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.
The last few weeks have been weird ones for the Middleweight division, and DAZN's stable of Middleweights. Plans for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez to fight have been changed, more than once, and he has been stripped of the IBF Middleweight title due to his team failing to secure a mandatory defense of the belt against Ukrainian fighter Sergey Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10).
Today Derevyanchenko seemed to post the date, venue and opponent for his next bout, and for us that was exciting news as he seemingly revealed he would be facing former WBA, WBC and IBF Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин], with the now vacant IBF title being on the line.
The Ukrainian took to social media to post an image that appeared stating would be taking place at Madison Square Garden on October 5th, giving us a bout that was actually ordered back when Golovkin was the IBF champion and declined a mandatory title defence against Derevyanchenko.
The once beaten Kazakh will be looking to become a 2-time world champion here as he looks to recapture a title that was stripped from him for turning down Derevyanchenko in 2018. He was hoping to fight Alvarez this year, in what would have completed a trilogy between the two men who have fought two ultra-close and entertaining bouts in the last 2 years.
As for Derevyanchenko this will be his second shot at a world title, having come up short against Daniel Jacobs in a bout for the IBF title last year, in what was a bout for the title that had been stripped from Golovkin. Despite the loss to Jacobs he showed he belonged at world level, and only lost a split decision to the talented American.
At the age of 37 Golovkin will know he can't afford another loss however a win here does move him one step closer to securing one more major pay day before his career comes to an end. Derevyanchenko, who turns 34 at the end of October, will likely know it's now or never if he's to become a world champion.
Of course at the moment it is just the Ukrainian's social media that seems to have "confirmed" the bout, though we expect an official announcement in the coming days
In July we saw Ryota Murata (15-2, 12) [村田 諒太] become a 2-time WBA "regular" Middleweight champion, as he stopped Rob Brant (25-2, 17) to avenge his 2018 loss. Today Murata returned to the gym for the first time and began practising once again.
Prior to the training session, which was done for the press, Murata held a press conference alongside Teiken representative, and former world champion, Tsuyoshi Hamada.
At the press conference Murata stated that he wants his next fight to come against someone that the fans want to see, rather than another low key opponent. He added that he was in great condition for the Brant rematch, and entered full of confidence. It seems like that confidence was still with him, and Mr Hamada, today.
Hamada named dropped both Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin as the two opponents he thinks would be good opponents for Murata. These are both fighters that would interest both domestic fans and international fans, though it should be noted that Murata has long spoke about Golovkin in the Japanese press and nothing has come of it. Currently there would be major issues with US TV issue for either bout, with both Canelo and Golovkin being affiliated with DAZN in the US whilst Murata is a Top Rank fighter fighting on ESPN.
Not only did Hamada mention Canelo and Golovkin as possible oppoennts but Murata echoed the comments, stating that he wants to fight either of them, adding that he wants to make the sport more exciting. Sadly though with the plan being to fight later this year, it does seem like Murata will have a lower key fight before talks of a major fight can be taken serious.
After the press conference the 2012 Olympic gold medal winner took part in some training with Carlos Linares. The training saw him have 2 rounds of shadow boxing, before working the mitts with Linares and looking powerful and sharp. It was clear he wasn't going all out, but looked good for a man who has been on holiday recently, and hasn't actively trained since the Brant rematch.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Just moments ago we saw former Middleweight king Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] return to the ring for the first time since losing to Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last year Canadian Steve Rolls (19-1, 10).
From the off Golovkin applied pressure, backing up Rolls, who looked confident in the opening moments but appeared slightly nervous and worried of Golovkin's pressure and power. The nervous seemed to dissipate early in round 2, as Rolls began to let some of his own shots go and even managed to back Golovkin up at one point.
Although Rolls has lost the two opening rounds Rolls had really grown into the fight in the second round landing shots to both the head and body of the Kazakh, to make things very competitive. That same level of success was shown again in round 3 from the Canadian, who landed a lot of clean shots on Golovkin, who looked a little rusty at times. Despite being caught however Golovkin was getting shots of his own through, and the more success Rolls had the more he seemed to be taking risks.
Early in round 4 Golovkin began to up his pressure and got through to the body of Rolls several times early in the round. He continued to press and rocked Rolls before a follow up dropped the Canadian face first, from a huge right hand on. To credit Rolls tried to get to his feet, though failed to beat the count.
Despite the win Golovkin did leave us with a lot of questions on what he has left, and whether father time is catching up with him, given the success Rolls had. He is however clearly chasing a third bout with Alvarez, and we wouldn't be surprised to see that happen later this year.
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.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!