Russia-born Kiwi touted as boxing's next big thing, but his initial goal was to thwart bullies

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The Russian born 21-year-old is undefeated in eight professional fights. Source: 1 NEWS | Sky

New Zealand middleweight boxer Andrei Mikhailovich is touted to be the next big thing in the sport.

Mikhailovich chose the sport of boxing to stop bullies at his school from picking on him.

"He decided to shove me and put his cigarette into my chest and I remember feeling so helpless," Mikhailovich recalled.

"That's when I was like, 'Right, I need to do something with these,'" he said, holding up his fists. 

The 21-year-old fights out of West Auckland and was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

"I was born in Russia in '97," he explained. "I was a little baby and I came over, had two parents come over and adopt me and my twin brother."

He is unbeaten in eight professional bouts and trains under former national middleweight champion Isaac Peach.

"He's got that raw aggressive toughness," said Peach.

Mikhailovich has a bout in Auckland next month, which could be his last fight in New Zealand as he struggles to find opponents to step in the ring with him.