Undefeated Russian boxer Alexander Bakhtin hopes to justify the expectations of the Moscow faithful in Tuesday's bout against dangerous Filipino Roli Gasca for the vacant IOC super bantamweight title.
The 31-year-old Bakhtin is based in Russia's Far Eastern city of Chita, but comes to Moscow looking for his 30th career victory, with a possible 12th career knockout.
"I hope I can justify the expectations of those who believe in me," Bakhtin said. "I have been preparing for this fight for a long time, now I'm more confident than ever in my ability," he said.
"Roli Gasca is a worthy opponent, but, as usual, I don't plan on giving up a victory to anyone."
Bakhtin is ranked third in the world by the WBC and sixth by the WBA and IBF.
He enters Tuesday's bout in a Moscow business center on the back of recent victories against Venezuela's Nehomar Cermeno and Luis Melendez of Colombia.
Gasca, 23, has a 19-5 record with five knockouts and no draws.
He stopped fellow countrymen JR Mendoza in the first round in June, and Al Grumo in the fifth round in March, but lost his last fight that went the distance, against Japan's Yukinori Oguni last November.