At the age of 29, Egidijus – Egis for short – is a four-year pro. A rising young contender at 147 pounds, he is a former amateur standout who competed at the elite level of international competition: he represented Lithuania in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and the 2007, 2009, and 2011 World Championships, and won a W.C. bronze medal in 2011.
He is a stablemate of WBO featherweight world champion Vasily Lomachenko, light heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk, WBO cruiserweight world champion Aleksandr Usyk, and former WBO-IBF-WBA light heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev – all are managed by Egis Klimas, the Boxing Writers Association of America’s “2016 Manager of the Year.”
Egis stayed active in the ring with five fights in 2014, two in 2015, and four in 2016. He has given impressive performances and scored several spectacular knockouts.
In his last fight on September 22 in Tucson, Arizona, he stepped up to 10-round status for the first time and won the vacant NABF welterweight title with a seventh-round TKO against Mahonri Montes.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Welterweight Egis Kavaliauskas stopped Mahonri Montes of Mexico in the seventh round of a hard-hitting fight.
Montes, who was coming off an upset-decision win against Francisco Santana in April, landed his share of solid punches, but Kavaliauskas did far more damage with his shots, including raising swelling around Montes’ right eye early in the fight. The swelling continued to get worse, and before the seventh round there was a delay while the ringside doctor examined Montes. The fight was allowed to continue, but as Kavaliauskas pounded away, [the] referee waved it off 34 seconds into the round.
With the win, Kavaliauskas, who fights out of Oxnard, California, won a regional belt and then called for a bigger fight. [End Rafael item]
In his post-fight interview, Egis said, “This is my first belt. I’ve never won a belt before in my life. I knew it would be a hard fight, and it was a hard fight. Now there’s only one guy I want – Jeff Horn.”
After Egis’ fight on April 8, Dan Rafael commented, “Welterweight Egidijus Kavaliauskas [is] one of boxing’s best up-and-coming talents…. Kavaliauskas, known as ‘The Mean Machine,’ looked awfully mean….”
In an earlier interview, Egis said, “When I come here to USA, I found my style, what I like to do – I like to fight, take pressure to the guy! In amateurs, I was fighting like a real amateur, a way different style. No pressure boxer, I was like, counter-boxer.
“I met Egis Klimas before the 2011 World Championships, I think. At that point, I wasn’t already qualified for the Olympics in London. My goal was to get to the Olympics and get the medal. After the World Championships – I was a bronze medalist – Egis invited me to California to train for the Olympics. But my national team’s staff didn’t let me come. They say I need to stay with my team and train at home.
“After the Olympics – they weren’t so successful for me – I don’t see opportunities to go much further so Egis took me to USA to become pro. Here, boxing is the top. I knew the team would be good and I would get stronger.
“Everything is different training here compared to home. There, we prepared for three rounds and everything goes fast. Here, it’s more rounds and the coaches work with you personally, like on the mitts, and strong guys come here to spar. Every day here, sparring is like a fight – you need to be ready 100 percent for sparring.”
Regarding his nickname, he said, “My nickname makes it easier for Americans to remember me. My friend Evgeny Gradovich – The Mexican Russian – he gave the nickname to me. I think it’s from a movie called ‘Mean Machine,’ something like that. I was in the gym preparing for a fight, losing weight. Every fighter, when he’s losing weight, is mean and I was super mean. I don’t want to talk with nobody, and Evgeny called me ‘mean machine.’ Everybody liked it.”