The phrase ‘The next big thing’ is bounced around quite freely, however there are only a handful of occasions where it is actually warranted. A man called Taishan Dong appears to fit this bill both literally and metaphorically, standing at 7 feet tall and weighs in as a true heavyweight. He already has 3 wins via knockout and TKO, and as a former kickboxer appears to move pretty well for such a large guy! He is now signed to Oscar Dela hoya Golden Boy Promotions in the US, and has his sights firmly fixed on heavy weight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
How does he weigh up?
Well, standing at 7 feet tall he already has a few inches on current champ Klischko. Add to this a monstrous reach of 2.1m (84 inches), which is as long as he is (literally), and the fact that he is only 26 years of age…and you’ve got a recipe for a champ. Despite his large frame, Dong appears to be a reasonable mover too, with his coach attributing most of this to his roots in kickboxing. Having also played basketball he has good athleticism for such a big man. In a bout against the ever popular Bob Sapp, he managed to floor the big guy with a single heavy blow to the top of his head. Dong had his first professional bout against Alex Rozman which Dong managed to win in a 2nd round TKO. Perhaps one of the most exciting factors is that he decided to train and live in America, turning down the sponsors etc in Asia, this is a very positive decision as we all know how influential the US can be in promoting and developing boxers.
The evolution of athletes
You’ve only got to look at the younger generation these days, the size and level of performance is going up, and up and up. People are growing taller, stronger, more powerful and agile than ever before, and Dong is a prime example of this. The sport Crossfit is expecting to see someone that can run a sub 4 minute mile, clean and jerk 200kg, deadlift 400kg and perform gymnastic movements that wouldn’t look out of place in a gymnastics gym! Evolution is dictating that we continue to get better and better, generation by generation, and when you see a 7 foot, 26 year old that can also move with the agility of a man half his size…it all starts to become very real indeed!
Whether Dong will continue to develop in such a way that takes him to the top is yet to be seen, but 3 wins out of 3 fights, all by some form of knockout is a good start. Let’s see what the future brings, maybe a Dong V Klischko bout is on the cards.
Do You Even, (2015). Taishan Dong. Retrieved 3rd March, 2015, from http://www.doyoueven.com/2015/02/introducing-taishan-dong-70-monstrous-former-kick-boxing-machine-trying-luck-boxing-world/