Catching Up With…...Matt Korobov

By Marc Livitz on June 24, 2016
Catching Up With…...Matt Korobov
"He's tough and he can punch. He can destroy the man in front of him." (Stacey Verbeek)

The waiting game which plagues some fighters was in full effect at the time. Matt sat waiting by the phone in his eagerness to return to the ring…

Across the landscape of professional boxing, there may not be many sentiments more welcome amongst young fighters than the feeling of their pugilistic feet being fully wet and prepared for greater challenges. Patience has been exercised, hours upon hours of training are complete and important steps are ready to be made. Such was the case for middleweight prospect, Matt Korobov in 2014. At the time, Korobov (25-1, 14 KOs) was undefeated and was slowly building a ring résumé which was bolstered by an amateur record which held some three hundred victories. Additionally, he’d represented Russia at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China and turned professional by year’s end.

He pushed his way up the ladder by way of a bushel full of fights through the next few years. Some were of the four-round variety, some were eight and finally, ten. Top Rank Promotions was helping with the guidance of his young career and they felt the same as many observers did in 2014. Matt was ready for a title opportunity. He got it on December 13 of that year and the stage was indeed a big one in the form of a nationally televised card from Las Vegas on HBO. Prior to Tim Bradley Jr.‘s questionable draw against Diego Chaves in the evening’s main event, Matt was set to take on “Irish” Andy Lee for the vacant WBO middleweight championship crown.

He started well and he used the ring to his advantage. Matt utilized his jab. All seemed to be going as planned until just over a minute had elapsed into round six. As they’d done several times in the contest, Korobov and Lee engaged in a brief, toe-to-toe scrum before having to be separated by referee Kenny Bayless. Then it happened.

Without any referee interference, the two combatants moved in close and exchanged punches, although this time there would be no reset of positioning, at least not for Matt. Andy Lee caught him with a perfectly placed, if not timed right hook to the jaw which badly staggered the former Olympian. He never recovered and the fight was halted by Bayless just moments later. At the time of the stoppage, Korobov was ahead on all three of the ringside judges’ scorecards.

“It was unexpected,” said Matt Korobov during a recent and friendly interview.

“It was a lucky punch. He wasn’t throwing and he wasn’t in control. It was weird, but he got me. I just got caught in the moment and I wasn’t able to react. The ref was tough. I remember like it was yesterday. I lost a bit of control.”

The loss, of course came as a shock to Korobov and he used the time to reflect on the humbling experience and to analyze his situation. “I found out more about myself,” he said. “My body was so used to going four rounds like I did as an amateur and it may have been a problem for me to build up. But since then, I think I’ve changed and I feel different, especially after the (Andy) Lee fight.”

Still, the waiting game which plagues some fighters was in full effect at the time. Matt sat waiting by the phone in his eagerness to return to the ring. In the meantime, he became a father to a baby boy. Korobov commented, “I couldn’t get a fight for a while. Three to six months went by and I wasn’t training all the time.” He finally did get back into business earlier this year with a unanimous decision win over Josue Ovando in Dallas, Texas.

This coming Saturday evening, Matt will return not only to the same city, but the same venture (The Bomb Factory) to face hard punching, Austin, Texas native Brian Vera (23-10, 14 KOs) in an eight-round contest set at a limit of 163 pounds. Korobov indicated that he’s ready to get back to firing on all cylinders this weekend. “I feel good right now and I’m ready to go 10 to 12 rounds,” he said.

“I feel that I’m prepared, so it’s not a problem. I’m ready. I’ve been working hard for this, I’m ready to control longer distances and to just be relaxed.”

Korobov knows that another defeat could send him back in an undesirable direction, so he’s not in any way taking his central Texas opponent lightly. “He’s tough and he can punch,” said Matt of Vera. “He can destroy the man in front of him. Everybody knows him. I’m preparing right now and we’re going to surprise him.”

Matt Korobov’s bout with Brian Vera will be broadcast this Saturday night in the United States on the UniMas network (11pm ET/PT) and is highlighted by the return of “Mile High” Mike Alvarado in the evening’s main event.

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Andy Lee vs Matt Korobov

2016-01-16 Матвей Коробов-Хосе Овандо.Matt Korobov-Josue Ovando

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  1. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:23am, 06/25/2016

    Speaking of Frau Merkel she just issued an edict that all German males over the age of six be required to wear assless chaps when out in public and be prepared to “present” to their Muslim rapeugee masters as a sign of hospitality.

  2. Eric 06:54am, 06/25/2016

    Congrats to England!! Still a long way to go, but a step in the right direction. Next up, Fruckoff, Italeave, Departugal, Finnish, Oustria, Latervia, etc. An oldie but goodie dedicated to England from the boys from Liverpool, “Get Back.” Get the message Merkel? Nationalism > Globalism/MultiCULTuralism.

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:06am, 06/24/2016

    Sorry Matt, I guess I’m buzzed myself a little earlier this morning than usual celebrating Brexit, you see ....that was meant for Tyson….you’ve got your own problems to worry about….like learning how to grab on, or tackle if you have to, or perish the thought taking a knee for Christ’s sake.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:58am, 06/24/2016

    The best thing for boxing would have been for this world class klutz to have KO’d himself with that uppercut that he landed on his own chin….he buzzed himself for Christ’s sake but he didn’t go down….more’s the pity!

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