Backed by the Ukrainian Boxing Federation, the Ukraine Otamans will line-up the country’s best boxers to compete in WSB. The outstanding team at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Baku 2011, topping the team ranking with four athletes claiming World titles, including pound for pound king Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk who went onto to take gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, this team is destined to achieve great things this season. In a country steeped in boxing heritage, the Otamans will be the major sporting attraction. After spending weeks on the road with their top athletes promoting the squad and the competition since the end of the Olympics, the Otamans are now not looking only to become the number one team in their country but also in the world.
An honored coach in his home country of Ukraine, Valentyn Sobolyevskyy, will be coaching the Ukraine Otamans in WSB Season IV. Mr. Sobolyevskyy has worked as the head coach of the Ukrainian national boxing team, the state boxing coach of the Ukrainian Ministry of Youth and Sports and a coach-consultant in Iran.
He started his coaching career in 1982 after having graduated from Simferopol State University. In a coaching career spanning more than 30 years he has trained the winner of USSR cup – Serhei Maslyanyy, the junior World Champion and Sydney Olympic Games athlete – Aleksandr Yatsenko, and the winners of USSR and Ukrainian Championships – Ihor Taranov, Vladimir Selyutin, Yevgenii Khramov, Konstantin Loika, Roman Drobakh, and Viktor Vyatkin.
Mr. Sobolyevskyy was also responsible for identifying a promising young fighter called Aleksandr Usyk, who was at that time still a junior, but who has since become the European, World and Olympic Champion.
Mr. Sobolyevskyy worked as the head coach of Turkish National Boxing Team from 2006-2010. The Turkish Boxing Federation has stated that this time period was the most successful in the history of the team. Valentyn Sobolyevskyy’s former student from that time, Yakup Kilitch (a member of Turkish national boxing team) went on to become a World and Olympic bronze medalist.
Finally, in 2013 Sobolyevskyy became the head of Ukrainian National Student Boxing Team, which took part in the first World Universiade 2013 (Kazan, Russia) and won three medals. Dmitrii Mytrofanov and Aleksandr Gvozdyk both took gold while Denys Berinchyk took the bronze. He therefore has the experience needed to make his team one of the most successful in the WSB.
FORMER HEAD COACH
Overseeing one of the most talented squads in the whole competition is 54-year-old Ukraine Otamans Head Coach Melnyk Mykhaylo. Having held a coaching position within the Ukrainian Boxing Federation for over twenty years, the native of Magadan, on the eastern shores of Russia, has overseen the development of the country’s most prodigious boxers and has been ringside to watch them triumph in some of the world’s most respected competitions. His most notable achievement was coaching current Otamans Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) Denys Poyatsyka to the European title in 2006. His effective communication and forward-thinking methods have earned him much admiration across the boxing world. In 2001, he became an honorary coach of Ukraine and now has been entrusted with one of the highest-profile jobs in boxing in Ukraine.
Source: World Series of Boxing