Is Taishan Dong The Next Great Heavyweight Champion?

Taishan 26, improved to 3-0 as a professional boxer with a unanimous decision over Roy McCrary at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California on Friday night. Taishan took it to the over-matched McCrary from the opening bell though he wasn’t able to knock the 42-year old off his feet until the second round according to Bleacher Report‘s Joseph Zucker.

Taishan knocked McCrary down again in the third with a 1-2 combo, though Zucker said it that McCrary looked like he slipped as Taishan’s right cross didn’t connect solidly. Taishan then continued to hold the upper hand in the final round of the four-round match.

The “Great Wall,” Taishain’s nickname as he hails from China, had won his previous bouts by knockout. He defeated Alex Rozman by TKO in the second round in his first ever match and then knocked out Tommy Washington Jr., in Round 1 on November 13.

Those two victories is Taishan’s only experience in the boxing ring. His first foray into sports was with basketball. He then moved on to wrestling, kung fu, and kickboxing. However, it was his dream of being a champion that made him turn to boxing, according to Marcelo Furlan of Fox Sports.

Taishan’s’s size is not the only thing that makes him such a tantalizing heavyweight prospect. The 286-pounder is very athletic and possess a 84 inch reach. Taishan fights under the Golden Boy Production label, which is owned by boxing great Oscar De La Hoya. De La Hoya is confident that Taishan will be successful in boxing despite his lack of experience.

“We believe in him. We believe in his ability. We know how to build champions one fight at a time, one training camp at a time. We believe he has the desire to be that heavyweight champion.”

While the victory over McCrary won’t impress a lot of people, boxing is in desperate need of someone to incite some interest in the sport and Taishan would definitely do that if he continues to develop.

“Although I miss China, the will of succeeding in the U.S. is stronger,” Dong said. “I still have three years or so to reach my highest level and after that I can go back to my country as a champion, knowing that I made it.”

Wladimir Klitschko is currently the WBC heavyweight champion.