From Russia, With Bare Knuckles

Call Him Igor, but Don’t Call Him Outside

"I remember when I first met him," says Alex Reznik, founder of Complete Body Development, a Manhattan-based outfit that offers a battalion of trainers—many of them (including Igor) former athletes from the Soviet Union. "I watched him train at a gym and I was afraid to approach him. He was killing the bag. I thought, 'He's gonna kill my clients.' They are professionals—dentists, lawyers. Then I found out that he taught kids. Then I thought, 'He can't be too bad.' And the first clients he had fell in love with him."

Zinoviev also branched out into bodyguarding, protecting the likes of— well, Zinoviev would prefer if the names of celebrity employers remain off the record. Then stunt work for television shows like Oz and Homicide came his way. For fun, he goes deep-sea scuba diving, shark fishing, and snowboarding with his nine-year-old son.

In your face: Igor busts a move.
photo: Shiho Fukada
In your face: Igor busts a move.

That's not to say that's he's given up on returning to the ring for another chance at glory. He trains as hard as ever and professes to fear no opponent. "I'm ready to fight," he says. "If I get a good deal, I'm definitely gonna fight." Would he like to fight Shamrock? "I would like to," he says. "I don't care. I'll fight anybody."

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