Boxing: Self-assured Kiwi-Russian Andrei Mikhailovich eyes important stepping stone towards world title fight

Boxer Andrei Mikhailovich knows what he is - one of New Zealand's most confident athletes.  

"Yeah, f*** yeah!"  

He knows what he wants too - a world title shot against undefeated IBF middleweight champion Zhanibek Alimkhanuly - but to get there, he must first beat German Denis Radovan in December.

Job done, according to Mikhailovich.  

Andrei Mikhailovich dispatches Edisson Saltarin at Fight 4 Life.
Andrei Mikhailovich dispatches Edisson Saltarin at Fight 4 Life. Photo credit: Photosport

"When I go over to England, I'm going to knock this guy the f*** out, so there's no point in you guys coming," he insists. "It's going to be over in six minutes or so." 

On paper, the pair are closely match, with Mikhailovich ranked fourth and Radovan third, but one key component maytrip the German up.

"I don’t think he's got a lot of X factor," said trainer Isaac Peach. "He's a German guy and the Germans are very good fighters, but their very standard sort of fighters.

"Andrei's got X factor." 

Mikhailovich claims: "I've been doing this for 10 years straight now and it's time I reap what I sew."  

Peach anticipates a 13th career knockout, taking his charge's impressive undefeated pro record to 21-0.

"His X factor is power and aggression, and serious nastiness."

Behind that nastiness are humble beginnings. Mikhailovich and his twin brother were adopted from a Russian orphanage in 1999, when they were just 18 months old.

Knowing where he's come from has helped him on the road to becoming a world champion.

"I'm adopted from Russia," said Mikhailovich. "I don't know my parents, so when I rocked up to the gym, I said I was Russian and it just stuck, and I really embody it. 

"I've come a long way from where I was when I was 15, just a little muppet running round, to me now."

It's a journey to the top that the boxing world is sure to hear about.