As Vasily “The Professor” Lepikhin (17-0, 9 KOs) prepares to face Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (23-2-2, 10 KOs) on March 14 in the opening bout of the Kovalev-Pascal HBO Boxing telecast he cannot help to reflect on his career thus far.
The common misconception is that Lepikhin earned the nickname, “The Professor” while attending university in his hometown of Gelendzhik, Russia. Although he does have two degrees, one in sports (similar to a US degree in athletic training) and one in management, he was coined “The Professor” when he made his professional debut back in 2005 at the age of 19. He explained, “When I had my pro debut in Russia, the promoter of the show thought I was so smart in the ring he said I was a professor of boxing. From that point on I was known professionally as ‘The Professor.'”
The undefeated Lepikhin has had a stellar career so far. He has an impressive 53% (9 of 17) knockout-to win ratio with the majority of his fights taking place in his home country of Russia. He made his US debut back in August of 2014 with an impressive fifth round stoppage of Robert Berridge of New Zealand to secure the PABA and WBO Oriental Light Heavyweight Titles. Shortly after the fight Lepikhin and his promoter, German Titov of German Titov Promotions, signed a co-promotional agreement with Main Events.
In November, he returned to the US to face Brazilian Jackson Junior. Lepikhin appeared to struggle against Junior but still managed to secure the ten-round unanimous decision victory. He explained, “In my last fight I arrived to Pennsylvania and got very sick. I went into the ring sick.”
For this upcoming fight Lepikhin and his camp traveled from Russia to Oxnard, CA on February 21 to finish out the remainder of his training camp in the United States. “I came to Oxnard so I could adjust to the time difference and to get in a little sparring before heading to Canada,” said Vasily.
For Lepikhin, boxing is a family affair. He is trained by his father, Andrey Lepikhin, the same trainer that also trains fellow Main Events’ stable mate, middleweight Dmitry Mikhaylenko. His brother, Igor Lepikhin, will also work his corner for him on March 14 when he faces Chilemba in Canada. Vasily said, “I love training with my father. I love every single minute of it. It is great for me because I get to work with my family.”
Early in 2015 Lepikhin, Main Events and German Titov Promotions were approached about joining forces with Interbox to co-promote Lepikhin and add a fight between Vasily and Isaac Chilemba to the HBO World Championship Boxing® telecast. Lepikhin said, “I am very excited about fighting on HBO and this new opportunity with Interbox. I am looking forward to showcasing my skills on this large international scale.”
The fight with Chilemba, who is currently ranked #2 in the IBF, will be a ten-round fight for the NABF Light Heavyweight Title. When asked about the fight with Chilemba, Lepikhin said, “I think Chilemba is a very good, experienced fighter. It is going to be a very good bout.” His father/trainer added, “We travelled a long road to get to this point. We are very, very happy to finally be here. We are ready.”