Kiwi boxing trainer Kevin Barry eyes a new world champion in Russian Umar Salamov
Respected New Zealand boxing trainer Kevin Barry believes he has another potential world champion in Russian light-heavyweight Umar Salamov.
Salamov makes his Duco Events debut on the undercard of Joseph Parker's title fight in Manukau on Saturday night.
He fights Croatian Emil Markic for the vacant WBO international title and the IBF's East/West Europe belt.
The WBO belt was vacated by American Andre Ward before he took command of the highly competitive division by beating Sergey Kovalev late last year.
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Salamov, who previously held the WBO and IBO youth light heavyweight titles, is 18-0 with 13 KOs and is described by Barry as "a real prospect".
"He's a young many who's going to be spoken about a lot in the future. He is going to be one of the stars in the near future," predicted Barry.
Barry has an eye for champions, having guided Parker to the WBO world heavyweight title on top of taking Kazakhstan's Beibut Shumenov to the WBA light heavyweight title.
Barry came across Salamov when he had Parker sparring with then world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in Florida in 2015.
Salamov, despite being a light-heavyweight, was also being used by Klitschko for sparring.
"He was standing with Klitschko and going toe-to- toe, it was impressive," Barry said.
There's an added lure for Salamov outside of the hardware on offer this weekend.
A good performance on Saturday night will put him line to be on the undercard of Duco's mega-promoition in Australia in July when local welterweight Jeff Horn takes on Manny Pacquiao for the WBO title.
The Auckland undercard also features Parker's brother John in a rematch with fellow Kiwi Ratu Sailosi Dawai whom he beat in a majority points decision on his professional debut last year.
The light-heavyweight clash between George Kambosos and Qamil Balla is seen as the most competitive matchup going in Australian boxing at the moment.
Inga Tuigamala's son Jordan will look to extend his unbeaten record when he fights Hamilton's Nigel Elliott.
PARKER V COJANU UNDERCARD
Light-heavyweight: George Kambosos Jr (Aus) v Qamil Balla ( Aus) 10 rounds.
Catchweight (71kg): Ivana Siau (NZ) v Tim Tszyu (Aus) 4 rounds.
Light heavyweight: Umar Salamov (Rus) v Emil Markic (Croa) 10 rounds for WBO light heavyweight international title,
Catchweight (74.5kg): Mose Aiumatagi Jnr (NZ) v Josh Hatherley (NZ) 6 rounds
Catchweight (74.5kg) | 6 x 3 minute rounds
Cruiserweight: John Parker (NZ) v Ratu Sailosi Dawai (NZ) 4 rounds.
Catchweight (86kg): Jordan Tuigamala (NZ) v Nigel Elliott (NZ) 4 rounds