PRAGUE – Ten days ago, after being beaten by Peter Quillin, Lukáš Konečný ended his long professional career, and a week before, Štěpán Horváth had lost with Tolja Hunanyan. It is no surprise that the Czech boxing scene is looking for a new professional star. Will that be a 26-year-old Slovak Martin Parlagi (14-0)?
This 169 cm tall nice guy from Vranov upon Topla is facing the challenge of a lifetime. According to the news on Profiboxing.cz, he will fight against Irish Marc McCullough (9-1) in his country, in Ireland, for WBO European featherweight title.
The fight will be for the same type of the belt which was held by Konečný in middleweight and in super middleweight, and by another Czech boxer, Ondřej Pála, in heavyweight. In Slovakia, the only belt holder was Tomáš Kid Kovacs in the light heavyweight division. Both Konečný and Kovacs later fought also for a world title.
And why is a Slovak boxer considered to be Czech future star and maybe also Konečný’s successor? Parlagi has lived in Prague for three years; his girlfriend is the most successful Czech amateur boxing star Martina Schmoranzová. His coach is Filip Miňovský, manager Stanislav Škoda and promotor no one else than Konečný.
To sum up, for his professional career, which follows a successful amateur career that included 220 fights (190 wins), Parlagi chose a Czech way to reign the world of boxing.
“The first three-year part of our journey went almost perfectly. Now it is the first milestone for Martin’s career. Everything has been successful also thanks to Lukáš Konečný’s work and contacts,” says about a former league fighter Imrich Parlagi´s son´s career his manager Stanislav Škoda.
He started to work with Parlagi after his former trainer Martin Gajdoš, with whom the young fighter is still in contact and who has appeared at de facto all Parlagi’s fights in the last year.
“Martin has reached the best age for boxing. He has been training for six weeks because he has been preparing for the fight with another opponent (Kamil Laszczyk from Poland), which takes place in May. If everything goes well and Martin will win, our plan is to go to California and to train there,” continues Škoda, who returned from the overseas a week ago.
America is not unknown for Parlagi. In 2010 he participated in the Golden Gloves in New York, where he won over the 2009 winner, but then he was questionably eliminated from the event. His biggest professional success so far has been the title of the International Champion of the Czech Republic in middleweight, which he gained after a great fight with Michal Dufek two years ago.
“Martin will finally box in his weight, in featherweight. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find an opponent for him, because the best ones box overseas, in America or Mexico, or in Asia. The only exception in the old continent is Great Britain and Ireland,” claims Parlagi’s manager.
In the end he adds: “He is very patient, strong-minded, well-disciplined while training. Waiting has not been easy for him, he has got hurt for a few times, but he has always recovered and returned stronger. We eventually chose Ireland because I believe that local people can organise the event and ensure the judges´ fairness much better than Polish organisers. However, it is now only up to Martin whether he will make the most of everything and win!”