Arlovski’s Boxing Debut Moved to May


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Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski has pushed back his professional boxing debut until sometime in May, according to his boxing manager, Billy Keane.

Arlovski was originally booked to compete in a four-round bout on the undercard of the Golden Boy-promoted Paul Williams-Winky Wright main event on April 11 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

“It’s [being moved] for a variety of reasons,” Keane said. “It worked out better to put him on a later show.”

The switch in dates will also give Arlovski more time to work under legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach. Once Roach has finished training Manny Pacquiao for his May 2 showdown with Ricky Hatton, he will focus his attention on Arlovski.

“He’s going to come to L.A. and train with Freddie,” Keane said.

The former UFC heavyweight champion is currently on a movie set in Bulgaria shooting scenes for “Universal Soldier 3: A New Beginning” with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. In the film, helmed by “The Smashing Machine” director John Hyams, Arlovski plays a “Terminator”-like villain.

Still one of the most recognizable superstars in mixed martial arts, Arlovski (15-6), who turned 30 last month, was knocked out by longtime Pride Fighting Championships heavyweight titleholder Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction “Day of Reckoning” in January. By all accounts, the Belarusian bomber acquitted himself well in the bout’s opening moments, as he frustrated the usually unflappable Emelianenko with straight punches and crisp footwork. However, Emelianenko (29-1) capitalized on Arlovski’s overzealousness with a crushing overhand right when the Belarusian sprang at him with a flying knee attempt.

Arlovski has shown an aptitude for boxing since he began training in the discipline in 2004 with Chicago-based trainer Mike Garcia, of JABB Boxing. Arlovski has studied off and on under Roach for his last five MMA bouts, and the boxing guru has commented on numerous occasions that his protégé has the potential to be competitive in boxing’s heavyweight ranks.

“I always wanted to box,” Arlovski told Sherdog.com in February. “I’ve always seen boxing as a complement to my MMA career and training, so why not take this opportunity while I can.”

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