Tsotne Rogava Aims to Join Oleksandr Usyk and Klitschkos as Heavyweight Greats

Boxing Scene

Ukraine’s Tsotne Rogava believes he is the future of the heavyweight division. 

Rogava returns on March 23 against Antonio Brown (8-4, 8 KOs) at the LumColor Phoenix Center in Ontario, California. 

Despite a resume that features just five professional boxing fights, Rogava’s achievements are vast. He carved out distinguished Muay Thai and kickboxing careers before prioritizing boxing, winning all five of his first pro bouts by knockout. 

Rogava trains under the tutelage of Joe Goossen and Jonathan Walley, who seem to be big believers in their fighter’s talent. Walley says Rogava will soon be able to fight the division’s elite.

“I’ll put it like this – within the next five fights, you could put him in a big fight, and in the next 10 fights you could put him in a title fight,” Walley said of Rogava. “He just got done sparring with what I believe will be soon-to-be cruiserweight champion [Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez], and he has handled him every single time. Everybody he has been in the ring with – Gurgen [Hovhannisyan] included – it is pay-per-view fights.

Rogava had 33 amateur fights as a boxer, but that hardly sums up his experience.

“He did Muay Thai his whole life, and within a year of starting boxing, he ended up on the Ukrainian national team,” Walley said. “Then he ended up being an Olympian.”

Rogava, 30, estimates that had more than 30 professional fights as a kickboxer and as many as 400 in Muay Thai.

He may have the record of a prospect, but Rogava’s experience hints at more immediate potential – which is why he is being fast-tracked by his team. The goal is to get Rogava into contention as soon as possible. That typically means being sanctioned for 10-round fights.

“When you know how to fight, you can fight,” Walley said. “When you are good at fighting, things make sense to you. Which is how you end up on the Ukrainian national team within a year of boxing.”

Rogava sparred with Oleksandr Usyk before his fight with Derek Chisora.

“I learned something from Usyk because I hadn’t faced any fighter like him,” Rogava said via translator.

In the amateurs, Rogava also fought 2020 Olympic gold medalist Bakhodir Jalolov and respected British heavyweight Frazer Clarke. He lost both fights via split decision, the second time in the round of 16 at the 2020 Olympics.

In 2024, Rogava is aiming to become the next great heavyweight from Ukraine. Usyk holds three of the four world heavyweight titles, following a prolonged stretch in which Wladimir Klitschko and brother Vitali dominated the division.

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