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Denys Berinchyk Aims for Victory in Pivotal Weekend for Ukraine

Denys Berinchyk is set to make Saturday a significant day for Ukraine as he prepares for a crucial fight. Oleksandr Usyk will kick off the day by facing Tyson Fury for the undisputed heavyweight title in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, Berinchyk (18-0, 9 KOs) will take on Emanuel Navarrete (38-1-1, 31 KOs) for the vacant WBO lightweight title in a main event fight broadcast on ESPN.

Denys Berinchyk

Berinchyk, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, is making his United States debut and fighting for a world title for the first time in his nine-year professional career. Navarrete, a former three-division titlist, will be making his debut in the lightweight category.

The last time Berinchyk fought was in August, as part of the co-main event for Usyk’s knockout win against Daniel Dubois. In that fight, Berinchyk secured a unanimous decision victory over Anthony Yigit in a hard-fought contest.

Confident in his abilities, Berinchyk believes another clean sweep is possible.

"All of the Ukrainian people believe in me and Oleksandr, and we feel this. It's a very special moment for us," he told.

Despite being the underdog with odds at +400, Berinchyk is optimistic about his chances against Navarrete, who is favored at -600. Navarrete's recent performance, a majority draw against Robson Conceicao in November, has given Berinchyk confidence. Navarrete dropped Conceicao twice but struggled with a left-hand injury, allowing Conceicao to outland him 213 to 116.

"This is my weight class, and I’ve been boxing at 135 pounds my entire career," Berinchyk said. "I will be smarter than Navarrete and show him different styles."

Balancing his life as both a boxer and a defender of his country, Berinchyk, like Usyk and several other Ukrainian boxers, has been involved in territorial defenses, frequently traveling to the front lines during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over the last two years. He often dons military fatigues during his ring walks.

A win against Navarrete could elevate Berinchyk's career, placing him in a glamour division that includes titleholders like Gervonta Davis (WBA), Shakur Stevenson (WBC), and Vasiliy Lomachenko (IBF). Berinchyk has expressed his readiness to fight his former Ukrainian amateur teammate Lomachenko, who recently secured a dominant stoppage win against George Kambosos Jr.

Lomachenko’s stance on the war has complicated his reputation among fellow Ukrainians, and Berinchyk seeks the honor of defeating him in the ring. Berinchyk mentioned that he has not spoken to Lomachenko for nearly four years and chose not to elaborate further on their relationship.

"It's big money – nice," Berinchyk said about the prospect of fighting Lomachenko. "And this money can be donated to the Ukrainian army. But first, we must do our work on May 18."


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