A 6ft 6ins super-heavyweight, ‘DJ’ came to boxing at the relatively late age of 18 but wasted little time in learning his trade and cementing a place on the GB Boxing set-up in Sheffield.
His journey so far has been nothing short of incredible with the highlight to date – a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022. If all goes to plan, his stock will continue to rise until he gets a shot at Olympic glory in Paris in 2024.
It’s already been an interesting story for the man born in Moscow to a Russian mother and Nigerian father and raised in Wolverhampton from the age of seven.
After excelling in various sports, he started boxing while at university under the guidance of coach and friend of Maverick Stars Mick Maguire at the Jewellery Quarter Boxing Club in Birmingham.
On becoming a Maverick Stars ambassador, DJ said: "I really enjoy training with the kids," he said. "Getting them moving and motivated to train and making them see it's possible to achieve big things. It's all possible.
"That's something that I want to push to the younger generation. If I was able to do it - someone who didn't learn to speak English until he was eight, who graduated from university and has been able to get on Team GB - then with consistency and hard work anything is possible."