Oleg Maskaev

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Oleg Maskaev

Name: Oleg Maskaev
Alias: The Big O
Birth Name: Олег Александрович Маскаев
Hometown: Saransk, Russia
Birthplace: Abay, Kazakhstan
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 191cm
Reach: 201cm
Pro Boxer: Record
Amateur Boxer: Record

Oleg Maskaev, a former mine worker, is a former WBC Heavyweight Champion. He won the title on August 12, 2006, with a 12th-round TKO over defending champion Hasim Rahman. He lost the title in his second defense against Samuel Peter on March 8, 2008.


Maskaev was born in Kazakhstan to Russian parents. He has lived in the U.S. since 1999. He acquired U.S. citizenship in 2004. Maskaev currently resides in West Sacramento, California with his wife, Svetlana, and their four daughters.

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

Maskaev 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. Maskaev defeated Vitali Klitschko at the 1991 CSCA (Centrum Sports Club Army) Military Championships.

Professional Boxing Career

Oleg Maskaev started his professional boxing career in 1993. He has knocked out former contender Alex Stewart, former WBO heavyweight challenger Derrick Jefferson, and former World Heavyweight Champion Hasim Rahman (twice). However, Maskaev is also noted for a suspect chin that was evident in his knockout losses to Oliver McCall, David Tua, Kirk Johnson, Lance Whitaker, Corey Sanders, and Nagy Aguilera.

Maskaev's most famous victories have been his two wins over Hasim Rahman. On November 6, 1999, in Atlantic City, Jersey, Maskaev knocked Rahman out with a right to the chin in the 8th round, sending him through the ropes and out of the ring. 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 Rahman fan who was unhappy with the way the fight ended. The incident triggered a 10-minute free-for-all involving dozens of spectators and security guards. Two people were arrested.

Maskaev fought Rahman again on August 12, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He knocked Rahman out in the 12th round to win the WBC Heavyweight Championship. His second win over Rahman was preceded by a streak of victories that helped rejuvenate Maskaev's career and earned him the Comeback of the Year award from The Ring Magazine in 2006.

Maskaev won his first title defense against Peter Okhello by a 12-round unanimous decision on December 10, 2006 in Moscow, Russia.

Maskaev was scheduled to make his second title defense against Samuel Peter on October 6, 2007 in New York City, but Maskaev withdrew from the fight due to a back injury. Multiple MRIs showed that Maskaev had a herniated disc and a bulging disc. The two eventually fought on March 8, 2008 in Cancun, Mexico, and Peter took the title with a 6th-round TKO.

Maskaev won his next two fights, then was stopped in one round by Nagy Aguilera on December 11, 2009 in Maskaev's hometown of Sacramento, California. After three years out of the ring, Maskaev fought Owen Beck on December 30, 2012 and won by a 3rd-round TKO.

Preceded by:
Hasim Rahman
WBC Heavyweight Champion
2006 Aug 12 – 2008 Mar 8
Succeeded by:
Samuel Peter