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Jewogle - Roman Greenberg (The Lion From Zion)

Roman Greenberg (The Lion From Zion)

Roman Greenberg (The Lion From Zion)

Roman Greenberg (born 1982) is a British-based Israeli heavyweight boxer, currently International Boxing Organization's (IBO's) Intercontinental heavyweight champion, with a 27–1 record. Greenberg has been nicknamed the "Lion from Zion."


Greenberg was born on May 18, 1982 in Bălţi, Moldova. His family immigrated to Tel Aviv, Israel, soon after his birth. He began boxing at age 11 after a friend took him to a boxing club in Kiryat Bialik. His earliest boxing memory is of having his nose broken. In 2000 Greenberg won a silver medal at the Junior World Championships in Budapest, where he fought at 200 lb (91 kg). Today Greenberg is 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) and weighs roughly 230 pounds. At 15, in 1997 he won the silver medal at the European junior boxing championships. Greenberg speaks four languages – Hebrew, Russian, German, and English. Greenberg's brother was the Junior Chess Champion of Israel in 2004. He is well known for his vocal support of the State of Israel. Greenberg wears a Star of David on his trunks. He trains in Maidenhead, Berkshire, and has a home near Haifa. His manager and trainer is Jim Evans.

Boxing career

In 1999, Greenberg was the youngest-ever winner of the Israeli national heavyweight title. Greenberg won a silver medal at the Junior World Championships in 2000 in Budapest where he beat Viktar Zuyev 14:8 but lost to Dzhamal Medzhydov (Ukr). He posted a 47–5 amateur record. Greenberg was knocked out only once, by an opponent 11 years his senior in a national amateur championship match, when he was only 15.

Greenberg made his pro debut in November 2001, after serving seven months in the Israeli Army. In his 2003 fight against Lithuanian Mindaugas Kulikauskas, he was knocked down in the 2nd round for the first time in his career, only to come back and knock out his opponent in the 5th. He won his first 27 professional bouts – 18 by K.O. – before he was beaten in 2008.

Greenberg won the IBO Intercontinental Championship by 6th round TKO against Alex Vassilev in March 2006. His 25th victory was a unanimous decision over Michael Simms (formerly 19–6–1; 13 KOs) at Madison Square Garden in March 2007, as he got the nod from the three judges, all by 99–91 scores as he won nine of the 10 rounds, controlling the action with his frequent jab, and much less frequent left hook.

Greenberg next defeated American veteran Damon "Dangerous" Reed at the South Town Exhibition Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on August 18, 2007. Reed, 43-11-(5), a former WBO title challenger, had won his last three fights and fought some of the leading heavyweight and cruiserweight contenders in the world since turning professional in April 1995. Greenberg put together some impressive and heavy three and four punch combinations. Reed grappled, kicked, pushed Greenberg to the canvas on numerous occasions, tried roughing him up on the inside with the elbows, spun Greenberg round full circle and punched on break, and at one point tried to choke Greenberg, and was docked points for his illegal moves. In the eighth round Greenberg floored Reed three times. The contest was stopped 43 seconds into the ninth, after he again sent Reed crashing to the canvas.

Greenberg out-pointed Southampton-based Irish-born Colin Kenna over eight rounds in London in October 2007. He had Kenna in trouble in the sixth round with a good right hook, and on the floor in seventh from a straight right hand. The only time Greenberg "was in any trouble was when his stool collapsed under his sixteen and a half stone frame at the end of fifth round."

In December 2007 Greenberg underwent a hand operation. He had been hampered by an injury to the second and third metacarpals on the knuckles in his right hand for years, and was operated on successfully by hand surgeon David Evans in Windsor, Berkshire.

Greenberg lost his first bout against heavyweight contender Cedric Boswell (28–1; 22 KOs) in August 2008. He lost via TKO in the second round, after taking numerous punches from Boswell, who won for the 28th time in 29 fights, and is looking for a title bout opportunity. In June 2009, he was ranked 56th in the International Boxing Organization's heavyweight computerized rankings. Of those ahead of him, only two were younger than he is.Greenberg hasn't fought in the ring after his loss to Boswell.

Boxing style

Greenberg uses an "orthodox" stance. He is best at moving his legs, creating angles, and confusing opponents. He has also been referred to as "cerebral," with "lightening fast reflexes" "incredibly quick hands, and a "solid jab and quickness of fist." He "has plenty of flashy moves and can escape from a corner and counter as well as anyone in the division." At the same time he has been described as steady and patient. He isn't a power puncher, but more of a technician, whose knockouts come from an accumulation of punches. He has a very European style, as he stands straight up and relies on his left hand to control distance and set up his combinations. Some experts maintain, however, that he is not a big enough puncher to bother the very best heavyweights. He has also been criticized for just doing enough to win rounds and adopting a safety first attitude, but has responded: "When it is time to take risks in a very big fight, like for the world title, then I will be happy to take the risks. But why should I take unnecessary risks in fights I'm clearly winning?" He has also been criticized for seeing to be "unwilling to maintain a high level of work," and being "guilty of dropping his hands and stepping back to admire his own work whenever he landed a flashy combination." He has also been criticized for not jumping on weakened opponents and lacking killer instinct. In November 2006 he sported a flabby mid-body for the first time in his professional career.

Jewish heritage

Greenberg was one of three top Jewish boxers in January 2009, the others being Dmitry Salita junior welterweight (29–0–1) and Yuri Foreman, the middleweight (30–1–2).

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