Tyson Fury’s trainer Sugarhill Steward has been priming the fearsome power of Apti Davtaev, who could become a sparring partner for Britain’s WBC champion.
Fury devised his destructive game plan with Steward before sensationally stopping Deontay Wilder in February, and his first defence of the WBC heavyweight title is expected to be a third fight against the American, with a date and venue to be confirmed.
Steward also works with Davtaev, who has 19 knockouts in 21 fights, and the heavy-handed Russian could soon be trading punches with Fury in sparring.
“Potentially yes,” said Davtaev’s promoter Dmitriy Salita. “While Apti is more filled out than Wilder, they are about the same height. That would be a great experience for Apti.
“He is the best heavyweight coming out of Russia. His time off the radar, training at the Kronk Gym with Sugarhill over the last several years paid off. He is now ready to explode onto the heavyweight scene.”
Davtaev has been shown the same aggressive style that was taught at the famed Kronk Gym and Steward revealed how he was eager for the 31-year-old to spar Fury.
“I wanted them to spar but the timing wasn’t right,” Steward previously told Sky Sports. “Apti was fighting in Russia, and Tyson in Las Vegas, one day apart, so it didn’t make sense to travel.
“He [Davtaev] had a good performance in his last fight, keeping the things that I taught him.
“He was excited to box with Tyson. He wants to learn from the best. It would be a great combination because Tyson loves to teach. During his last camp, we spent time teaching the sparring partners, not just teaching Tyson.”
Lucas Browne, Australia’s former WBA champion had been scheduled to fight Davtaev before the coronavirus outbreak and Salita is still hopeful the fight will go ahead.
Salita said: “That’s the fight we want! Things have been more challenging across the board with television dates, venues etc, but this is a solid, meaningful fight at heavyweight.
“Apti is the best, biggest punching heavyweight from the new crop. This fight is certainly a solid test in former world champion Lucas Browne.”
Salita also guides the career of Jermaine Franklin, the rising heavyweight contender from Michigan, who is set to resume his unbeaten 20-fight career.
Franklin had been selected to spar with Alexander Povetkin before the Dillian Whyte fight, only to be denied the opportunity due to travel restrictions.
“We would like to have him back in the ring by mid to late fall,” Salita told Sky Sports. “There was that discussion for Jermaine to join Povetkin’s camp in Russia, but the travel ban and coronavirus prevented that.
“I think it would be a great experience for Jermaine. In a few fights, I feel he will be ready to compete at that level.”
Franklin has declared himself as America’s best chance of regaining the world titles that currently reside in the hands of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.
“They got a new heavyweight, they got me to save them,” Franklin had told Sky Sports. “People are starting to wake up and see me.
“The world will see me next. I’m right here.”
Salita insists the 26-year-old would face any British heavyweight rival in the near future.
“Yes definitely! Jermaine wants to fight the best,” said Salita