Standing seven feet tall and an intimidating sight to any opponent, heavyweight Taishan Dong has made a predictably winning start to his professional fighting career following a switch from kickboxing in 2014.
The 26 year-old is 3-0, with two stoppages since making his debut last April and will now make his most high-profile appearance to date on the undercard of Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez’s bout with American James Kirkland on May 9.
As the massive contender from China approaches his first year in boxing this summer, Taishan took time out to give WBN his perspective following victories over Alex Rozman last July, Tommy Washington in November and more recently Rory McCrary in February.
“I think I am much more relaxed and comfortable in the ring,” Taishan told World Boxing News.
“Since my background was kickboxing, I am definitely more comfortable training and competing in only boxing for this past year. Now it is very natural to me, whereas in the beginning, I felt I had to adjust.
“Being more comfortable allows me to throw more punches, yet I am disappointed that I did not achieve a knockout in my last fight – but my opponent was very tough. He had never been knocked down prior to this fight and I knocked him down twice, so I know these early fights are a good learning experience.
“Despite no getting the KO, I am glad that I was able to get the experience of going the distance and I think it is a valuable lesson for my career.
Asked what he hopes to achieve in 2015, Taishan added: “I hope to continue to improve my skills and become a better boxer. I hope to fight as often as possible and continue my climb to a championship.
“I am very excited and honored to be on the same fight card as Canelo Alvarez on May 9th and I cannot wait to show the fans even more.”
In an interview with WBN last year, Taishan was realistic about the timescale he needs to be able to compete at the top level, despite massive hype on the back of his sheer size, ring presence and punching power. Added to that the fact that Taishan has nothing but respect for current top division king Wladimir Klitschko and fully believes the Ukrainian will continue his reign against Bryant Jennings later this month.
“I believe Klitschko will win by knockout against Jennings,” predicted Taishan. “He is too big and too strong and is still the best heavyweight in the world.”