Egidijus Kavaliauskas Shrugs off the Detractors
In boxing, when a known fighter goes against a relatively unknown fighter, the least popular boxer is typically written off. The main flaw in this practice is the lesser known combatant is disregarded without ever being looked into.
That was the case when Andy Ruiz Jr initially took on Anthony Joshua. Now, this is what Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KO’s) thinks is happening in his case as well. On December 14, Kavaliauskas will face WBO world welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (35-0, 26 KO’s) and take his shot at gold.
UNDERESTIMATED AND UNDER THE RADAR?
In all actuality, Mean Machine is doubly damned in being overlooked. First and foremost, few boxing fans outside of the hard core followers really know who the Lithuanian is. Also, there’s the tremendously respected reputation that Crawford’s skills have garnered him. If not #1, Crawford is routinely amongst most pundits top three welterweights.
Luckily for Kavaliauskas, he is already well aware that he is not a very well appreciated commodity in America. Armed with this prior understanding, it’s easy for him to shake off the rampant dismissal of the greater boxing community. Rather than listen to the acidic banter of the detractors, Mean Machine has chosen to find confidence in his very real skills and abilities.
“Those people don’t know boxing. Yeah Crawford is a great champion, of course, but I have my weapons too…everybody has weakness, no one is perfect. We work to be the perfect guys, everybody makes mistakes. So when I see that mistake in the ring, I will know.”
ADAPTING TO DANGER
In terms of tools and weapons, one of Crawford’s most celebrated talents is his ability to seamlessly alternate from the orthodox to southpaw stance. The Nebraskan assassin famously fights equally as effectively from either position. The complicated wrinkle in his game has proven the undoing of several elite fighters. Kavaliauskas isn’t very concerned.
It’s not that the Mean Machine feels he is the true master, and has found his inner glow or anything. Instead, the Lithuanian has simply tangled with a great deal of southpaws throughout this most recent training camp. So much so, that facing the normally atypical stance is a familiar scene to Kavaliauskas. Come fight night, he feels as though he will be very comfortable with Crawford’s switch hitting technique.
“This is like one of his best weapons, to switch stance and do pretty good, because some guys switch but they don’t do very well. And we have training camp for probably 5, 6 months and we were sparring the guys who switched stances, who were part southpaw, part orthodox. All the different guys were sparring in the gym, so I think this will help me to adapt to his style.”
D-DAY IS UPON US
In the end, Egidijus Kavaliauskas is very eager to step in the ring to try his luck with the champ. If he loses, well it comes with the trade. However, if Kavaliauskas can pull off the unthinkable, not only would he be champion, he’d be the new leading candidate for upset of the year. Only time will tell.
“I [will] bring power and aggression!”
By: Bakari Simpson