Undefeated heavyweight KO artist Apti Davtaev will make his long-awaited American debut this Friday night on the untelevised undercard of two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) defense of her WBC and IBF titles against undefeated mandatory challenger Tori Nelson (17-0-3, 2 KOs) at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
A recent signing of Salita Promotions, Davtaev (13-0-1, 13 KOs), from Kurchaloi, Russia, will take on Philadelphia-based veteran Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson (18-13-1, 9 KOs) in an eight-round showcase.
Standing an imposing 6 ‘5″ and already having won the WBC Slovenian title in just his tenth pro fight, Davtaev moved from his training base in Grozny to Detroit to work with well-respected Javan SugarHill Steward at the Kronk Gym.
“I loved training in Detroit with SugarHill Steward,” said Davtaev. “I feel my skills are going to a new level and I look forward to showing them off on January 12. I know Wilson is experienced and has fought some very good fighters, but I am in great shape and ready to put on a show!”
Not looking to waste any time, the 28-year-old Davtaev says he’ll be looking for “names” in the big man’s division of boxing after this fight.
“My goals are to stay active and fight the better names in the division this year,” he said. “I look forward to showing the boxing fans my skills and challenging the big names. The fans in New York can expect to see a new contender in the heavyweight division.”
Steward, nephew of the great Emanuel Steward and quickly building a strong reputation of his own, says that Davtaev has what it takes.
“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. I am excited to see Apti in action January 12 for his American debut. I expect to see an exciting knockout!”
Presented by Salita Promotions, Shields vs. Nelson will serve as the headliner of a televised tripleheader on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT).
Also featured on the January 12 telecast, Uzbekistan power-puncher Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11 KOs) will face fellow undefeated and top-10 ranked Sonny Fredrickson (18-0, 12 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio. In the co-feature, Jesse Hernandez (10-1, 7 KOs) will take on Ernesto Garza (9-2, 5 KOs; 1-3 WSB) in a 10-round super bantamweight bout.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are currently on sale for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.