Friday, March 24, 2023  |



Israil Madrimov continues prodigious rise, moves to 3-0 with TKO of Norberto Gonzalez

Photo by Amanda Westcott/DAZN

Prospect maybe on the cusp of contender status Israil Madrimov has gained solid buzz since starting his pro foray in November 2018, off flashy KOs. We were curious, would he provide a viral video in taking out foe Norberto Gonzalez, coming to the ring at Madison Square Garden on Saturday evening.

Not so much, because Gonzalez proved to be a rugged sort. But eventually, the stoppage that Mad-man fans craved came.

A flurry of unanswered shots spelled the end for Gonzalez, at 49 seconds elapsed in the sixth.

In the first, we saw the Uzbeki junior middleweight plow forward. Madrimov, age 24, is trained by Joel Diaz, for the record. His right to body looked like it smarted. A right stung Gonzalez, as his back was penned in by the ropes, at 1:05. A sweeping left hook, from way outside, landed almost flush. Madrimov dipped, looked loose and like he was having fun.

In the second, the loser from Monterrey, Mexico who had won one of his last five, snapped a jab. At 38, he had to know his best days were long in the rear view mirror of existence. He looked to stay alert defensively, back up, make sure that lead left hook didn’t clip him. Double hooks to the body now, Madrimov was getting warmed up.

In the third, we saw the Uzbek stalk and rip left hooks. Norb knew he’d have to offer some offense, now, or risk getting chewed up. By the way, he’d gloved up just nine days ago, getting a W over a 4-12-1 guy in eight rounds.

To round four, we saw Madman go lefty, wave a bolo threat, show his solid ambidextrous credentials. He stayed lefty for a long spell, and had good luck with the stance. (And yes, you could argue, it’s “skill” and “practice” more than “luck” in play there.)

In the fifth round, Madrimov winged a right hand, a looper, that missed. He then sent Gonzalez down, but it wasn’t ruled off a punch. He was leaping in with right hooks, still from that lefty stance. Madrimov was now stepping on the gas, and Gonzalez was lower on fumes. He answered, though, with a straight right, and an attempted flurry after Madrimov fell back, off balance.

In round six, Madrimov hurt Gonzalez. And he kept flurrying…and the ref hopped in. Game over. A right to the chin got the loser a bit buzzed, and then maybe 12 unanswered shots told the ref to intecede. The winner’s gymnastics effort to celebrate earned him extra love from the crowd.

The clip of Madrimov doing a demo job March 9 on Frank Rojas had gained nice traction…

.. and this win was maybe even more useful to him, because the vet is a survivor. After, he spoke to Todd Grisham and the victor said that he’s ready right now for a title shot. “I’m gonna keep asking,” he declared.

Follow Woods on Twitter.