Michael Rosenthal

Shaw: Huge opportunity for Dzinziruk

Promoter Gary Shaw has believed for some time that Sergei Dzinziruk is one of the best fighters in the world. Now, Shaw said, he’ll have a chance to prove it.

Dzinziruk, a Ukrainian who has fought primarily in Europe, is moving up in weight to challenge RING middleweight champion and WBC titleholder Sergio Martinez on March 12 in Mashantucket, Mass.

The contracts haven’t been signed but Shaw said the deal is done.

The promoter sees this as a possible break-out fight for Dzinziruk (37-0, 23 knockouts) because of Martinez’s recent success and recognition. The Argentine (46-2-2, 25 KOs) is THE RING’s No. 3-rated fighter pound for pound after his sensational one-punch knockout of Paul Williams.

Also, the fight will be on HBO, which will give him great exposure.

“I think he has at least a 50-50 shot to win this fight,” Shaw said. “Remember that Martinez has lost; Sergei hasn’t. He has been a great WBO [junior middleweight] champion. He’s a good-looking fighter, both in what he does in the ring and his looks.

“Yes, he could emerge a star from this fight.”

Dzinziruk will retain his 154-pound title and move back down to junior middleweight after he fights Martinez, which means he would wear belts in two weight classes simultaneously if he wins on March 12.

The southpaw isn’t an exciting fighter but he’s a very good boxer who probably will give Martinez trouble. At the very least, the champion isn’t likely to look particularly good even if he wins.

Dzinziruk didn’t fight in 2009 because of a contract dispute with a former promoter.

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