernest Mateen TKO7 (10), 1:097 Aug 2003 Flag of the United States.svg Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, US
32Loss31–1 Flag of the United States.svg James Toney UD1226 Apr 2003 Flag of the United States.svg Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, USLost IBF cruiserweight title
31Win31–0 Flag of Argentina.svg Jorge Castro UD121 Feb 2002 Flag of the United States.svg Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona, USRetained IBF cruiserweight title
30Win30–0 Flag of the United States.svg Julian Letterlough TKO8 (12), 1:248 Sep 2001 Flag of the United States.svg Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada, USRetained IBF cruiserweight title
29Win29–0 Flag of the United States.svg Adolpho Washington UD1020 Jul 2001 Flag of the United States.svg Memorial Civic Center, Canton, Ohio, US
28Win28–0 Flag of the United States.svg Terry McGroom KO1 (12), 1:2224 Mar 2001 Flag of the United States.svg MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, USRetained IBF cruiserweight title
27Win27–0 Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Alex GonzalesKO1 (12), 1:356 Feb 2001 Flag of Kazakhstan.svg Baluan Sholak Sports Palace, Almaty, KazakhstanRetained IBF cruiserweight title
26Win26–0 Flag of the United States.svg Earl ButlerTKO2 (10), 2:3529 Jul 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona, US
25Win25–0 Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Esteban PizzarroKO2 (10), 2:5919 May 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Playboy Mansion, Los Angeles, California, US
24Win24–0 Flag of the United States.svg Don NormandTKO125 Mar 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Seven Feathers Casino Resort, Canyonville, Oregon, US
23Win23–0 Flag of Mexico.svg Saúl Montana TKO9 (12), 2:5512 Feb 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Bank of America Centre, Boise, Idaho, USRetained IBF cruiserweight title
22Win22–0 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Dale Brown KO10 (12), 2:52 18 Sep 1999 Flag of the United States.svg Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, US
21Win21–0 Flag of the United States.svg Arthur Williams TKO7 (12), 1:595 Jun 1999 Flag of the United States.svg Grand Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, USWon IBF cruiserweight title
20Win20–0 Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg Onebo MaximeKO5 (12), 2:4822 Apr 1999 Flag of the United States.svg Hilton Anatole, Dallas, Texas, USWon vacant WBC Continental Americas cruiserweight title
19Win19–0 Flag of Mexico.svg Cesar RendonKO1 (8), 0:256 Mar 1999 Flag of the United States.svg Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, US
18Win18–0 Flag of Russia.svg Alexander VasilievUD85 Dec 1998 Flag of Ukraine.svg Palace of Sports, Kyiv, Ukraine
17Win17–0 Flag of the United States.svg John KiserTKO8 (10), 0:433 Oct 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, US
16Win16–0 Flag of the United States.svg Cliff NellonTKO3 (8), 2:226 Aug 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Grand Casino Avoyelles, Marksville, Louisiana, US
15Win15–0 Flag of the United States.svg Rich LaMontagneUD125 May 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Grand Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, USWon vacant WBC International cruiserweight title
14Win14–0 Flag of the United States.svg Jason WallerTKO1, 2:0014 Mar 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US
13Win13–0 Flag of the United States.svg Trent SurrattTKO2 (8), 2:5810 Feb 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Midnight Rodeo, Phoenix, Arizona, US
12Win12–0 Flag of the United States.svg Jason NicholsonTKO2 (10), 2:3723 Jan 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, US
11Win11–0 Flag of the United States.svg Art Jimmerson TKO2 (10), 2:556 Dec 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Circus Maximus Showroom, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US
10Win10–0 Flag of the United States.svg Quinton OsgoodTKO1 (8), 2:1518 Oct 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Star of the Desert Arena, Primm, Nevada, US
9Win9–0 Flag of the United States.svg Calvin CombsTKO2 (8), 1:1712 Sep 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, US
8Win8–0 Flag of the United States.svg Dennis MatthewsTKO4 (6), 1:475 Jul 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Isle of Capri Casino, Lake Charles, Louisiana, US
7Win7–0 Flag of Ethiopia.svg Gesses MesganaTKO2 (8), 2:2331 May 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US
6Win6–0 Flag of the United States.svg Tyrone ArmsteadRTD4 (6), 3:0012 Apr 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Tropicana Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada, US
5Win5–0 Flag of the United States.svg Calvin SmithTKO1 (4)30 Mar 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, US
4Win4–0 Flag of the United States.svg Aljenon DeBoseTKO3 (6), 2:548 Mar 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Convention Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, US
3Win3–0 Flag of the United States.svg Chuck MillerTKO4, 2:3812 Feb 1997 Flag of the United States.svg The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US
2Win2–0 Flag of the United States.svg Exum SpeightTKO3 (6), 2:0028 Jan 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Club Rio, Tempe, Arizona, US
1Win1–0 Flag of the United States.svg Vincent BrownTKO2 (6), 1:2918 Jan 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, US

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References

  1. Dicker, Ron (2003-04-24). "Plus: Boxing; Cruiserweight Tries to Make Name". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  2. Dennen, John (2015-07-07). "Vassiliy Jirov looks back on fights with James Toney, Michael Moorer, his Olympic gold medal and more". Boxing News. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  3. "Best I Faced: Vassiliy Jirov". Ring TV. 23 July 2018.
Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Juan Carlos Gómez
WBC International
cruiserweight champion

5 May 1998 – 22 April 1999
Won Continental Americas title
Vacant
Title next held by
Wayne Braithwaite
Vacant
Title last held by
Elieser Castillo
WBC Continental Americas
cruiserweight champion

22 April 1999 – June 1999
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Jason Robinson
Vacant
Title last held by
Ravea Springs
WBONABO
cruiserweight champion

6 November 2003 – December 2003
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Jermell Barnes
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Arthur Williams
IBF cruiserweight champion
5 June 1999 – 26 April 2003
Succeeded by
James Toney