A week or so ago it was revealed that unbeaten Uzbek contender Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан] would be returning to the ring on March 13th on a PBC show held at the Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville. His opponent was also revealed, with 34 year old Puerto Rican fighter Javier Flores (15-2, 13), confirmed as the man he would be facing.
Yesterday Abdukakhorov spoke about the fight in an interview with Olamsport and revealed some details about the fight.
In the interview Abdukakhorov stated that the date and opponent were set, as mentioned, and went on to admit that he had never heard of Flores before. Despite that they are watching film of him and studying him and have picked sparring partners that are similar.
The focus for training has been improving Abdukakhorov's defense, due to the power of Flores, and improving his own power, the one issue that has often been criticised about Abdukakhorov through his career.
Whilst often regarded as a very, very skilled, fighter Abdukakhorov's complete lack of power has been an issue, and it's good to see that being a focus of their training camp for this bout.
Although this looks a good bout on paper, it is worth noting that Flores has lost 2 of his last 5 and hasn't scored many wins of note. He did however upset the then 16-0 Angel Ruiz in October 2019, in what was his most recent bout.
Earlier today Uzbek sports news website Sports.Uz reported that unbeaten Welterweight hopeful Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан] now knows when he will return to the ring.
The talented Uzbek boxer will be in action on March 6th, though other details are scarce to say the least, with the fighter not knowing where he will be fighting or who he will be facing off against.
Kudratillo, who is currently ranked #1 by the IBF and has other world rankings from the WBC and WBO, hasn't fought since October 2019, when he beat Luis Collazo. Since then he has seen his manager buy out his Top Rank Contract, and has signed with Sampson Boxing, the promotional company of Sampson Lewkowicz. With that in mind his March bout will be his first under Lewkowicz.
Press release - Sampson Boxing Signs Undefeated IBF #1 Welterweight Kudratillo Abdukakhorov to Exclusive, Multi-Year Promotional Contract
Earlier today unbeaten Sports.UZ, an Uzbek sports news website, reported that unbeaten Uzbek Welterweight hopeful Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан] was now a promotional free agent after ending his time as a Top Rank fighter.
Rumours had done the rounds that the unbeaten fighter had terminated his deal with Top Rank but Sports.uz now state that that wasn't the case and instead Abdukakhorov's manager, Vikram Swapragasam, revealed that he has actually bought out the contract telling Sports.uz:
"It wasn’t terminated. I bought out his contract from them . We separated on good terms .
We are very thankful to Top Rank and Bob Arum. They gave us good opportunities to fight in the USA and on TV.
We need Kudratillo to be more active . Now he is a free agent we will be talking to other promoters . Next week hopefully we can announce who we sign with."
In a year that had promised so much for Abdukakhorov it's fair to say that 2020 has been a write off for him, with visa issues and delays costing him an interim world title fight. It's fair to say that the fighter and his manager will be desperate for 2021 to be a much, much better year for him, and for him to get a world title fight before the year is over.
Earlier today Showtime Sports sent out a press release announcing that the IBF "interim" Welterweight title bout between unbeaten Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан] and Kazakh born Russian Sergey Lipinets (16-1, 12) [Сергей Липинец] has had to be cancelled.
The bout, which was originally expected much earlier in the year, has been one of the most frustrating on again, off again, saga's in professional bout this year. It was first eyed for the Spring, was then rescheduled later in year, then set for October 10th. That date had to be pushed back when Kudratillo ran in to issues getting a visa.
He had seemingly sorted those issues, with Showtime agreeing to push the bout back for 2 weeks, to October 24th, but issues with visa's have continued, ruling the Uzbek out of the fight.
As a result Lipinets will now be facing Canadian fighter Custio Clayton (18-0, 12), for the IBF "interim" Welterweight title, with Clayton stepping in at short notice.
On one hand it's a shame that Kudratillo has had so many issues in regards to this bout, but on the other hand having Clayton as the replacement could end up being better for fans, with a Clayton Vs Lipinets bout likely to be an absolute thriller. From a neutral standpoint the replacement bout might actually be a better bout to watch than the originally scheduled one.
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