He might have one of the most difficult names to pronounce in boxing today, but Egidijus Kavaliauskas also has one of the most memorable monikers in the business: "The Mean Machine."
The 26-year-old Lithuanian boxer is a two-time Olympian who captured a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships in Baku. With over 400 amateur fights under his belt, he's already a well-schooled veteran, in spite of what his 7-0 pro record might imply.
Nowadays, when people mention flashy amateur records, they immediately think of smooth boxers like Guillermo Rigondeaux or Vasyl Lomachenko. They don't realize that not all good amateurs are cut from the same cloth. Some throw caution to the wind and like to bang. That's the way Kavaliauskas approached the amateur ranks, and so far that's how he's been doing things in the pros.
In the pros, the Mean Machine is living up to his nickname. It's more than just knocking out his last six opponents. There is a ferocity to his style that world-renown trainer Robert Garcia has called a blend of Ruslan Provodnikov and Gennady Golovkin. That is an absolutely terrifying mix. Recently, I caught up with Garcia to talk about Brandon Rios' rubber match with Mike Alvarado and The Mean Machine.
Garcia called Kavaliauskas the hardest puncher he's ever worked with and probably one of the hardest punchers in all of boxing today. And that's with only seven pro fights under his belt! What will happen once Kavaliauskas has had time to mature and develop?
If his last fight against Jaime Herrera, on the untelevised undercard for Bradley-Chaves, is any indication, Kavaliauskas will become must-watch boxing.
For now, keep him on your radar because there's nothing more exciting that watching a natural power puncher develop into a devastating overall fighter. Watching a trainer like Garcia sand away the rough edges of a prospect like Kavaliauskas is one of the most entertaining facets of being a boxing fan. Not only will you be entertained, you'll also learn quite a bit about the sweet science along the way.
A former college wrestler, Taekwondo black-belt, and wannabe boxer, Paul Navarro (aka Fight Like Sugar) is now a full-time lawyer, part-time fight scribe, and high school wrestling coach.