Uzbekistan's Shakhram Giyasov, who won the welterweight silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, announced on Monday that he has relocated to Las Vegas and will begin his professional career in the United States.
The 24-year-old elected to remain an amateur immediately following the Olympics. This past summer he won the welterweight gold medal at the 2017 world amateur championships in Hamburg, Germany, where he was voted the best boxer of the tournament.
He has also competed in the World Series of Boxing and now believes he is ready for the professional ranks.
"I have arrived in the United States of America and plan to establish myself as the next great champion from Uzbekistan," Giyasov said. "My goal is to conquer the welterweight division and become a pound-for-pound champion. I set my goals high because I believe in myself and the team I've put around me. Together we will go to the top."
Ruslan Khusinov, Giyasov's manager, thought it was best for him to be based in the United States -- and Las Vegas in particular -- because it is the most recognized boxing city in the country and because there is outstanding sparring available and top training facilities.
"We are very pleased with our decision to bring Shakhram Giyasov to Las Vegas," Khusinov said. "Everyone recognizes Las Vegas as the mecca of boxing and this is where we want to build our foundation. I have big plans to make Giyasov a superstar here in the States, just like back home where his popularity is undeniable."
Giyasov, who has not yet signed with a promoter, will be trained by Justin Gamber, who also works with super middleweight up-and-comer Caleb Plant (16-0, 10 KOs). Gamber said he believes Giyasov can move quickly.
"In today's boxing game, you have many boxers with high amateur pedigrees, fighting for a world title before their 15th pro fight," Gamber said. "I believe Giyasov fits that mold. I can see him fighting for a world title early in his career."