Paul McCreath - Most heavyweight fans today are complaining about the lack of quality in the division and especially the absence of anybody who can give either one of the Klitschko brothers a good contest. Fortunately they may not have to wait forever. Help is on the way in the form of an exciting young Russian bomber who has already captured the hearts of many fans in Germany where he does most of his fighting. I am referring of course to Denis Boytsov who may be the most promising prospect to come along in some time.
Denis is not another one of your modern giants. He stands only 6 foot 1 inch and generally weighs around 220-225 pounds. He makes up for his size with an aggressive style and much better than average punching power. In his early days as a pro he appeared to rely too much on his power as he stopped 10 of his first 11 opponents in the first round.. The other went in the second. That streak began back in 2004 but since then he has polished his technical skills and fights in a much more intelligent and controlled manner while still being quite aggressive. His current record stands at 27 wins with 22 KOs and no losses. Before turning pro Denis won 115 of 130 amateur fights and captured the World Junior Championship in 2004.
One of Boytsov's best wins as a pro came against Ondrej Pala who was 11-1 at the time. You may not have heard of Pala but he is a good one too and has now won his last 16 straight and I would emphasize they were not all bums. Denis stopped him in 5 rounds on cuts but he was winning at the time. He has since added victories over the cagy veteran Robert Hawkins by decision in 8 rounds, a second round KO of 19-2 Israel Garcia and a 6 round stoppage of Taras Bidenko who was top 10 rated by one of the alphabet groups at the time. Denis' most recent notable win was a 7 round KO of the very rugged Jason Gavern in October of last year. This is the same Gavern who held Jonathon Banks to a 12 round draw and upset Manuel Quezada in 10 rounds earlier this year.
Boytsov has been having hand troubles this year and just recently returned to training after having an operation to correct things. He should be back in action early in the new year if not sooner. Some have suggested him as an opponent for Wlad or Vitali Klitschko but I think that would be rushing things and could ruin a promising career. He is only 24 years old and has lots of time. Although he has 27 fights on his record he has not been tested against a true top 20 contender yet. Forget what the alphabets say about a fighter's ranking. The Ring ratings are far more accurate. He could use a couple of tune-ups to get rid of the rust accumulated by his hiatus from the ring while he had his hand looked after and then he needs at least one or two fights against top ten or even fringe contenders. If he passes those tests then we can talk about a title fight.
I look forward to seeing what this young gun can do over the next few years and I hope you have enjoyed this article, my first on this site. I usually specialize in heavyweights and there is lots more where this came from if you like what I write.