When he least expected it, Russia's Evgeny Gradovich (15-0, 8 KOs) was presented with the opportunity that every fighter dreams of: to fight for a world title. In the main event of ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" in Mashantucket, Conn. (9 p.m. ET on ESPN2), Gradovich will challenge featherweight titlist Billy Dib (35-1, 21 KOs) of Australia.
Gradovich, who turned pro in 2010 and is being trained by the highly regarded Robert Garcia, is nicknamed "The Mexican Russian" due to his resilience, aggressive style and continuous exchange of punches. Dib represents the most difficult challenge in clearly the most important fight of Gradovich's career.
Here are five keys to victory for Gradovich: