Unbeaten heavyweight Denis Boytsov (23-0, 18 KOs), a native of Russia now living in Germany, will face veteran Israel “King Kong” Garcia (19-2, 11 KOs) in a 12-round bout for the WBA Intercontinental title on February 7th. The 22-year-old Boytsov, rated No. 11 by the WBA, is the latest hyped prospect in a long line of Russian heavyweight contenders. The bout will be featured on the huge “Champion Returns” card, featuring WBA heavyweight “Champion in Recess” Ruslan “White Tyson” Chagaev versus unbeaten challenger Carl David Drumond, plus WBA light welterweight champion Andreas Kotelnik’s defense against undefeated Argentinean knockout artist Marcos Rene “El Chino” Maidana, the WBA #1 contender. The card will be available live on pay-per-view in the United States from Rostock, Germany.
“The Champion Returns” card, presented by Universum Boxing-Promotion, will broadcast three 12-round bouts. Integrated Sports is distributing it in the United States for live viewing at 2 PM/ET – 11 AM/PT on cable pay-per-view via iN Demand and TVN for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. A same day replay will be shown at 9 PM/ET – 6 PM/ET. The event will also be available in Canada on TSN. Hall of Fame announcer Col. Bob Sheridan will handle blow-by-blow duties and Benny Ricardo, former NFL placekicker, will serve as color commentator.
2000 Uzbekistan Olympian Chagaev (24-0-1, 17 KOs), The Ring’s No. 3 rated heavyweight, captured the WBA crown on April 14, 2007 by 12-round decision against Nikolai Valuev (46-0). However, due to injuries, Ruslan has fought only once since then, winning a 12-round decision against Matt Skelton (21-1) a year ago. An Achilles tendon injury prevented Chagaev from defending his title last year against Valuev and the WBA regulated him to its “champion in recess.”
Ruslan has been sparring in Hamburg, Germany with American heavyweights Leo Nolan (27-1, 10 KOs) and Terry “The Troublemaker” Smith (30-6-1, 18 KOs). “The last sparring I had done was in May last year,” Chagaev reported from Hamburg. “Afterwards I had a long rehabilitation period which was quite tiring. But now I am looking to this fight. I can hardly wait to be back in Rostock.”
WBA #10 rated Drumond (26-0, 20 KOs), promoted by Warriors Seminole Boxing, fights out of Costa Rica and remains a relative mystery to boxing fans outside of Central America. His most notable win to date was in 2007, when he won a 10-round decision against former world champion Kelvin Davis. Drumond is the former IBF and WBO Latino champion, as well as the ex-WBC FECARBOX title holder.
The Kotelnik-Maidana clash shapes-up as a potential classic featuring a pure boxer, Kotelnik (30-2-1, 13 KOs), against a dangerous power puncher, Maidana (25-0, 24 KOs), in the 12 round co-feature.
Maidana, the former WBA Fedelatin light welterweight champion, puts opponents to sleep. Twenty-four of his 25 victims to date never went the distance against the hard punching 140-pounder, who was the 2002 and 2003 Argentine National champion and reached the quarterfinals of the 2003 World Championships. “El Chino” has never fought in the United States but he plans to prove to American fight fans Feb. 7 on PPV that he is a legitimate contender. German fans are much more familiar with Maidana because five of his last seven fights have been held in Germany.
Ukrainian-born Kotelnik won the WBA light welterweight title last March with a 12th round TKO of previously unbeaten Gavin Rees (27-0). Kotelnik, now living in Hamburg (Germany), had previously fought Souleymane M’baye to a draw in their 2007 WBA light welterweight title fight.