Name: Oleg Maskaev
Alias: The Big O
Birthplace: Abay, Kazakhstan
Hometown: Saransk, Russia
Height: 6′ 3″ / 191cm
Reach: 79″ / 201cm
Boxing Record: click
Trainer: Bob Jackson (1999-2001) Victor Valle Jr.
Manager: Fred Kesch, Dennis Rappaport
Oleg Maskaev is a former WBC Heavyweight champion, having won the title on August 12, 2006, with a 12th round TKO over defending champion Hasim Rahman. He lost the title in his second defence against Samuel Peter on March 8, 2008.
Oleg Maskaev was born in Kazakhstan to Russian parents. He has lived in the U.S. since 1999 with his wife, Svetlana, and four daughters. He acquired US citizenship in 2004. He currently resides in West Sacramento, California. Before his first encounter with Hasim Rahman in 2006, he said "I would say I'm a proud Russian-American. So right now, I'm a citizen of America, of [the] United States... Whoever is going to win is going to be American.
In the run-up to his title defense against Peter Okhello, he stated regarding his citizenship:
"Russian. I don't want to talk about that anymore. I will walk to the ring under the Russian flag and Russian anthem as I'm now a Russian citizen."
Russian president Vladimir Putin granted him Russian citizenship on December 9, 2006
Amateur Boxing Career
Oleg Maskaev, a former mine worker, began his career in the 1980s as an amateur boxer in the Soviet Union. He was the champion of the Soviet Army and later the national cup winner.
Professional Boxing Career
Oleg Maskaev started his professional boxing career in 1993. He has knocked out former WBO heavyweight challenger Derrick Jefferson, contender Alex Stewart, and twice knocked out former WBC heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman. However, he is also noted for a suspect chin that was evident in his knockout losses to contenders Oliver McCall, David Tua, Kirk Johnson, Lance Whitaker, and Corey Sanders.
His most famous victories have been his two wins over Hasim Rahman. Maskaev knocked Rahman off balance, sending his rival out of the ring in the 8th round on November 6, 1999. This fight is also notable for the famous "chair incident", in which noted referee, Steve Smoger, who was backup referee for this fight, was struck in the head by a chair thrown by a fan who was later arrested.
He later fought Rahman again and defeated him for the WBC heavyweight title by knocking him out in the 12th round on August 12 2006. His second win over Rahman was preceded by a streak of victories that helped rejuvenate Maskaev's career and earned him the "Comeback fighter of the Year" award in The Ring magazine in 2006.
Maskaev won his first title defense against Peter Okhello on December 10 2006 by unanimous decision.
Maskaev fought against Samuel Peter for the WBC Heavyweight title on March 8 2008 and was doing well in the early rounds, despite Peter's repeated rabbit punching and the referee's warnings. In the 5th round Maskaev landed some of his best shots on his opponents chin, but to no avail: Peter was seemingly unaffected, visibly shaking Oleg. He lost 5 of the 6 rounds, with Peter winning by TKO with 3 seconds remaining in the sixth round.
In late 2008 he beat opponent Robert Hawkins by UD after 10 rounds and then defeated but unheralded Rich Boruff on March 14, 2009 via first round KO, giving him mandatory contender status to the WBC Heavyweight Championship currently held by Vitali Klitschko.
| WBC Heavyweight Champion
2006 Aug 12 – 2008 Mar 8