Concerned about parents in Ukraine, Czerkaszyn seeks career-changing win against Gallimore

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MINNEAPOLIS — Fyodor Czerkaszyn has even more on his mind than the biggest boxing match of his career.

Her father, Sergey, and her mother, Inna, remain in her hometown of Kharkiv, Ukraine, where war has had an emotional impact on their entire family. Czerkaszyn has not seen his mother since January, when she visited him in Poland.

Czerkaszyn (20-0, 13 KOs) hopes his parents can watch his fight against veteran Nathaniel Gallimore (22-5-1, 17 KOs), a 10-round middleweight match that Showtime will air on television as the opener of a triple title from The Armory (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT). Their fight will begin in the early hours of the morning in Kharkiv, where electricity is not guaranteed day to day.

“It’s tough for me mentally, but my parents are supporting me,” Czerkaszyn told BoxingScene.com. “They say, ‘It’s your purpose to be somebody in this world.’ I help them, of course, but this war is a very bad situation because Russia [attacks] every day. Every day people find themselves without electricity and it is a very strange situation in the 21st century. I can not believe it. But after this fight, we will go back to Poland and I will meet my mother because she can get out of Ukraine.

Under martial law, Czerkaszyn’s father cannot leave Ukraine during its war with Russia because he is an adult male under the age of 60.

“We keep in touch every day,” Czerkaszyn said. “It’s good that I can see them because we’re FaceTime. We’re just praying it’s over soon.

Czerkaszyn, 26, considers his fight against Gallimore marking the start of his emergence in the United States. He moved to Fort Lauderdale to train in April and stopped Gilbert Venegas Jr. (11-2, 7 KOs) in the fourth round of his US debut on August 20 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Gallimore, however, is a much more experienced and proven pro who stopped 154-pound former IBF/IBO/WBA champion Jeison Rosario and lost a majority decision to Julian Williams, whom Rosario upset to win those titles in January 2020. The 34-year-old Gallimore, of Des Plaines, Ill., also lost to undefeated 154-pound interim WBC champion Sebastian Fundora, Erickson Lubin and former WBO junior middleweight champion Patrick Teixeira.

“He’s very experienced,” said Czerkaszyn, who was a successful muay thai fighter before turning to boxing eight years ago. “I think he’s a power puncher. I decided to fight him because I had an offer from Showtime, from PBC. And it was my dream. It’s a great opportunity. It’s a televised fight and I’m ready. I feel like I can’t sit around and wait for those big fights. You understand? For me, it’s a chance and I’m under no pressure, to be honest, because I know he’s a good fighter.

“But if I win this fight, it can open the door to big fights with Showtime and PBC. I want to show people that I can do it. Many of my friends, boxers from Ukraine and Poland, we dream of fighting here. American TV, American boxing, American journalists, all like that, because it’s the best of boxing.

Gallimore will end a 16-month layoff when he meets Czerkaszyn. He edged out previously undefeated Leon Lawson III (then 14-0) in his most recent fight, a 10-round bout he won by majority decision in June 2021 at The Armory.

“Maybe it will smell of rust, I hope, but maybe not,” Czerkaszyn said. “I prepared for the best version of him.”

Keith Idec is senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be contacted on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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