Alina Zagitova is moving into the ring – though it gained’t be what some had anticipated
Olympic determine skating champion Alina Zagitova will participate in an exhibition coaching session with Russian former boxing star Oleg Saitov in Moscow later this month, it has been confirmed. Zagitova not too long ago teased a swap to boxing, prompting hypothesis that the 2018 gold medal queen might even participate in an exhibition bout.
“This isn’t a contest with Alina, however a grasp class. I used to be provided [the chance], and I gladly agreed to conduct a grasp class with our stunning determine skater,” mentioned two-time Olympic gold medalist Saitov.
“I’m very happy that Alina has began boxing! Boxing is an fascinating sport at any age.
“What will probably be in this system? An important factor in boxing is protection, the flexibility to defend your self, transfer round, strike.
“That’s, there should be a set of abilities. When an individual solely is aware of the way to strike, he’ll miss out on protection, and that is unhealthy.”
The ‘exhibition sparring’ is about to happen at Moscow’s Luzhniki sports activities complicated on June 25 as a part of the Russian capital’s Day of Sport.
Zagitova, 20, not too long ago teased on her social media channels that she was “preparing for one thing new,” sharing footage of herself carrying boxing gloves and doing padwork within the fitness center.
That despatched the Russian press into overdrive, with matchmakers clamoring for an exhibition showdown with the likes of pop queen Olga Buzova and quite a few different names from Russian showbusiness and past.
READ MORE: Russian Olympic determine skating champ teases boxing transfer (VIDEO)
A showdown with Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion Albert Batyrgaziev was then reported, sparking fears of a harmful mismatch, even in coaching phrases.
Batyrgaziev confirmed to RIA Sport on Thursday that he had certainly been lined up for a coaching occasion with Zagitova, however was unable to seem as he’s at the moment incapacitated.
“Sadly, as a consequence of an outdated harm that bothered me within the final struggle, I gained’t be capable to take part in an open coaching session with Alina Zagitova which was imagined to happen as a part of the Moscow Sports activities Day on June 25. The thought was nice, however the harm doesn’t enable me the chance take part,” mentioned the star.
Regardless of preliminary hypothesis of an exhibition contest, Zagitova’s boxing dalliance seems to be extra modest within the type of her coaching session with Saitov, 48, though it should seemingly nonetheless show of curiosity to her legion of followers.
Olympic champion on the PyeongChang Video games in 2018 and world champion the next 12 months, Zagitova introduced in December 2019 that she was taking a profession hiatus.
Whereas not formally asserting her retirement, the skating star has not competed formally since then, as a substitute skating at exhibition exhibits and embarking on a presenting profession on Russian TV.
READ MORE: Russian determine skating queen Zagitova speaks on potential return
Her boxing crossover marks the most recent transfer by a Russian skating star into a distinct sport, after 2022 Olympic silver medalist Alexandra Trusova not too long ago tried her hand on the lengthy soar throughout an occasion selling athletics in Moscow.