Earlier this year we saw the World Amateur Championships take place. The tournament was a controversial one in some circles, especially with the WBC who seemed to want to complain about various part of the tournament, but a very successful one for Uzbekistan, with 5 boxers taking home medals including 3 gold medal winners.
Those medal winners, as well as medal winners in several other international sporting events, have been given financial rewards by the Uzbek president, through the Uzbek Ministry of Physical Education and Sports.
Among those rewarded were the gold medal winners, Super Heavyweight champion Bakhodir Jalolov, who was widely regarded as the best boxer at the tournament, Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov and Shakhobidin Zoirov. This trio have been given the equivalent of $12,000.
The Silver medal winner, Dilshodbek Ruzmetov won $6,000 and bronze medal winner Bobo-Usmon Baturov claimed $3,000.
The financial certainly aren't huge, but they were certainly incentives to win, and few can complain about professionals, like Jalolov, taking part with that type of incentive for taking home a gold medal.
With all the goings on from yesterday some things fell through the net in terms of our news coverage, one of those things was a show from Denmark featuring two very highly regarded Uzbek fighters who both picked up wins.
One of those was 2016 Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov (2-0, 2) [Шаҳобиддин Зоиров], who picked up an opening round win over Georgian Mishiko Shubitidze (12-14-3, 5). The Uzbek needed just 144 seconds to see off the poor Georgian, who has now been stopped 12 times. Despite it being quick Zoirov will be glad to have gotten some ring time here given his debut was an 18 second cameo against Indonesian Anthony Holt, a man we suspect will be added to other people's KO lists in the years to come. Given how Zoirov is blowing through this level of competition we really hope MTK give him something more testing next time out, he needs it.
The other was Uzbek prospect was Hurshid Tojibaev (2-0, 1) [Хуршид Тожибоев], who got more than a quick cameo as he was extended 6 rounds by Irakli Shariashvili (5-3-1). Although he was taken 6 rounds this was a bout that was never in doubt for the Uzbek, who swept all 6 rounds to build on his debut back in March. Although he did go the distance he also needs to be stepped up and given not just someone who will survive but someone who will come to win, especially given already 29 years old and was such an incredible amateur, and has APB experience, winning the APB world title in 2015 in fact.
Earlier today fight fans watch the MTK Global show from Dubai got the chance to see a number of Asian fighters in action.
One of the most notable was 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Shakhobidin Zoirov (1-0, 1) [Шаҳобиддин Зоиров], though his role was little more than a "blink and you miss it" cameo, as he took out hapless Indonesian Anthony Holt (5-5-1, 3) in less than 30 seconds. The bout had hardly started by the time Zoirov landed his first left hand, it was essentially the only real connect of the fight, with Holt dropping from a glancing follow up. He would stay down in what was a joke of an effort against a real talent.
The loss for Holt, or rather the complete none effort, shouldn't have been any surprise given how he looked when he fought Jin Minamide last year and gave an equally inept performance.
Following Zoirov's performance we then saw Kazakh prospect Sultan Zaurbek (6-0, 4) [Заурбек Султан] put on a show case against the limited but tough Chinese fighter Chenghong Tao (7-6-1, 5). The Chinese fighter was left with a bloodied nose by the end of the opening round and was never really in the fight before being taken out with a brutal left-right in round 5, and falling in very eye catching fashion.
This was as good from Zaurbek as we've seen and it's clear he is in need of better tests, not just record padding wins. As for he gave the fight a go, but was totally out of his depth, and that was clear from the opening seconds.
Earlier today MTK Global announced a card set for April 5th in Dubai. By it's self that isn't huge news, but there are a number of Asian fighters set to feature on the show, with the most interesting being 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Shakhobidin Zoirov (0-0) [Шаҳобиддин Зоиров], who will be making his professional debut.
Zoirov, from Uzbekistan, was the Olympic champion at Flyweight and had also taken silver medals at both the Asian Games, and the Asian Amateur Championships. He's a bit older than some of the recent Uzbek's to turn professional, at 26, but is expected to be fast tracked as a result and we wouldn't be surprised to see him up against world ranked fighters at some point in the next 18-24 months.
As well as Zoirov this card will also feature unbeaten hopeful Sultan Zaurbek (5-0, 3) [Заурбек Султан] among others. At the time of writing, neither man has had their opponent confirmed for the show.
Earlier today Olamsport reported that 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Shahobiddin Zoirov [Шаҳобиддин Зоиров] was getting close to making his professional debut, under the guidance of MT Global.
Zoirov signed with MTK Global in the summer of 2018, and was expected to make his debut soon afterwards. That however was delayed.
Today Zoirov was quoted by Olamsport as saying "Yes, I'm in Bukhara and I'm going to leave for England at the end of the week and wait for the visa to be released", for those unaware Bukhara is a a city in Uzbekistan. Given that quote it does seem like his debut has perhaps been held up by visa issues.
It would appear that after getting to the UK details regarding Zoirov professional debut will be sorted, ad we wouldn't be surprised to see him fighting a few times in 2019 to try and make up for lost time.
As an amateur Zoirov not only won the 2016 Olympics, at Flyweight, but also claimed the silver medal at the 2013 and 2015 Asian Championships and the 2014 Asian games. Interestingly on route to the Asian games medal in 2014 he beat fellow MTK Global fighter Muhammad Waseem in the semi-final.
(Image courtesy of https://www.gazeta.u)
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