The Professional Armwrestling League (PAL), the worldwide leader in the sport, launches its 2015 American campaign with the nationally and internationally televised “Vendetta in Vegas” card Sunday, July 12, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
This is the first in a series of regularly scheduled cards in Las Vegas under the PAL USA banner.
“Vendetta in Vegas” will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network on a tape-delay basis and internationally into 56 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
PAL USA presents the top open division competitors from more than 40 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, both men and women, in weight categories ranging from bantamweight to super heavyweight.
PAL, which held its first event in the United States during 2009, was founded in 2002 by Igor Mazurenko, a legendary wrestler, trainer and promoter in the sport. PAL has offices in Gdynia, Poland, and Las Vegas.
“Arm wrestling is a sport most everyone has tried at some time during their life,” said Mazurenko. “But to see these professionals compete, it’s like night and day. They bring a ferocity that is seen only, say, in my opinion, among linemen in American football.
“Arm wrestling started as a formally organized and structured sport 38 years ago; but in the past decade it has been gaining considerable popularity in the United States, because fans are discovering and appreciating its fast pace, intensity and excitement.,” said Mazurenko. “This increased popularity is evidenced by the domestic and international television exposure we have secured.”
For almost 20 years, Mazurenko was a prominent and successful professional athlete throughout Europe, excelling in arm wrestling, power lifting and body building. He competed at the highest level as an arm wrestler for 16 years, and in 2011 won the world championship in the Masters division as a heavyweight at the Professional World Cup in Poland.
Mazurenko also can be considered a renaissance man among sports figures. In addition to his PAL duties, Mazurenko is: A licensed acrobatic pilot, working on his PhD thesis, doing cutting- edge training research on arm wrestling, a manufacturer and distributor of sports equipment, an award-winning producer of arm wrestling films, the publisher of an arm wrestling magazine and vice president of the amateur European Arm Wrestling Federation.
The four-match “Vendetta in Vegas” card July 12 in the Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino:
- Richard Lupkes of Rushmore, Minn. (315 pounds)
Andrey Pushkar of the Ukraine (243 pounds)
- Tim Bresnan of Lisbon, Conn. (286 pounds)
Eugeni Prudnik of the Ukraine (203 pounds)
- Janusz Zolcinski of Poland (242 pounds)
Harold Owens II of Carmel, Ind. (240 pounds)
- Vazgen Saghoyan of Armenia (165 pounds)
Chris Gobby of Montreal (165 pounds)
Tickets for “Vendetta in Vegas” are priced at $20 for general admission, $50 for reserved and $100 for VIP.
Tickets are available:
At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office daily from to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
By calling AXS 888-929-7849 or by going to AXS.com
The first bout in the Vinyl starts at 3 p.m. with doors opening at 2.
Each match consists of the traditional best-of-six rounds format. There is a one-minute break between rounds, regardless of how long the previous session lasted.
Most sessions are over within 15 seconds, but some can last up to one minute. The record for the longest session in international competition is eight minutes, a never-again-approached duration.
Other top world class arm wrestlers who are scheduled to be in action on upcoming “Vendetta in Vegas” cards include Don “Hollywood” Underwood of Independence, Mo.; Krasimir Kostadinov of Bulgaria; and Zoloev Khadzimurat, Arsen Liliev, Alexey Semerenko and Alexey Voeyvoda from Russia.
Not only is arm wrestling competition explosive, it is universal. Virtually, every American at some time during their life, usually starting at childhood, has engaged in arm wrestling.
But PAL has taken this most basic of activities, refined it and made it one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. It is under consideration as an exhibition sport in the 2024 Olympic Games.
These are superb athletes who exhibit strength, technique, stamina and will. It’s what makes this sport so very dynamic.
Men compete in weight divisions of featherweight (up to 139 pounds), lightweight (155), welterweight (172) middleweight (190), heavyweight (210) and super heavyweight (above 210).
Women compete in weight divisions of featherweight (up to 115 pounds), lightweight (126), welterweight (139), middleweight (155) and super middleweight (above 155).
Age groups include Juniors (less than 18 years of age), Senior Juniors (18 through 20), Seniors (21 through 39), Masters (40 through 49), Grand Masters (50 through 59) and Ultra Grand Masters (60 and more). Open division professionals can be any age from 21 and older.
Men, women and the physically challenged compete in both right and left-arm arm wrestling matches.
Various factors can play a part in one’s success in arm wrestling. Technique and overall arm strength are the two greatest contributing factors to winning an arm wrestling match. Other factors, such as the length of an arm wrestler’s arm, his/her muscle and arm mass/density, hand grip size, wrist endurance/flexibility and reaction time, can add to the advantages of one arm wrestler over another.
- The “top roll,” which emphasizes a roll of the wrist as a wrestler brings down the opponent’s wrist, and;
- The “hook,” in which the wrist turns into a hooked grip after the referee has started the match, and;
- The “press” or “push,” in which a wrestler forces an opponent’s palm into a face-up position, then, using chest, shoulder, tricep and forearm strength, pushes down the opponent for the pin, and;
- “Side pressure,” in which a wrestler keeps his wrist locked and, using shoulder rotation, pushes down the opponent for the pin.
Strict rules apply, and fouls can be called and penalties assessed by the referee for various infractions, including: pushing an opponent’s elbow off the elbow pad, a false or premature start and trying to escape a possible arm pin by intentionally breaking the grip with the opponent or purposefully sliding one’s own elbow off the pad.
And, the sport can be hazardous. Arm wrestling puts enormous torque/twist on the upper arm’s humerus bone to a degree seen in few other sports. Most bones are not accustomed to being significantly stressed in this direction, and injuries occasionally occur. Most common is a diagonal break at or below the midpoint between the shoulder and the elbow.