By Keith Idec
As Gennady Golovkin enters the twilight of his celebrated career, Dmitriy Salita considers a fearsome fighter he promotes as the heir apparent to assuming Golovkin’s position as the Eastern European knockout artist that’ll fascinate fans.
We’ll get our next look at Shohjahon Ergashev on Friday night. That’s when the powerful southpaw will meet Mykal Fox in a “ShoBox: The New Generation” main event Showtime will air from Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.
The 27-year-old Ergashev (15-0, 14 KOs) will face a five-inch height disadvantage versus the 6-feet-3½ Fox (19-0, 5 KOs) in the headliner of a telecast set to start at 10 p.m. ET. Though unbeaten, the 23-year-old Fox, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, will take a steep step up in competition when he encounters Ergashev.
“As one era closes, another one starts,” Salita told BoxingScene.com. “I’m talking about Golovkin. As his time kind of is coming to an end, I believe that Ergashev is that guy to fill that void. He’s a really, really big puncher. He’s an exciting fighter and he’s a big star back home. He has, I think, over 450,000 followers on Instagram. National musicians include him in their videos, the president talks about him after his victories. So, he’s really a big star back home. And obviously, the United States is the ‘Mecca of Boxing,’ and he’s trying to make a name for himself here.”
Uzbekistan’s Ergashev emerged on the radar of American fans and media when he dismantled previously undefeated Sonny Fredrickson in a “ShoBox” bout 13 months ago. He hurt Fredrickson (20-1, 13 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio, several times before referee Benjy Esteves stepped in during the third round to keep Fredrickson from taking more punishment.
“Respected people in the game were telling me, ‘You’re rushing him. You’re gonna get an undefeated fighter beat,’ ” Salita said. “But I knew what I have and it proved to be fact when he faced Sonny Fredrickson.
“I feel that he’s one of the most exciting fighters in boxing, one of the hardest punchers in boxing. He has the star potential to really be somebody in this sport.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.