While the world’s top-level heavyweights continue to trade words not blows, there is a wealth of eager big men coming through and looking to steal some headlines.
Arslanbek Makhmudov is one of them – a so far undefeated Russian heavyweight based out of Montreal in Canada. The orthodox puncher has proven that he has power in both fists and a solid amateur background in which he beat two international opponents that themselves bested Anthony Joshua in the unpaid ranks.
One victory came via points over Mahammadrasul Majidov and the other was a knockout of Mihai Nistor, a Romanian who was himself the first man to stop ‘AJ’.
Makhmudov turned pro in December 2017 and since then has had 16 fights and a total of just 39 rounds with a 93.75% KO ratio. The 6′ 5½″ ‘Lion’ is 34 so is looking to make quick progress now he has grown accustomed to the pro game.
His best victory came against fringe contender Carlos Takam in September 2022 when he managed to have the solid Frenchman down in rounds one and seven before winning a unanimous decision.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Makhmudov says his goal is to follow his uncle’s prediction in being the next Ali or Mike Tyson.
“All my fights are a message to my rivals. It’s my motivation to be the best in the world. I think it’s normal for all sportsmen.
All sportsmen want to be the best in the world. That’s my goal to be best and first in the world, to show I can do that.
My uncle brought me to a boxing gym and told me you’re going to be like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, I remember his words and this is my goal.
They give me an opponent, I will do the fight, that’s it. My target is to destroy everyone. That’s it.”
Makhmudov has some way to go to reach the heights of ‘Iron Mike’, who still holds the record of youngest ever heavyweight champion. At 34 years-old the unbeaten heavyweight will need to move fast if he’s to accomplish his goals.
He’s promised another knockout in his next fight against a fellow unbeaten heavyweight in Raphael Akpejiri on the undercard of Jared Anderson versus Charles Martin in Toledo.