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Chatman, sentimental favorite as he goes against Khytrov, Friday on ESPN2

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.
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.
Chris Chatman

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.

At the conclusion of another victory, Chris Chatman is joined by his support staff (l to r) Carlos Baruch, Manny Melchor, the late Mark Dion and finally Vernon Lee.
Jim Wyatt

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 Final 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 our Padres. San Diegans are tougher than that.

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.

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.

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, NY. 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.

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

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