While the world appears in a little golden age of heavyweight boxing, Croatian rising star Filip Hrgovic has shown he’s ready to take on the world’s best.
In a division largely dominated by the likes of Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua, Hrgovic us 11-0 and the WBC International champion.
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On Saturday he defended his title against Greek opponent Alexandre Kartozia, who had an 8-1-1 record heading into the fight with a second round knockout.
While that is impressive on its own despite being on a late stand-in, it was the way that Hrgozia knocked Kartozia out that had boxing pundits raving.
Nicknamed “El Animal”, Hrgozia wound up and flattened Kartozia with a huge right hand that left the Greek fighter with his head laying on the bottom rope.
The sound of the punch itself was incredible.
WATCH FROM THE RINGSIDE VIEW IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE TO HEAR THE PUNCH
The event promoters group account Team Sauerland posted the video of the punch with the captain “KO of the year from ‘El Animal’,” while the promoters account posted: “The perfect combination of pinpoint accuracy and devastating power. @Filip_Hrgovic is on the hunt for World titles”.
Pre-fight Hrgovic was ranked ninth on the WBC rankings, whose champion is Fury, and contains the likes of Wilder, Oleksander Usyk, Alexander Povetkin, Andy Ruiz and Dillian Whyte.
At 28, Hrgovic has plenty of time on his side as well with the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist regarded as one of the hottest prospects in the division.
In his 11 fights, nine have finished with knockouts, and generally early with only 38 rounds fought in those bouts.
But British heavyweight Tom Little, who has already been defeated by Hrgovic, compared him to great company, including Fury, Wilder and former champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Klitschko holds the longest combined world championship reign in heavyweight boxing history at 4,382 days or 12 years.
“Hrgovic will be the next dominating force when Tyson Fury hangs up his gloves. He is that good,” former opponent Tom Little previously told Sky Sports. “He will be another such heavyweight as Wladimir Klitschko.
“Hrgovic is the standout prospect and the one that can have longevity and success. Hrgovic is so, so clever.
“You won‘t find another heavyweight as explosive, who hits as hard as him, apart from Deontay Wilder.
“That‘s the sort of power he hits with. That is the sort of punch power he carries.”
Hrgovic said he hopes to get back in the ring before the end of the year as well.
“I’ll fight again in the United States so I already have two fights scheduled in two months. If everything goes well there, then I hope to fight again at the end of 2020,” Hrgović said.