Fingers crossed as Chatman fights Khytrov, Friday on ESPN2

Ievgen Khytrov makes his debut with Iron Mike Productions on a June 6 "Friday Night Fights" against San Diego’s homeboy Chris “Last Chapter” Chatman. with Eleanor Lanzar and step son Tyrus.

On Friday, San Diego’s homeboy Chris “Last Chapter” Chatman, shown here visiting the “Big Apple” with his better half Eleanor Lanzar and son Tyrus, will be facing top prospect Ievgen Khytrov of Brooklyn, N.Y. at the Turning Stone Casino in upstate New York on the ESPN2 telecast of Friday Night Fights.

Longtime San Diego resident Chris “Last Chapter” Chatman (12-3-1, 5 KOs) has continued on from his days at City Boxing Downtown. If you tune in Friday night, June 6, 2014, you’ll be able to see Chatman as a headliner on ESPN2′s Friday Night Fights from the now infamous Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York. 

Let me explain the use of infamous. The Turning Stone Casino is the site of Brandon Adams’ demise on May 24, 2014 in that ESPN2 Middleweight Tournament Finals of Boxcino 2014 versus Willie Monroe Jr. It’s just not kosher that we’re seeing our local fighters having trouble with the New Yorkers. Next thing you know their dominance will develop into one of those self-evident truths like the way the Yankees can come to town and manhandle the Padres. San Diegans are tougher than that. 

Chris with his support group at the Crowne Plaza in San Diego after the fight

Chris “Last Chapter” Chatman with his support group at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Mission Valley after another big win. (l to r) Vernon Lee, Aluche Jimenez, Chris, the late Mark Dion and Carlos Baruch all from City Boxing Team.

Chatman, a 29 year-old southpaw, former Sailor, recently upgraded his fight portfolio by knocking off the veteran Grady “Bad Boy” Brewer (30-18-0, 16 KOs) in February and Thomas Falowo (10-1) last summer. On Friday, he’ll face 2012 Olympian Ievgen Khytrov (4-0, 4 KO’s) from Brooklyn, N. Y by way of Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine. 

Khytrov, a 25 year-old righty, is a former national champion from Ukraine who has had over 500 amateur bouts. In 2011 he won the gold at the world amateur championships by defeating Ryota Murata of Japan. Murata went on to win a 2012 Olympic gold medal.

Ievgen Khytrov makes his debut with Iron Mike Productions on a June 6 "Friday Night Fights" against San Diego’s homeboy Chris “Last Chapter” Chatman.

Former Olympian Ievgen Khytrov makes his debut with Iron Mike Productions Friday on ESPN2 against San Diego’s homeboy Chris “Last Chapter” Chatman.

At Thursday's weigh-ins, the two up and comers had an opportunity to hang with the former Heavyweight Champion now Promoter Mike Tyson. Photo sent to us by Chris Chatman.

At Thursday’s weigh-ins, the two up and comers had an opportunity to hang with the former Heavyweight Champion now Promoter Mike Tyson. Photo sent to us by Chris Chatman.

In the 2012 Olympics, Khytrov lost in the second round of the tournament to eventual bronze medal winner Anthony Ogogo of England. Two years later, he’s now this highly regarded prospect by media outlets like Ring Magazine and of course ESPN who is helping to promote his career.

All of the above believe the muscle bound Chatman is the ideal opponent. Yes, he’s another crowd pleaser. Yes, he keeps telling the powers to be that he only wants to fight the best, but the question remains, can Chatman’s hand speed match the Ukranian Lion’s hand speed. 

(top, left) It certainly is a small world. Here we see Chris Chatman posing for a photo with his long time buddy and stablemate Denis Grachev of San Diego by way of Chaykovsky, Russia. (top, right) Chatman poses for a photo with boxer Amaris Quintana at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotle in San Diego. (bottom, left) While in the U.S. Navy, Chatman was on the same ship as (l to r) A. J. Inman, Randy Thomas (top), Marshal Loyson, Jason Crubls (top), LaMarcus Kelly and Jay Are.

(top, left) Under the heading, it’s a small world. Here we see Chris Chatman posing for a photo with his long time buddy and stablemate Denis Grachev who is originally from Chaykovsky, Russia. (top, right) Chatman poses with boxer Amaris Quintana at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego. (bottom, left) While in the U.S. Navy, Chatman was on the same ship as (l to r) A. J. Inman, Randy Thomas, Marshall Loyson, Jason Grubbs (top), LaMarcus Kelly and Jay Are.

Chatman has fought seven undefeated fighters, beat four of them and been very close to victories in the other three. The losses came to stellar, top ranked opponents like Jermell Charlo (24-0), Jarret Hurd (11-0) and fellow southpaw Demetrius Andrade (20-0) the current WBO Jr. Middleweight World Champion.  

Khytrov, who has knocked out all four of his opponents since turning pro in December, has well respected trainer James “Buddy” McGirt in his corner. In other words, Khytrov is on the fast track. Known for his punching power, they’ve had Khytrov spar almost daily against lefties in their Brooklyn, N.Y. gym. You got to know McGirt realizes the importance of this fight. This is a major test for Khytrov, who just recently signed with Iron Mike Productions. 

What does Chatman have to gain? This is his golden opportunity in front of a nationally televised audience to upset the up and comer who will most assuredly enter the bout as the favorite. Since Chatman has only been stopped once, it’s likely the Khytrov Camp will have a Plan B and may try to out point Chatman. 

Chatman, known for being an intelligent fighter and using his powerful jab, has found ways to win rounds by way of the heavy volume of punches he throws. He will certainly make this a very interesting match. 

In Chris Chatman's last fight he face the veteran Grady Brewer and won 43 year faded onetime contender Grady Brewer loses fifth straight, and wins only one round on two scorecards

In Chris Chatman’s last fight he faced the 43 year-old Grady Brewer. The onetime contender lost his fifth straight, and only won one round on two scorecards.

Regardless of who wins, Khytrov or Chatman, the winner will certainly be touted as an opponent worthy of a shot at the middleweight title within the immediate future. From all your fans in San Diego comes this rallying cry – Go Chris!

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About the Author

Jim Wyatt, a 1970 graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has written weekly sports features for several Military newspapers, WCKMuayThai.com, SportofBoxing.com and Examiner.com as their San Diego Boxing Examiner. He was one of the four "Wise Guys" who predicted winning football selections versus the Vegas spreads. Some of the people he enjoyed meeting: Earvin "Magic" Johnson, WWF Wrestler Lita, LaDainian Tomlinson, Nate Kaeding and Darren Bennett of the Chargers, Tony Gwynn and Jake Peavy of the Padres, soccer stars Shannon MacMillan and Julie Foudy, Mixed Martial Artists Cris Cyborg, Junior Dos Santos, the Nogueira brothers plus the many great people involved in boxing and Muaythai.