Fast rising Light Middleweight Israil Madrimov (3-0, 3) [Исроил Мадримов], from Uzbekistan, has now been confirmed as one of two Central Asian fighters set to be in action in the under-card of Gennady Golovkin's (39-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] IBF Middleweight title bout Sergey Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10).
The talented and hard hitting Madrimov has his opponent for the bout named as Alejandro Barrera (29-5, 18).
Whilst we are huge fans of Madrimov, and his desire to be moved quickly, we do wonder why he's facing off with the 33 year old Barrera, who has lost 3 of his last 4 and been mostly fighting at Welterweight. Whilst that alone doesn't make him a bad opponent, it needs to be said that he's not fought in over a year and is more than 2 years removed from his last win. For a fighter like Madrimov, who needs to face someone able to test him and ask questions of him, this seems too much of a mismatch to be an interesting contest, and instead looks likely to be an easy blow out win for the Uzbek.
The other Central Asian fighter set for the under-card is Ali Akhmedov (15-0, 11) [Али Ахмедов], though his opponent for a scheduled 10 round bout has yet to be announced. He's coming in on the back of good wins over the likes of Marcus McDaniel and Mike Guy, so hopefully his opponent will be someone who is more interesting on paper than Barrera.
As part of the supporting-card for the Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34) Vs Steve Rolls (19-0, 10) fight we had two unbeaten Kazakh fighters in action. Despite both being being unbeaten going in they had very different results.
The first in action was Welterweight Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-1-1, 12) [Бахтияр Эюбов] who put up a brave effort but was made to look second best against the excellent Brian Ceballo (9-0, 4).
Ceballo, one of the best prospects in the US, was too quick, too smart and too sharp for Eyubov, racking up rounds with his movement and combinations, often getting his punches off before Eyubov could respond. When Eybuov did get moments he did look dangerous, but looked too basic too often to over-come Ceballo.
The other Kazakh was Ali Akhmedov (15-0, 11) [Али Ахмедов], who destroyed the previously unbeaten Marcus McDaniel (15-1, 2). It seemed like McDaniel was put into survival mode early on, before being taken out in round 3, from a nasty combination. McDaniel got up from a knockdown but was judged unfit to continue, in what was the rigth decision and save him from further punishment.
Tomorrow we'll see former Middleweight king Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34) return to the ring for the first time since his loss Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last year. The Kazakh, who will be fighting under the guidance of Johnathon Banks, will be up against unbeaten Canadian Steve Rolls (19-0, 10) in a bout being fought slightly above the Middleweight limit.
A few hours ago the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men looked in great shape.
Golovkin hit the scales at 163lbs, a career high and the first time he's come in over 160lbs since his 2008 win over Malik Dziarra. Rolls was a touch heavier, at 163.75lbs, but still lighter than he has been in some recent bouts.
Of course it's worth noting that Golovkin isn't the only Asian fighter on this show, in fact there are two other Kazakh's and Uzbek, all of whom are unbeaten and in interesting bouts.
One of those is Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0-1, 12) [Бахтияр Эюбов] Brian Ceballo (8-0, 4). On the scales Eyubov was 148lbs whilst Ceballo was 147.5lbs, for the bout being fought just above the Welterweight limit. The other Kazakh is Ali Akhmedov (14-0, 10) [Али Ахмедов], who takes on who faces Marcus McDaniel (15-0, 2) in a bout for the WBC International Silver Super Middleweight title. On the scales Akhmedov was 167.5lbs whilst McDaniel was bang on the Super Middleweight limit of 168lbs.
The other Asian on this card is fast rising Uzbek Israil Madrimov (2-0, 2) [Исроил Мадримов], who takes on Mexican veteran Norberto Gonzalez (23-12,13). Madrimov hit the scales at 153.25lbs whilst Gonzalez was slightly lighter at 152.75lbs.
With just a week to go to the return of Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34), as he takes on unbeaten Canadian Steve Rolls (19-0, 10), there is worry in Kazakhstan that the bout may not be aired locally, with no broadcaster yet announcing that they are showing it.
Golovkin, who was last seen losing in a very hotly contested bout to Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, is still big news in Kazakhstan and he is one of 3 Kazakh's on the show, with Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0-1, 12) [Бахтияр Эюбов] and Ali Akhmedov (14-0, 10) [Али Ахмедов] also in action, making the decision of Kazakh TV channels a very strange one.
There is a chance things will change and someone will pick up the fight in the coming days, but at the time of writing it seems the only way for a Kazakh fight fan to watch the bout will be going through an international feed, which would be a huge shame.
Yesterday in the US fight fans saw Kazakh hopeful Ali Akhmedov (13-0, 10) [Али Ахмедов] extend his unbeaten run as he easily defeated the horrifically over-matched Jovany Javier Gomez (17-15, 11). Inside a round.
Akhmedov pressed from the opening moments, and although the Mexican tried fighting back, it was for nought as a left hook to the body left Gomez on the canvas rolling in pain and taking the 10 count.
We're now hoping that Akhmedov will take a step up in class, as bouts like this do little for his development. The reality is that Gomez shouldn't have been in the ring with the unbeaten Kazakh. This is his 12th stoppage loss overall and his 7th inside the opening round.
Thankfully for Akhmedov he shouldn't need to be out of action for long and hopefully we'll see him back in action before the end of 2018.
(Image courtesy of Mario Rojas)
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