Echoes of Rocky are reminiscent in the buildup to the March 3 IBO cruiserweight title fight between champion Kevin Lerena and Dmytro Kucher.
While Lerena (19-1) has been working up a storm in his workouts, which are chronicled on social media daily, Kucher (24-2-1) has been ensconced in the Tysovets, in the Carpathian mountains, doing his own brutal workouts in preparation for the fight of his life.
For a month he has worked out daily with WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk, regarded as the world’s number one cruiserweight and favourite for the Super Six title.
“This points to the significance of the title fight,” said promoter Rodney Berman. “Kevin knows that Kucher ran Junior Makabu very close a few years ago. He’s taking no chances. There was no Christmas pudding for him – he couldn’t afford to take one misstep. Kucher will arrive battle-hardened and ready.”