Just moments ago we saw Uzbek prospect Israil Madrimov (6-0, 5) [Исроил Мадримов] being given his first real test as a professional in a bout marred by some questionable refereeing. The talented Madrimov was up against teak tough American Eric Walker (20-3, 9) in a WBA World title eliminator.
The bout started at an incredible pace with Madrimov fighting like a man determined to break Walker down with body shots, as he walked in and looked to unload. On his way in Madrimov was taking some big head shots from Walker, who was showing incredible toughness and real skill with his counter punching, and his big straight shots.
By the end of round 4 Walker was beginning to look tired and it seemed like his 37 year old legs were beginning to feel the pace. Those legs, added to the volume of body shots, seemed to be beating the fight out of him.
Despite the early success Madrimov was himself slowing down and by round 6 he was beginning to look like the tired man, falling off balance and lunging wildly whilst out of range. From there on Walker seemed to get his second win, with the American dominating rounds 7 and 8 as the bout had a massive momentum shift. It seemed like Madrimov was gassed, and in survival mode as he began to hold, and spoil, and wrestle Walker. It seemed like we were potentially heading towards a massive upset.
As we entered round 9 the tide was with Walker and Madrimov was looking like he was going to struggle massively to even survive. Then out of nowhere Madrimov landed a massive, leaping left hand. It landed perfectly, taking Walker down, in what should have been a KO. In fact it would have been a KO that would have been replayed over, and over. The referee ruled that the knockdown wasn't legitimate, and stated that Madrimov had used his shoulder.
What we then saw was madness.
The referee gave Walker time to recover from a foul only he seemed to see. Walker, who was clearly shaken, if not concussed, took his time, tried to clear his head. In all honesty the bout should have been stopped. When the referee made it clear that the bout would have gone to the scorecards, for a technical decision, Walker decided to continue, likely realising he was behind.
We then continued the fight, with Walker looking like damaged goods. He was gutsy, he was tough, he was brave, but his momentum had been taken, Madrimov had taken the time to catch his breath and from there on Madrimov began to dominate once again.
In round 12 we saw Madrimov having a point deducted for a low blow. Despite the penalty Madrimov continued to look to finish off the tired Walker, and forced him to hit the canvas for the bouts only legitimate knockdown. The American showed his toughness by getting up and surviving a late onslaught by Madrimov who looked for the finish up to the bell.
After 12 rounds we went to the scorecards and had scores of 116-110, twice, and 116-111 all in favour of Madrimov.
With the win Madrimov moves one step closer to a WBA world title fighter, but does so with a lot more questions hanging over his head. He stated that the notice for the bout wasn't ideal, that he wasn't in top shape, but there was much more to it than that. He looked far too reckless, was too aggressive, and didn't use his skills to box, instead electing to try and fight. It made for a fun fight but was a tactically naive bout from Madrimov, and one that really saw him showing his inexperience, and potential leaving us with questions about his defense and stamina.
After the bout Madrimov seemed to admit he got his gameplan wrong. Fingers crossed that this close shave will him him improve mentally, tighten up his defense, his pacing of bouts and see him mature as a boxer.
As for Walker, what an incredibly tough fighter. Had he not been caught by a monstrous shot in round 9 he likely would have pushed Madrimov to the wire, and being honest we really want to see more of him. Despite being 37 he's an incredible fighter, in great shape and we really hope he gets another big opportunity on the back of this great effort.
Later today we'll see brilliant Uzbek prospect Israil Madrimov (5-0, 5) [Исроил Мадримов] return to the ring and take on experienced American Eric Walker (20-2, 9) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The bout, a world title eliminator, is regarded as a step up for Madrimov, but is still expected to be a straight forward win for the hugely impressive Uzbek.
The UK bookmakers are taking bets on the bout and see it as a total mismatch. The best odds available on Madrimov are a frankly unbackackable 1/33 whilst Walker is available as high as 28/1, with most in the UK having him at 16/1.
The draw is a huge 33/1.
Of course most won't be interested at those types of odds so the method of victory market might be more interesting. For those who are looking at this market Madrimov is 1/5 to continue his destructive run and become the first man to stop Walker. On the other hand he's available at 5/1 to take a decision over the American.
Odds on Walker to get a stoppage are a massive 33/1 and he is an even bigger 40/1 to win by decision.
Despite being a massive under-dog Walker is expected to show some resistance and last into the middle rounds. The bout is 10/11 to go over 6.5 rounds and 13/14 to not last that long. This may be the most interesting of the markets out there, given the odds on a Madrimov win, and a Madrimov stoppage, are so unappealing.
Given the odds, and momentum behind Madrimov, it does need to be said that if Walker does, some how, win it would go down as one of the biggest upsets of 2020.
Sensational Uzbek prospect Israil Madrimov (5-0, 5) [Исроил Мадримов] has now had the details his ring return confirmed, with the talented Uzbek fighting on August 15th in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His opponent will be experienced American Eric Walker (20-2, 9).
On paper this is a little underwhelming for the talented Madrimov, who seems to be treading water slightly, but given the global situation right now it's not an awful match up.
The brilliant Madrimov made his professional debut in November 2018, winning a minor WBA title, and since then has has been banging on the door with wins against top 30 type guys. He's yet to have that big break out win, but he has been dominating the likes of Frank Rojas, Norberto Gonzalez and Charlie Navarro. All of those had significantly more wins than losses and at times Madrimov has looked like he's trying to entertain himself with his competition, essentially playing with his food.
We expect something similar here against the Walker.
Aged 37 Walker is certainly no world beater, but he does hold notable wins over Christopher Pearson, John Jackson and John Thompson. To date both of his losses have been competitive, with one to Patrick Day and one in Brandon Adams in 2018.
Although we don't see Walker as a true test for Madrimov that's more because of how highly we rate Madrimov, who we hope will get a world title fight sooner rather than later.
Late last night in the US fight fans saw unbeaten Uzbek Israil Madrimov (5-0, 5) [Исроил Мадримов] score his most significant win to date, as he stopped world ranked veteran Charlie Navarro (29-10, 22) in a WBA world title eliminator.
From the opening round it was clear that Madrimov had little respect for the 40 year old Navarro, despite Navarro having had world level experience and solid power. Instead of having respect for his man he saw the bout as a chance to make a statement. From the early moments he was showing off what he could do, dropping his hands, coming forward and tagging Navarro, who struggled to land anything of note himself.
As the bout went on Madrimov began to chip away at Navarro, who was regularly put on the back foot, and hitting air. By round 4 the power shots of Madrimov, where were starting to land with alarming consistency from both hands, were leaving Navarro looking lost and being beating up. It wasn't technically polished from Madrimov, but it was effective as he landed hooks from both hands at will whilst nothing was coming back to make Madrimov need to change things up.
In round 6 Madrimov managed to drop his man with a body shot and although Navarro beat the count he was dropped a second time with the referee then calling a halt to the bout.
The win will push Madrimov to the verges of a WBA world title fight, and we wouldn't be surprised to see the Uzbek getting a shot at a world title before the end of the year. We suspect he will need to tidy up a bit when he faces a world champion, but this was a battering a veteran, and a real statement from one of the most amazing athletic talented in the sport. As for Navarro this is likely the end of his very long career.
Later today we'll see unbeaten, and rapidly rising, Uzbek Israil Madrimov (4-0, 4) [Исроил Мадримов] taking on world ranked veteran Charlie Navarro (29-9, 22) in a WBA world title eliminator.
The match up, part of a deep card in Frisco on DAZN, is seen as the next step on Madrimov's journey to stardom, and whilst it is a step it's expected to be his next win as begins to position himself as a future star of the sport.
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout, and neither man pushed the Light Welterweight limit, with both fighters coming in at 153¼lbs for the bout, well under the 154lb.
The winner of the bout is expected to be taking a huge leap towards a world title fight, and there's a very real chance that Madrimov could be fighting for a world title in his 6th or 7th professional bout. Given how his first 4 bouts have gone there's no doubting he has the ability to be matched with a world class foe before the end of 2020.
As for Navarro this is very much last chance saloon for the big punching 40 year old Venezuelan who is looking to secure one more shot at the big time after coming up short against the likes of Vyacheslav Senchenko and David Avanesyan.
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