Denis Boytsov: Another Russian Is Coming

08.04.08 - By Paul McCreath: American heavyweight fans have grown used to the fact these past few years that the ranks of the big boys are now dominated by fighters from the former Soviet Union. Until Sam Peter a Nigerian won the WBC title recently all 4 major belts were held by boxers from behind the old iron curtain. Fortunately since most of these fighters fight regularly in USA it doesn't matter all that much since the American fans get to see them anyway..

With the coming of former Olympic champ Alex Povetkin to the ranks of the top challengers it does not look like the days of the eastern champions are going to end in the near future. Alex is now the mandatory challenger for Wlad Klitschko's IBF title although it remains to be seen if they are going to fight any time soon. American Tony Thompson may well get the next crack at Wlad and his WBO title.

While many fans are looking at Alex as a future champ it might surprise you to know that there is still another Russian who could turn out to be even better.We are talking about another top prospect who has been sort of flying under the radar lately but who still has great potential.

That man is Denis Boytsov.

Denis is 22 years old, six foot one inches tall and weighs around 218-222 pounds. He is not as big as many heavyweights today but he does have one thing many of them are missing, impressive punching power. After a very successful amateur career which culminated in his winning the World Junior Championship in 2004 he turned pro that same year in October and left behind an outstanding amateur record of 115 wins and just 15 losses.

Boytsov attracted a lot of early attention when he rolled off 10 first round KOs in his first 11 fights as a pro. The other one ended in the second round. Finally in his 13th pro bout in July of 2006 he was taken the 8 rounds distance by experienced Brazilian Edson Cesar Antonio who had a 31-6-1 record. It should be pointed out that those 31 wins were mostly over no-hopers and he always lost when he stepped up but it was still a better test for Denis. He followed that by stopping another 11-1 prospect Andrej Pala in the 5th round of their contest.

Since the beginning of 2007 Denis has added 3 more first round KOs and won a 6 round decision from Juan Antonio Diaz a 22-7-1 Argentine last July. It is easy to see that his competition has been fairly soft for the most part with just a sprinkle of quality or experience thrown in occasionally as a test. Next time however, comes his first big step up. On April 26 in Dresden Germany Boytsov is matched with veteran trial horse Robert Hawkins. Hawkins may not be a household name but close followers of the heavyweight division will know him well. In his last fight this past December he came in at short notice for the injured Alonzo Butler and outscored Dominick Guinn over 10 rounds on national TV. In September he had defeated Terry Smith, 30-3-1, over 10 rounds. Sandwiched in between those two fights was a 5 round stoppage by Vlad Virchis the current WBC contender. Hawkins had also gone the 10 round distance earlier with David Tua and Sam Peter, both murderous punchers. He went all 8 rounds with Kevin Johnson an undefeated prospect and lasted 12 rounds with challenger Eddie Chambers.Robert Hawkins is really one tough nut to crack. Overall he is 23-10-0.

It remains to be seen if Denis Boytsov is ready for a stern test like Hawkins but if he is we have another hot prospect on our hands. He fights out of the Universum stable in Germany as do so many top fighters today and lives in Hamburg. His current record is 20-0-0 with 18 KOs. Some have shown concern over his small size but with his punching power and the possibility he could still grow some we may have a heavyweight here that we can get excited about in the near future. Anyone interested in seeing Denis in action can catch some of his early fights on YouTube.

Article posted on 08.04.2008

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