Although there are a lot of fights this month there are very few bouts featuring Asian fighters at Heavyweight, something that is almost always worth talking about. Especially when the Heavyweight in question is a former amateur standout and potentially the man to put his country on the boxing map. That is what we get this coming Saturday as we see an Azeri banger in the ring for his biggest test so far!
The One to Watch?
Mahammadrasul Majidov (3-0, 3) vs Andrey Fedosov (31-3, 25)
April 17th (Saturday)
The Heavyweight division can be a frustrating on to follow at times, especially when good fighters are essentially able to age themselves out of contention. This bout is a massive step up for a man who really needs to sink or swing very soon. We love big step ups and this is certainly one of those as a 34 year old novice professional takes on on someone who should be regarded, quite fairly, as a divisional gatekeeper.
In one corner is unbeaten 34 year old Azeri Mahammadrasul Majidov, a former amateur standout and one of the heaviest handed fighters in the sport. As an amateur Majidov was a true star, winning the World Amateur Championships twice and taking bronze at the Olympics. Sadly his best days as an amateur came early in the 2010's and he didn't turn professional until he was the wrong side of 30. Despite that he has the power and technical ability to still become a contender before he "ages out" of the sport.
Since turning professional in 2019 Majidov has shown continual development, and looked like a technically well schooled brute. Sadly though he competition has done little to test him, barring a knockdown on his debut. he has needed better tests, especially given his age. Instead he has had an easy win over Tom Little and a bout with the horribly out of shape Sahret Delgado, who shouldn't have passed a medical given how unfit he was.
In the opposite corner is 35 year old professional veteran Andrey Fedosov, a US based Russian fighter who has been a professional since 2003. Although never a world beater Fedoosov was the type of fighter who was always a credible foe and is one of the best wins on the record of Bryant Jennings, who stopped Fedosov in 2013. Since that loss Fedosov bounced back, winning 7 in a row and winning the 2015 Boxcino tournament. At his best Fedosov is a genuine test for any fighter coming through the ranks.
Sadly however Fedesov hasn't fought since scoring a win over Joey Dawejko in 2018, and has only fought 3 times since winning the Boxcino tournament in May 2015. That level of inactivity really could be a problem against someone as sharp and effective as Majidov. It's a shame in many ways that Fedosov could well have made a good living as a gatekeeper on the European scene, with bouts against the likes of Tony Yoka, Daniel Dubois and Derrick Chisora, where his tough nosed approach to the ring would have kept him busy.
What to expect?
We don't expect a war here. Neither man is known for fighting with a mega fast out put, and taking huge amounts of risks. Instead we expect something more akin to a showcase of power punching from Majidov, who is methodical, accurate and punches like he has a sledgehammer in his hands. We expect to see that power showing it's effects early against Fedosov who inactivity will be an issue..
If Fedosov can last more 4 than rounds then we suspect things could get very interesting as we finally see whether Majidov has got a gas tank, and can go rounds. The longer this goes the more interesting it'll be. But that's a big if and there is every chance that Majidov's power will simply be too much for an inactive and old Fedosov
The bad news?
The only real bad news is that Majidov is 34 already and Fedosov has been so inactive. It's a shame that we've not seen the Russian build on his Boxcino success, as he genuinely did deserve so much more on the back of that. Likewise it's a shame Majidov didn't turn professional 5 or 6 years earlier, and lost his prime years as a result.
This coming week is a really busy one, with so many fights that it should have been easy to find an interesting bout that features an Asian fighter in a non-title. Surprisingly however it wasn't as easy as expected and turned out to be quite an awkward week. Looking deeper however there was a Heavyweight bout that did excite us, and came on probably the highest profile card of the week.
The One to Watch?
Mahammadrasul Majidov (1-0, 1) vs Tom Little (10-7, 3)
December 7th (Saturday)
A former amateur Super Heavywight sensation taking part in his second bout, with his handlers looking to move him very quickly, against a fighter who should ask some questions and has mixed with, though been beaten by, some very good fighters. Whilst this isn't expected to be a competitive bout it will help us compare Majidov to some other Heavyweights, at this very early stage of his career.
Russian born Azeri Mahammadrasul Majidov is among the hardest punchers to have ever fought in the amateurs. He punched like a mule, and even with amateur gloves on he was knocking people out whilst carving out a very successful amateur career. He was a 2-time World Amateur champion, winning in 2011 and 2013, and scored notable amateur wins over the likes of Erislandy Savon, Ivan Dychko, Anthony Joshua and Roberto Cammarelle. As well as the amateur success he was also able to have success in the WSB, and scored wins over Ruslan Myrsatayev and Tony Yoka. Although a huge puncher he is limited and at 33 years old it's clear his team have to move him very fast.
Tom Little is a 32 year old English Heayweight who has been in with some of the more notable Heavyweight hopefuls, with losses to Daniel Dubois and Filip Hrgovic, as well as David Price. He's doesn't do anything great, but did manage to survive into round 4 with Hrgovic and Price, and round 5 with Dubois, showing there is some resillience there, and he has enough tools in the locker to test someone who is slow and technically crude, as Majidov often appears to be.
What to expect?
It's clear this bout is expected to be a second stoppage win for Majidov, and with Little coming into this bout on the back of 3 straight stoppage losses, and more than a year out of the ring, it should be an easy one. Majidov is unlikely to become the professional star that his amateur pedigree suggest he could be, he's simply too old, but he should shine here against a a limit but game opponent. Little won't look to quit, but we see Majidov breaking him down and getting rid of him after 4 or 5 rounds of heavy, heavy shots from the Azeri.
The bad news?
This bout is sadly taking place in Saudi Arabia on a card that appears to be a very distasteful one and one that certainly has some moral questions over it, and that's ignoring the high PPV cost for the main show. We know some fans don't think the sport has any moral reasons to avoid Saudi Arabia, though for us a country that persecutes it's citizens and has state sponsored assassinations of journalists is a country we'd rather not have in the sport.
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.