27-year-old heavyweight Denis Boytsov (right) is 33-0. (Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Undefeated heavyweight contender Denis Boytsov — whose rise in the division has been stalled by injuries and a promotional dispute — has signed with Sauerland Event, the promotional company announced on Monday. Boytsov will fight on a Sauerland card this fall.
Boytsov’s contract with Sauerland will run through 2015.
Boytsov, 27, was a decorated amateur, winning the 2001 and ’02 Cadet World Championships and the ’04 Junior World Championships before turning pro. As a professional, Boytsov (33-0) quickly established himself as one of the top heavyweights in Europe, showcasing skill and solid knockout power (78.8 percent knockout rate) as he rose up the ranks. Boytsov appeared headed for a world title shot before injuries — a right hand in 2010 and an elbow last year, both of which required surgery–slowed his ascent.
With two wins already this year, Boytsov — who reportedly chose Sauerland over offers from Felix Sturm’s promotional company and Don King — believes the injury woes are behind him.
“I am happy to be a part of Team Sauerland, where I will train under the guidance of coach Karsten Roewer,” Boytsov said. “Therefore, I will move from Hamburg to Berlin to be close to the training facilities.”
Boytsov joins a Sauerland Event stable that already includes heavyweights Alexander Povetkin, Karo Murat and Robert Helenius, fighters that Boytsov — who is currently ranked as the No. 1 contender by the WBO — could be matched up against in the next year.
“After we found out that Denis was officially a free agent, we immediately tried to sign him,” said Sauerland Event managing director Chris Meyer. “Promotions all over the world tried hard to get his signature but in the end he decided to join us, which makes us very proud.”
-- Chris Mannix