Alexander Povetkin has been the flag bearer for Russian Heavyweight boxing for more than a decade, but is Apti Davtaev the man to takeover?
BoxNation viewers get their first glimpse of the KO king on Thursday when we have live coverage of the 6ft 6in beast’s vacant WBO International Title clash against Brazil’s Pedro Otas in Grozny.
Promoter Dmitry Salita has brought the 18 stone puncher to the United States to develop under Javan ‘Sugarhill’ Steward at the fabled Kronk gym in Detroit.
Unbeaten Davtaev has knocked out 15 of his 16 victims, with his only blemish a draw more than four-and-a-half years ago.
Three of his last four fights have taken place in the US so this week's match up in Grozny is an increasingly rare home appearance.
Davtaev, 29, said: “My goal is to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World.
“Professional boxing is on a high level, especially in my weight class, in the USA, so that is where I want to be.”
Salita added: “The Heavyweights are once again infused with lots of talent, and Apti’s punching power and size will make him a real threat to the best in the division.”
Steward will have busy night on Thursday as he also trains Aslambek Idigov and Umar Salamov, who share top billing with Davtaev when they light up the Channel of Champions on Thursday night.
Steward says: “Apti is a strong, coordinated, big Heavyweight who will be ready to compete very soon with the other contenders in the division.
“I am very impressed with his ability to learn and to transfer what he's learned into sparring.”