His first international success was Saitow in Edinburgh in 1992, still antretend for the Soviet Union, by winning the European Junior Championship in the Welterweight. Even when held in the same year Junior World Championships in Montreal, he was able to prevail in his weight class. In both tournaments, he defeated in the final of the German representatives Roko Cheerful.
In 1993, he first participated in the World Championships. At the tournament in Tampere he took a third place in the light welterweight. In Berlin in 1995 he was able to increase and reached the final of the welterweight class, the Cubans Juan Hernández was beaten because however. In the third attempt, then succeeded in 1997 in Budapest winning the title after he was able to defeat in the semifinals Hernández, Saitow defeated in the final battle and the Ukrainian Serhiy Dsindsiruk.
Saitow denied his first 1996 European Championships in Vejle, reaching there a third place, he was defeated in the semifinals against Marian Simion of Romania. The Championships 1998 in Minsk he met in the final, as well as at the World Cup in the previous year, on Dsindsiruk; he could beat him again, and so secure the European Championship title. In 2000 he had to retire in Tampere already in the first round of the tournament. His second European title he won in Pula in 2004.
1996 Saitow won at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, the gold medal, beating Juan Hernández in the final, where he was previously still inferior in the World Cup year. At the games in Sydney in 2000, he could become only the second Russian by Boris Lagutin defend his Olympic victory. He was also awarded the Val Barker trophy as the best technical boxer of the tournament for his convincing performance. He was thus also the second Russian, which was bestowed this honor.
His third Olympics, he played 2004 games in Athens. He qualified for the semifinals, but was defeated there by eventual winner Baqtijar Artajew from Kazakhstan just after points and had to settle for the bronze medal.
- Russian champions 1996/1997/1999/2003, Second 1994/1995
- Military World Champion 1993
- Goodwill Games - Third 1994