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Matt talks to the current NABA Super Bantamweight champion of the world, direct from the Steel City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Ukrainian Pitbull, Oleh Dovhun. With 14 wins out of 14 fights, five by knockout, the 26-year-old southpaw knows a thing or two (or 14!) about being tough—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Living in the US for the last five years, his heart is heavy as the war rages on in Ukraine.
Luckily his family, number one in his life, is safe in western Ukraine thus far. Oleh has had to find a way to focus on the job, while not knowing where the next bomb might land. He says that right now, any male between the ages of 18 and 60 could be called upon to fight if needed. His father is 57. He prays every day for an end to the conflict and loss of innocent life.
The war started just 20 days before his first 10-round title defense. His disciplined training kicked in so he could set aside the world events for at least an hour to focus on winning the fight. When he stepped into the ring it seemed as though all the world was in this Ukrainian fighter’s corner. He wanted to make his people proud by putting aside worries and doing his job. After winning, he went to work helping his country by donating money from his purse and sending provisions through his church in Pittsburgh.
Like so many, Oleh is proud of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who won huge respect with his bold moves against Russia. He wants people to know about the atrocities committed by Putin against a sovereign independent nation, since 1991. Although he can, he refuses to speak Russian as a way of standing in solidarity with his countrymen, a proud and principled people.
Stay tuned for Oleh’s answers to Matt’s FAST FIVE to learn a Ukrainian curse word AND whether he casts his vote with Primantis or Peppi’s (Yinzers will want to know!).
The undefeated champion is fond of saying, “Glory to Ukraine God Bless America,” because he loves both his country and the one he calls home for now. Oleh says others can support the armed forces in Ukraine by donating to a special fund setup by the National Bank of Ukraine.
Oleh Dovhun | Facebook @ukrainian.pitbull | Instagram
In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! host Matthew Pomara, licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to “The Ring” magazine and “NYCFights.com,” talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on. Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
CHECK OUT all our inspiring podcasts at https://www.lifestough.com/