Andrey “Bupas” Ivichuk is the most fashionable boxing coach in Russia. He has celebrities, pop stars and members of the Forbes 100 list, his loyal students enter the ring with a prescribed battle plan and know how to find a weak point of an opponent. A fan of Castaneda, who has gone from a small Belarusian town and small street “moots” to the main American fighting arenas and clubs, is changing the face of Russian boxing. Longread.
In the world of UFC flyweight fighters, Brazilian John Lineker was considered a killer. On February 1, 2014, Russian Ali Bagautinov was supposed to fight him, and the risk of being knocked out was great: John’s three previous opponents did not last even two rounds. Lineker’s little secret was discovered by Ali’s coach, Andrei “Bupas” Ivichuk: he watched his fights and noticed that it was very difficult for the Brazilian to fight left-handers. Right-hander Bagautinov tried to train in a left-handed stance – and it turned out that he was good at it. For several weeks of preparation, Ali worked like a left-hander, but in all promo videos, posts on social networks and in open training he again became “right-handed”.
The trick worked. Lineker was discouraged and could not line up with the enemy, who stood to him in the mirror image of an ordinary stance. The Brazilian’s usual trump cards did not work, it was not possible to deliver the blow. Bagautinov threw him to the floor and confidently hit the waste, while John desperately followed him, hoping to catch him with one powerful blow.
The victory over Lineker made Bagautinov a contender for the UFC title. Ali became the first Russian in the 21st century to achieve a fight for the champion belt of the most prestigious promotion in the world of mixed martial arts. And for Andrey Ivichuk, this episode has become a visiting card, proof that his methods work at the world level.
Boxer and Mop
Thirty-six-year-old Ivichuk destroys stereotypes about how a coach should look. “I would rather introduce Andrey at the rap battle,” says Marina Denisova, creative producer of the show “Fight in the Big City”, where Ivichuk became one of the main characters. – Firstly, this is, of course, his image: no sweatpants and a whistle on the belly. He doesn’t look like a coach at all. Secondly, Andrei not only speaks well, but also jokes funny. There is nothing dull, soviet and downtrodden in it. Before the first meeting, I looked at his instagram, and he made a strong impression on me. I never thought boxing could be so much fun, it’s more like some kind of circus act. For example, Andrei blindfolds a fighter with a bandage, and puts on his paws himself. At the command of the voice, the boxer must accurately hit the paws. This, as I understand it, is not easy – after all, the location of the target is constantly changing. ”
In Bupas’ instagram, you can see how his boxers catch playing cards in flight, one after the other the whole deck: an exercise for reaction and speed. They hit a special pillow, suddenly jumping up from the chair: work on coordination and explosion. Or they shy away from the gloves worn on the mop handle: Ivichuk imitates work with a direct blow and forces the fighters to defend themselves continuously and in various ways. Everyone who is interested in boxing and martial arts inevitably subscribes to his account. Now the number of subscribers has reached 93 thousand people. Among them are coaches of UFC champions who react to his publications, promoters, managers, fighters, but mostly people who are simply interested in boxing and martial arts.
Despite the fact that his main occupation is working with professionals, Bupas gives a lot of personal training. Ivichuk’s clients at different times were several businessmen from the top 100 Russian Forbes (Andrei does not name their names, but it is known that among them was the head of the Summa company Ziyavudin Magomedov, who is now under investigation in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center), the lead singer of the group “Band’Eros” Roman Panich, TV presenters Olga Buzova and Ksenia Borodina. “Many train to be involved: I train, go to fights, watch, understand,” says Andrey. – It is important for them to be taught by the trainer of professional fighters, who are shown on TV. This is a moment of prestige and status. I do not hide the fact that those who come to me on personal accounts pay more than they could. What I can teach at their level, many coaches are capable of doing: hitting jabs and deuces, doing dips and dives. ”
The first reason for the popularity of Bupas is that boxing and other martial arts have become a popular system of fitness loads, accessible to absolutely everyone. The paws are regularly hit not only by Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg and Justin Bieber, but also by the Victoria’s Secret “angels” led by Adriana Lima, because the treadmill and squat do not give the adrenaline that when you try to hit the target with your fist.