AIBA Pro Boxing dream comes true for former miner

Lausanne, Oct 11, 2013: Today our AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) “Boxer of the Week” social media campaign focuses on an athlete with a wonderful story. Serhiy Verveyko struggled to make ends meet working in a Ukrainian mine until his dreams came true when he was spotted by AIBA’s Coaches Commission Chairman.

Verveyko grew up in a small town in Industrial Eastern Ukraine. Coal mining is the main source of employment there and as he says himself: “As you can imagine there are not many opportunities to start a career in sports there”.

Though Verveyko was keen on the sport, it proved impossible to progress where he was: “I could not get by just through boxing”, he said. “I had to work to pay for my studies as well. That is why I decided to go somewhere else where I might have more opportunities, both for my sports career and to earn some more money. I went to some sports agencies to see where I might go in Europe and they suggested that I should go to Poland.”

This proved to be a fortuitous turn of events as Verveyko recalled “I moved to Warsaw to work in a construction site. And it is there that my life turned in another direction. As soon as I arrived, I asked my boss whether there were any boxing gyms where I could train in the evenings. My boss said that he knew a good boxing coach and he introduced us soon afterwards”.

The coach turned out to be a former pupil of AIBA Coaches Commission Chairman and AIBA Executive Committee Member, Mr Adam Kusior and the discovery of Verveyko’s talent soon reached the ears of the APB recruitment team.

“I trained very hard and this July I quit my job and I now box full-time. Now that I’ve signed with APB and with the Hussars Poland WSB team, I am training twice a day so this is like a dream come true.”

“I hope that I will be able to qualify for the Olympics through APB. That is every boxer’s dream! If I manage to do more than that, it will be amazing, but even getting there is already a big thing!” —- AIBA

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