The longevity of the Savage: How far can Alen Babic go as a heavyweight?

Babic will more than likely steamroll past an aged Eric Molina on October 30, but what can the ‘Savage’ achieve as a heavyweight? Lewis Oldham looks at how far he can go...

After winning multiple national titles as an amateur, Alen Babic turned pro in July 2019 and was afforded the spotlight right away as his debut took place on a Matchroom Italy card against Lazar Stojanovic.

The Croatian has since fought on the undercard for Dillian Whyte's win over Oscar Rivas in 2019 as well as Conor Benn vs Sebastien Formella. Babic also featured on both Fight Camp cards in 2020 and 2021.

Babic is now 8-0 as a professional and all his victories have come via knockout. In doing so, he has earned a cult following from the boxing fanbase.

This has come with the manner of his wins. He is a heavy metal boxer as he steps into the ring with the sole aim of taking his opponent's head off. Understandably, this has helped to endear himself to fight fans in the UK. Babic has another string to his bow, though. This comes with his 'Savage' persona.

There is not an abundance of outlandish characters in boxing today, but Babic certainly fits the bill as a unique individual. The way that he channels the 'Savage' during his fights makes him very easy to like, and he is also good value during his interviews.

What can Babic do in the heavyweight division?

So far in his career, he has made light work of the likes of Tom Little and Niall Kennedy. His last fight against Mark Bennett was slightly more back and forth.

Before the clash with Bennett, there were doubts surrounding his cardio and if he could go the distance. Babic silenced some of his critics against the Brit earlier this year. He stopped his opponent in the fifth round after coming under a little bit of pressure in the early going - a fight which saw him go past the third round for the first time in his career.

Up to now, the 30-year-old has been operating at domestic level. If he keeps picking up wins in the fashion he is, it will not be long before he is battling at European level.

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As entertaining as he is, though, Babic has limitations that could hamper his progress. At heavyweight, his size is perhaps his biggest weakness. He is only 6'1" and although he carries power, it is doubtful whether that could carry him to the peak of the division.

For context, new heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is considered to be "small" for this division. But he has a two-inch height advantage on Babic.

Also, as Usyk has shown throughout his career, he is a pure anomaly and he cannot be compared to fighters of similar stature. He is a once in a generation boxer and his skill-set means that his size disadvantage does not really hamper him as a heavyweight - as Anthony Joshua experienced.

Babic meanwhile is nowhere near the level of Usyk in terms of boxing ability. This is why he will likely come unstuck if he comes up against some of the division's best. And a quick disclaimer; there is nothing wrong with that. There is only a small group of fighters who are good enough to even contend for a world title, never mind win one!

Babic has now formed a bond with Eddie Hearn, so you should expect to see him regularly pop up on the DAZN network. Especially with how he fights, you imagine Hearn will be keen to have him on a number of high-profile cards during the upcoming 12 months.

The Matchroom supremo always looks after his fighters from a financial standout, so Babic will be fairly compensated for his entertaining showings. The first of these is to come against Eric Molina on the Dillian Whyte vs Otto Wallin undercard on October 30.

The American challenged Anthony Joshua for the IBF heavyweight world title in 2017, so on paper, he will be Babic's toughest test so far. Yet with two of his last three fights being defeats against Filip Hrgovic and Fabio Wardley, it's clear that Molina is on the downturn.

Like with Molina, the proposed Dave Allen fight will play to Babic's strengths and for what it is, it should be an enjoyable battle.

Win or lose, there will be plenty more of these fun Babic fights - and plenty of entertainment along the way.

Read more: Dillian Whyte vs Otto Wallin - A look at the longshot odds

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