New Faces: Egor Mekhontsev
Hometown: Asbest, Russia
Weight class: Light heavyweight
Height / reach: 6-foot-1 (185 cm)/ 74¾ÔÇ│ inches (189 cm)
Amateur record: 300 + fights
Turned pro: 2013
Pro record: 10-0, 7 knockouts
Trainer(s): Freddie Roach and Marvin Somodio
Manager: Vadim Kornilov
Promoter: Top Rank Promotions
Best night of pro career: Mekhontsev feels his best performance since turning pro was on the eve of Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao, at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, when he fought the most experienced opponent to date, winning a shutout decision.
“My fight with Hakim Zoulikha (then 21-5, 10 KOs),” Mekhontsev told RingTV.com through his manager Vadim Kornilov. “because it was the best opponent I had (so far as a pro).”
Worst night of pro career: The big Russian southpaw feels most disappointed with his most recent performance when he had to get off the canvas in the sixth round before winning a points decision.
“Probably the fight with Jackson Junior,” he said. “I went at him aggressively in the first round because wanted to make sure that I was performing in an exciting style for the fans. The recklessness caused some problems for me and I took a big shot in the first round that made the fight more difficult for me than it really was.”
Next fight: Mekhontsev will face Mexican trialhorse Felipe Romero (19-10-1, 13 KOs) in Burbank, Calif. on Saturday.
It should provide an interesting gauge to see where Mekhontsev is compared to his fellow up-and-coming prospects.
Why he’s a prospect: Mekhontsev entered the pro game in the fall of 2013 on the back of a hugely successful amateur career. He says he amassed over 300 amateur bouts, “After my record reached 300 (fights), I stopped counting.”
During his time in the unpaid ranks, he was a three-time Russian champion, two-time European champion (2008 and 2010). He also collected gold (2009) and bronze (2011) in the World Championships and took home an Olympic gold medal (2012).
“It is very rewarding experience that not everyone gets,” said the heavy-handed southpaw. “I think that I deserve what I was able to achieve as I worked really hard.”
As an amateur, the Russian wrecking machine beat many top names including Clemente Russo, Oleksandr Usyk, Tervel Pulev, Marcus Browne, Alexandr Gvozdyk and Adilbek Niyazymbetov.
He decided to turn pro at the relatively advanced age of 29 for a couple of reasons.
“First, in amateur boxing, there has been many changes that are not making it better,” he said, “but worst, in my opinionÔÇªSecondly, it’s the desire to make real money.”
Since turning pro, he has got himself excellent sparring at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles.
He considers his biggest strength to be his experience garnered in the amateur ranks but feels he’s still two years away from 175-pound top dogs Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson.
His manager, Kornilov, who also works with Denis Lebedev, Viktor Postol and Ruslan Provodnikov, is impressed with his fighter so far: “He is a top prospect that still needs to be seasoned as a pro.”
Why he’s a suspect: You don’t achieve what Mekhontsev did as an amateur without being a pretty special boxer. However, entering the pros at 29 leaves the question: Did he leave his best years in the amateurs?
Story lines: Mekhontsev was born and raised in Asbest, east of the Ural Mountains.
“When I was a kid, I went to the boxing gym to watch my older brother training. My father trained him, so basically they got me involved.” he explained.
He is married and has a young daughter. Away from boxing, he enjoys the outdoors and includes fishing as a hobby.
Dec. 7 – PJ Cajigas – TKO 3
Feb. 22 – Atthaporn Jaritram – TKO 2
April 11 – Dwayne Williams – TKO 3
July 19 – Mike Mirafuentes – RTD 3
Sept. 6 – Samuel Miller – TKO 3
Nov. 8 – Jinner Guerrero – TKO 2
Nov. 28 – Joey Vegas – UD 8
March 14 – Marcelo Leandro Da Silva – TKO 1
May 1 – Hakim Zoulikha – UD 8
Sept. 11 – Jackson Junior – UD 8
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/