Their names might not trip off the tongue as readily as Ray Leonard or Roy Jones but graduates from the fabled former Soviet production line are threatening to monopolise the sport’s mythical pound-for-pound rankings.
BoxNation identifies a quintet bursting with Eastern promise.
This reigning WBA super-middleweight czar is a 12 stone slab of concrete that is programmed to seek and destroy.
A one-man wrecking machine from Bratsk, south central Russia, the 28 year old is rumoured to have gone unbeaten in 170 amateur contests during which time he collected the world junior title. His 13 pro gigs have lasted just 51 rounds combined with 10 victims demolished before the final bell.
A callous, sombre character, Chudinov triumphed in the USA (four times) and Dominican Republic prior to bagging his WBA belt by suffocating Germany’s four time world champion Felix Sturm before 10,000 in Frankfurt.
Therefore, he is unlikely to be unnerved when he confronts Enfield fan favourite Frank Buglioni at Wembley Arena next weekend.
This Chechen Muslim is a brute of a light-heavyweight who has stopped all nine opponents – including ex world champions Tavoris Cloud and Gabriel Campillo – since joining the paid brigade in June 2013.
A dual Olympian who won two European amateur titles, the 2008 World Cup and 2009 world amateur championships, the ambidextrous slayer has vanquished his pro victims in 26 rounds combined.
Formerly a wrestler, he is blessed with beastly natural strength and mallet fists. The kayo blow which flattened Campillo was measured at 973 pounds of force, travelling at 21mph!
He has already scalped compatriot Kovalev twice in the unpaid code and is signed to the GYM promotional outfit in Montreal where his city rivals include WBC champions past and present, Jean Pascal and Adonis Stevenson.
The reigning WBO, IBF and WBA Super light-heavyweight monarch is dubbed ‘Krusher’ with good cause. Twenty-five of the unbeaten Russian’s 28 victims (one draw) were ground to fine dust inside the scheduled number of rounds.
Courteous and cordial outside the ropes, the 32 year old two time world military champion positively smirks as he dispenses his torture in business hours. In 2011, his clubbing fists were responsible for the ring death of compatriot Roman Simakov. The subject remains strictly off limits.
Ring magazine Fighter of the Year in 2014, Kovalev has already routed four world champions, hammering Gabriel Campillo, Nathan Cleverly and Jean Pascal into submission, then displaying the brains to match his obvious brawn to systematically beat up Bernard Hopkins in a title unifier last November. A frighteningly dangerous operator.
‘Loma’ is quite possibly the most talented ring technician currently active in the sport.
Blessed with the hardy physique, formidable conditioning and heavy hands synonymous with most elite products from the old Soviet conveyor belt, the 27 year old Ukrainian featherweight has a certain flair and panache that is lacking in other talents from the region.
Two Olympic gold medals, a brace of world championships, a European title and a staggering 396-1 slate, distinguish this superb southpaw as the finest amateur boxer of any era. He has mastered every shot in the coaching manual, a few that aren’t, and mixes them up into lavish, potent combinations.
After joining the pros in October 2013, Lomachenko did the unthinkable by challenging for a world title in just his second outing (losing a highly controversial split decision), then capturing one in a record equalling third fight. He has already successfully retained twice and can only blossom as he acclimatizes to the profession. Daunting.
This smiling Kazakh assassin has sent more people to sleep than Night Nurse.
The 33 year old unified middleweight king is a kayo artist in the very purest form of the term. Whereas Chudinov, and particularly Beterbiev and Kovalev, clump foes to the canvas, ‘Triple G’ is reliant on his exquisite mastery of speed, timing and distance.
The outcome, however, is no less catastrophic! Thirty kayo victims in 33 starts make Golovkin statistically the hardest punching middleweight ever.
He owns the explosiveness, ability, charisma and mystique to transcend the sport but, sadly, lacks the competition to elevate him. Those prepared to risk reputation and consciousness by stepping into the same ring, form a very short queue.