Earlier this evening we saw the rematch between Uzbekistani Israil Madrimov (8-0-1, 6) [Исроил Мадримов] and French veteran Michel Soro (35-3-2, 24), who were facing off following a controversial bout late last year, when Madrimov stopped Soro after the bell in round 9.
Their first bout had been excellent prior to the controversial finish, and had served as a legitimate test for Madrimov, something he needed. Sadly however the rematch was a complete and utter disappointment.
The two men spend much of the first round seeing what the other had, with Madrimov going through the gears in round 2, a dominant round for him that saw Soro being hurt several times. The French veteran saw out the round, but took a beating as Madrimov found his groove, and landed hurt shots repeatedly through the round, whilst Soro did little more than survive. To his credit Soro did see out the round, but it felt like he was living on borrowed time as we headed into round 3.
Sadly after just 5 seconds of round 3 a headclash left Soro, who seemed to be the one at fault, with a really nasty cut over the left eye. The fighter was dripping blood immediately and took to his corner with the bout being stopped soon afterwards, leading to a hugely unwelcome 3rd round technical draw. The draw bailed Soro out of what was looking like a clear loss, and denied Madrimov a victory, though it was clear that the unbeaten man was levels above the faded version of Soro that we saw here.
Soro, once one of the best fighters at 154lbs, looked old, slow, and about done here, and we hope this is the end of his career, before he takes too much more damage. As for Madrimov hopefully a world title fight is just around the corner.
Earlier today it was announced that we would be getting the rematch between unbeaten Uzbekistani Israil Madrimov (8-0, 6) [Исроил Мадримов] French veteran Michel Soro (35-3-1, 24) on July 9th, as a leading support bout for the rematch between Dereck Chisora and Kubrat Pulev, with Madrimov and Soro clashing in a WBA Light Middleweight world title eliminator.
The rematch has come about due to the controversial nature of their December 2021 clash, which saw Madrimov hurting Soro late in round 9, and then finishing him several seconds after the round had ended. The official result, TKO9 for Madrimov stood, but there was a bad taste left by the result, with a rematch agreed soon afterwards. A rematch that made sense in many ways, as it was competitive bout, and the WBA title was essentially tied up by Jermell Charlo's own rematch with Brian Carlos Castano. And now Charlo, who holds all 4 titles, it himself tied up with mandatory defenses of the other titles.
The talented 27 year old Madrimov has long been tipped for the top, but has seen his climb there slowed drastically by the pandemic, and he's only fought 4 times since the start of 2020, and looked less than great in his last 3 bouts. As for Soro, who's now 34, the Frenchman has only fought once since the start of 2020, with that being his loss to Madrimov late last year. Given his age, inactivity, and long career he will go into this as the clear under-dog, but he certainly has the skills to ask questions of the "Dream", as we saw last year.
On Friday in Tashkent we got a rare big show in Uzbekistan, with a world title eliminator and several top former amateur fighters in action, as well as a lot of controversy and some really good action.
Among the most notable names on the show was 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Hasanboy Dusmatov (4-0, 4), who once again showed he's a top, top prospect capable of being moved incredibly quickly, as he stopped Mexican Jose Rivas (18-13-4, 10). Rivas, who boasted notable reach and height advantages, was no match for the crisper, sharper, smarter and faster Dusmatov, who forced the Mexican to retire on his stool between rounds 4 and 5.
Another notable name in action was the highly touted Bektemir Melikuziev (8-1, 6) who bounced back from his shock loss to Gabe Rosado, by beating up Sergey Ekimov (18-4, 9), over 8 rounded. The rounds were all really 1-sided, with Ekimov doing little more than showing his toughness to survive. Ekimov was hurt numerous times, dropped in round 5, and had to rely on veteran moves to avoid having the fight pummelled out of him. After 8 rounds the scores were all clearly in favour of Melikuziev.
Another name familiar to US fans on this card was 2016 Olympic Silver medal winner Shakhram Giyasov (12-0, 9), who easily out pointed the tough, but always game, Christian Rafael Coria (29-9-2, 13). The tough Coria, who always puts in a credible effort and is one of the best "journeymen" in the sport right now, gave Giyasov a genuine test, but wasn't rewarded by the officials who saw this a near shut pout for the Uzbek.
In the main event of the show we saw a lot of controversy, was rising Uzbekistani Israil Madrimov (8-0, 6) became the first man to stop Michel Soro (35-3-1, 24), doing so in a WBA world title eliminator. This was a great fight through 8 rounds, with both men having moments, some fantastic back and forth and regular momentum shifts. Madrimov started well, before Soro came back into things, only for Madrimov to begin to take the fight on the inside and out do Soro, in what was Soro's type of fight.
Through round 9 it seemed like Madrimov was starting to get to a tiring 34 year old Soro, rocking him late in the round. He then followed up as neither he, nor referee Salvador Salva heard the bell to finish the round. The follow up attack saw Salva wave off the fight, to give Madrimov the hugely controversial TKO win.
The ending was then reviewed by officials who, unsurprisingly, didn't over-rule the referee. Interestingly the result seems set to stand, though Salva's mistake and the odd ending perhaps should have seen the men go to the scorecards, with the bout ending, quite clearly, due to an accidental foul. Despite the outcome Madrimov seemed to suggest he was willing to face Soro in a rematch, hopefully one that ends less confusingly as this one did.
Earlier today Matchroom announced their return to Uzbekistan, now set for December 17th at the Renaissance Hall in Tashkent. No only that but they almost announced that the card would be one stacked with Uzbekistani hopefuls, and feature a world title eliminator.
That world title eliminator will see Israil Madrimov (7-0, 5) [Исроил Мадримов] taking on French veteran Michel Soro (35-2-1, 24) in a WBA world title eliminator at 154lbs. On paper the bout is a major step up for Madrimov who is has looked class at times, but has also put in some frustrating and underwhelming performances in recent contests, and looks, possibly, like a man who may come un-done when fighting at a higher level. As for Soro he is a top class fighter, but at the age of 34 we do wonder if, or when, father time will begin to get to him.
Not only is the main event a great bout, but the under-card is also stacked with top Uzbek talent, featuring the likes of Shakhram Giyasov (11-0, 9) [Shahram G‘iyosov], Bektemir Melikuziev (7-1, 6) [Бектемир Мелиқўзиев], Hasanboy Dusmatov (3-0, 3) [Ҳасанбой Дўсматов] and Ikboljon Kholdarov (1-0, 1) [Иқболжон Холдоров]
Today DAZN took their focus to the Humo Arena in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, for the biggest professional boxing event in the countries history. The event featured 8 bouts in total including some of the best emerging talent from the country.
Before the TV cameras were had already had 2 bouts in the venue. The first of those saw amateur standout Ikboljon Kholdarov (1-0, 1) [Иқболжон Холдоров] make his professional debut in impressive fashion, stopping and his opponent Kulwa Bushiri (13-6-1, 5) in 2 rounds. The second non-televised bout saw the unbeaten Sanjar Tursunov (3-0, 1) [Санжар Турсунов] out class Ivan Yukhta (3-2-1, 2) to a clear unanimous decision over 6 rounds.
The first of the televised bout saw 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Hasanboy Dusmatov (3-0, 3) [Ҳасанбой Дўсматов] battle against the very negative Muhsin Kizota (11-3, 5). From the off this looked like an horrendous mismatch, with Dusmatov dropping his man in the opening round. The knockdown was a solid one and saw Kizota resort to clinching and doing anything to survive. The second round was even worse for Kizota, who was dropped twice before the referee stepped in and saved him from further punishment. Whilst this was a solid win on paper for Dusmatov, it should be said that Kizota looked awful.
With this win Dusmatov claimed his first title, the WBA International Light Flyweight title, and took a huge step towards his first world tile fight.
The second televised bout saw rising Heavyweight star Bakhodir Jalolov (8-0, 8) [Баҳодир Жалолов] dominante the over-matched Kristaps Zutis (7-2-2-1, 7).
Jalolov patiently controlled the action behind his long reach and rocked Zutis late in the opening round, who appeared to be in survival mode very early. To his credit Zutis survived the first round, but was marked up as we ended the round. After about 40 seconds of round 2 Zutis was dropped for the first time in the bout, following a right hook-left hand combination. He recovered to his feet but was dropped again soon afterwards, from a left hand-right hook combination, and the referee quickly waved off the bout.
Sadly for Jalolov this was pretty much a cameo against someone horribly out of his depth. He now deserves a more serious role on a show and a more notable opponent. It's time his team steps him up, and puts him in with someone who will ask questions of him.
The third televised bout, which was a swing bout, saw former amateur standout Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (1-0, 1) [Миразизбек Мирзаҳалиловнинг] battle against Tanzanian opponent Tasha Mjuaji (17-8-2, 5). As with the other televised bouts this one did not last long. Mjuaji was down very early in the bout, slipped later in the opening round and was then dropped again, for the full 10 count. This was rather a rather shameful mismatch, even if it was Mirzakhalilov professional debut. He would have had tougher tests in sparring.
After several blow outs, and a long musical interlude, boxing resumed with a very interesting match up between Israil Madrimov (7-0, 5)* [Исроил Мадримов] and Emmany Kalombo (14-1, 14).
The opening round saw Madrimov coming forward, applying educated pressure whilst Kalombo showed patience and respect, looking to counter whilst circling and using the ring. It was a feeling out round, and very quiet but one that saw Madrimov showing a surprising amount of patience.
In round 2 we saw Madrimov move out of first gear, and look really solid, as fought methodically, landing numerous solid body shots. Kalombo landed one or two shots, including a good body shot, but was easily out landed during the round. We saw Madrimov again step up a gear in round 3, as he began to grow in confidence, letting his hands go more and showing some touches of flashiness as he continued to outland Kalombo and racked up rounds 3 and 4.
Despite Madrimov looking in complete control through the first 4 rounds he was left bloodied in round 5, with blood trickling from his nose, and he started to become more wild and reckless. He was also under some genuine pressure in round 6 as Kalombo began to show some ambition. That ambition carried over into round 7, though he was on the wrong end of a lot of punishment through the round as Madrimov landed some huge shots. The huge shots of Madrimov finally took it's toll in round 8, when he dropped Kalombo late in the round, with a good sharp right hand.
Having dropped Kalombo in round 8 Madrimov went for the finish in round 9 and to his credit Kalombo gritted his teeth and fought back, hard, despite being visibly hurt several times. Madrimov also seemed to hurt Kalombo again in round 10, though failed to secure the stoppage.
After 10 rounds it was a clear win for Madrimov, who got tested at times, and had to fight through adversity but was a clear winner, with all 3 judges having the bout scored widely in his favour. It wasn't a star making performance, by any stretch, but was a good, solid, 10 round win for the Uzbek, who has a lot of areas to improve upon. As for Kalombo he clearly lost, but he showed enough here to want to see again, and it'd be great to see him face some more notable names going forward.
In the final supporting bout, and the final bout we'll cover here, we saw Olympic silver medal winner Shakhram Giyasov (11-0, 9) [Shahram G‘iyosov] defending his WBA International title against Mexican challenger Patricio Lopez Moreno (28-5, 20).
This one started relatively quick, with Giyasov coming out like a man with a point to prove, and pressing hard, and landing some huge shots. By the end of the opening round Moreno was cut around the hairline and looking like a man who was in far too deep. Giyasov kept the pressure up in round 2 and dropped Moreno right at the end of the round. In round 3 Giyasov dropped his man for a second time, and this time Moreno was unable to beat the count.
On paper this looked like a good test, though in reality this was a very, very easy win for Giyasov who looked levels above Moreno from the opening bell.
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