Hasanboy Dusmatov, the 23-year-old Uzbek fighter who just won the men's light flyweight gold medal in Rio, has decided to turn pro, and is the first fighter from this year's Olympic Games to sign with a promoter.
Dusmatov has inked a deal with South Africa's Rodney Berman, whose company Golden Gloves puts on regular cards in South Africa, and has also been the promoter behind the recent cards in Monaco, which have featured the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Martin Murray, Eleider Alvarez, Youri Kalenga, and Hekkie Budler.
"You watch this kid and can't believe how good he is," Berman said. "Gennady Golovkin charted the course for Eastern Europeans becoming superstars in the West. We intend to do the same with Hasanboy, who is also charismatic and just a tremendous boxer. He isn't amateur in the traditional sense, but a completely rounded boxer."
Still, Dusmatov is a 108-pound fighter right now, and in the near future likely would only go as high as flyweight, and it takes a very special talent to get noticed in the United States at the smallest weights. Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez is the most recent, and Iván Calderón was able to make a bit of a name for himself in the States, too, though mostly in press clippings.
If attitudes change a bit, as they seem to be with Gonzalez ready to headline an HBO card for the first time, perhaps the timing is just right. Dusmatov is a fantastic prospect who was a cut above his opposition in Rio, which included a semifinal win over Nico Hernandez of the United States, and a victory over Cinderella story Yurberjen Martinez of Colombia in the gold medal bout.
Currently, Berman is planning Dusmatov's pro debut for December in South Africa.