Undefeated Apti Davtaev, a Diamond in the Rough Takes On the Heavyweight Division

Photography credit Terrell Groggins

From my Perspective

Those following boxing already know that the heavyweight division is making a comeback, with the likes of Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. Unifying the heavyweight titles is clearly on the horizon which makes this an exciting time to be in this division, and for fighters with the right set of skills, technique and drive, championship belts may be ripe for the taking.

Apti Davtaev is one such fighter that has his eyes set on making the tough rise to the top. He’s an up and comer currently on Salita Promotions’ roster, from Kurchaloi, Russia. His debut in the United States on January 12, 2018 was successful. Hosted by Turning Stone Resort Casino in New York, Davtaev took on Garrett Wilson and won by unanimous decision, but the win wasn’t easy.

I was ringside, documenting this fight. With Wilson’s wild haymakers continuously coming at Davtaev, he had to respond aggressively with his heavy right hand. Davtaev has a great reach at 78 ½ inches, but I expected him to use it more effectively this night against his shorter opponent. Wilson’s a very tough boxer, and Davtaev prevailing shows just the type of potential he has.

Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions’ sees this potential and has his eyes set at the top for Davtaev too. He knows that this “diamond in the rough” boxer has what it takes to make it to the top, as long as he gets the training he needs to help improve his technique. To be sure of his assessment, Salita brought Davtaev to Detroit’s Kronk Gym for confirmation. Javan Sugar Hill Steward agrees.

Steward speaks: “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.”

Salita speaks: “We will bring Apti to our training base in the US, where he will get world-class training and continue his development as a fighter. I am proud to be working with him and his team.”

If Davtaev keeps up his strict training regiment under the guidance of Steward, he appears to stand a good chance to face some of the big names in the heavyweight division, which is precisely why he's training in the States.

Davtaev speaks: “My goals are to stay active and fight the better names in the division this year. I look forward to showing the boxing fans my skills and challenging the big names.”

His win against Wilson takes him one step closer to his goal. Davtaev’s record now stands at 14-0-1, 13 KOs. I am excited for what’s in store for Davtaev and the heavyweight division.

 Apti vs Wilson

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