Glory 9 brought great action to kickboxing fans this past Saturday. The event also helped the Glory promotion name its first light heavyweight Slam champion, and provided everyone a greater sense of who’s who in a long-underrepresented division. Glory will now have to attract additional talent from around the world to bolster the ranks of an already strong group of light heavyweights. This series of articles looks at kick boxers that we at LiverKick would have liked to see in Saturday’s tournament and hope Glory can bring into the fold going forward.
Vladimir Mineev is a Russian light heavyweight that has been highlighted by our own staff on various occasions as someone to keep an eye on. While the 23-year-old is the youngest fighter to be featured in this series, he already has a number of amateur and professional titles to his name. Mineev is a two-time gold medalist in the -91kg. weight class at the W.A.K.O. European Championships, first winning the competition in 2008.
Mineev hasn’t lost a professional bout since taking Igor Jurkovic to an extension round in December 2010 (part 1, part 2). Mineev put together a 6-0 record while fighting exclusively in Russia in 2011. He duplicated that mark in 2012, traveling outside of Russia once to fight in France.
Mineev started his 2013 with a knockout victory over Revanho Blokland, finishing the bout with a looping left hand near the opening of the second round. He also earned a decision victory over Redouan Cairo in April, taking Cairo’s Wako-Pro title in the process. This most recent bout allowed Mineev to show his offensive arsenal against an extremely capable opponent. Seeing Mineev next to Cairo also reinforced the idea that the Russian needs to remain at light heavyweight for the moment, rather than make the all-too-common jump to heavyweight that similarly situated fighters have made in the past.
Despite Mineev’s success, the young Russian’s recent bouts have not been without some challenge. A left hook sent Mineev to the canvas in the second round of his bout against Ali Cenik last December. Forced to fight from a deficit, Mineev eventually earned the victory with two knockdowns in the extension round.
Vladimir Mineev is scheduled to face off against Brazil’s Tiago Beowulf on August 4th, at the Fight Nights St. Tropez event in scenic Saint Tropez, France.