Earlier this evening a trio of Central Asian hopefuls each picked up stoppage wins in New York.
The first of those was Azeri Heavyweight Magomedrasul Majidov (1-0, 1) [Магомедрасул Меджидов]. The debutant Majidov, who has long been a dominant Heavyweight in the amateurs, was surprisingly dropped by Ed Fountain (12-7, 5) in the second round, but he came back and forced a stoppage of the American late in the 4th round. There has got to be some worries about Majidov, who turns 33 next week, but given his age he also needs to be fast tracked.
The second of the Central Asian trio to pick up a win was Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович], who scored an easy win over Wilner Soto (22-7, 12), also in the 4th round. Originally Akhmadaliev was pencilled in to fight for the IBF and WBA "super" Super Bantamweight titles, before Danny Roman suffered an injury in training. Rather than take the night off Akhmadaliev just used Soto as a human punch bag en route to just latest win in what is likely to be a tune up for his eventual world title bout.
The third of the trio was 2016 Olympic champion Daniyar Yeleussinov (8-0, 4) [Данияр Маратұлы Елеусінов]. Despite being the final of the hopefuls in action is performance was the most impressive, as he blew away the previously unbeaten Reshard Hicks (12-1-1, 6), inside a round. The unbeaten Kazakh has blown hot and cold, but today's performance was definitely a hot, and he dropped Hicks in the first 2 minutes, before forcing a stoppage soon afterwards.
Back in August we reported that hard hitting Magomedrasul Majidov [Магомедрасул Меджидов] was set to turn professional, following a very successful amateur career. What wasn't clear at the time was where the Azeri banger would end up in terms of promotional work.
Today it was revealed that he had signed with powerful British promoter Matchroom Sport, headed by Eddie Hearn, becoming the latest Heavyweight to sign with Hearn.
Majidov turns 33 later this month and it's clear that time isn't on his side, though the plan is now to get him to make his professional debut this coming Friday as he looks to begin with a bang.
Given how good Majidov was as an amateur, and how brutal his power is, there is a good chance Matchroom will look to rush him through the ranks, and try to get the most they can out of him before it's too late. They will likely be looking to have him mix with their current stable of Heavyweights, including the likes of his former amateur rival Anthony Joshua, Hughie Fury and Alexander Povetkin.
Of course Heavyweights do tend to age better than fighters in the lower weights, but still debuting just 2 weeks before he turns 33 Majidov will be expected to swim with sharks quickly. His debut, against American Ed Fountain (12-6, 5), isn't expected to be a test, but his second and third bouts will likely be big step ups as he looks to chase professional glory, and mix with the bigger names in the division.
The latest top amateur to signal their intent to join the professional rank is the hard hitting Magomedrasul Majidov [Магомедрасул Меджидов], one of the true punchers of the amateur scene, who recently signalled his intent to begin his professional career!
The Azeri fighter who was a 3-time amateur World champion, winning the World Amateur Championships in 2011, 2013 and 2017, also won Olympic bronze in 2012, has apparently signed with managed Zia Aliyev ahead of his professional debut.
The Azeri has apparently not yet signed with a professional promoter, and there is no set date or time for his debut, but his debut is expected to come in the near future and with Aliyev backing him there is little doubt he'll be pushed hard.
Aliyev has stated
"Welcome to the team. A heavyweight puncher and an absolute beast. It is an honor to manage your career as a professional. The name of the promoter will be announced soon,"
For those who don't follow the amateur scene Majidov really was a beast and his power was genuinely legendary he scored one of the most frightening amateur KO's in recent memory when he stopped Ivan Dychko. With his power he'll be a dangerman in the pros, and despite being the wrong side of 30 his power, amateur experience and reputation could well see him being fast tracked through the ranks.
According a Azeri news source 4 top Azeri amateur fighters have announced their intention to retire from boxing following the Rio Olympics. On paper that might not sound like huge news however the names of the fighters does make this a genuinely big story, and a disappointing one for boxing fans.
The names mentioned are Lorenzo Sotomayor, Albert Selimov, Abdulkadir Abdullayev and Magomedrasul Majidov.
Those who watched the Olympics will remember that Sotomayor, originally from Cuba, won the Olympic Silver medal, and was one of the most talented boxers at the games with a style that would take him far in the professional ranks. The 31 year old was maybe a bit on the old side to have continued success but had proven his desire to fight by leaving Havana and actually beat Cuba's Yasniel Toledo in the quarter final.
Albert Selimov is best known for defeating Vasyl Lomachneko but is also 3-time World Amateur Champion medal winner, claiming a gold a bronze and a silver. He also claimed a Gold at the 2008 World Cup and is a 2-time European champion. Although 30 years old he was still considered a great fighter and had links to the boxing cultures in both Russia and Azerbaijan, suggesting he could have turned professional and headed to Moscow for a potential big money and fast tracked career.
Abdullayev is a former World Amateur Championships bronze medal winner and a former European champion. Aged 28 there was plenty of time for for Abdullayev to continue to mark a mark on the sport going forward, ans he'd only be 32 when the Tokyo comes around. He also managed to gain valuable WSB experience and seemed ready to turn professional the "traditional" route.
Sadly the biggest loss to boxing is big puncher Super Heavyweight tough guy Majidov. The 29 year old is a former Olympic bronze medal winner, a 2-time World Amateur champion and a European Amateur champion who has competed in the WSB and been one of their stars. He holds notable wins over the likes of Erislandy Savon, Anthony Joshua, Roberto Cammarelle, Ivan Dychko and Magomed Omarov and would be a huge addition had he decided to become a fully fledged.
The source suggests that the 4 men will not be turning professional but will instead look for other work inside Azerbaijan. A really disappointing bit of news for fight fans and those hoping to see a wave of Azeri's fighting on the world stage as professional.
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