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After a frustrating layoff, Kudratillo Abdukakhorov returns to action on Saturday

Luis Collazo eats a left hook from Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (left). Photo by Mikey Williams / TOP RANK
10
Mar

The last time Kudratillo Abdukakhorov fought, he beat former WBA welterweight titleholder Luis Collazo by 10th round technical decision, in October 2019. The victory left the IBF mandatory challenger primed for a world title fight sometime in 2020.

Abdukakhorov, who is rated No. 8 by The Ring at 147 pounds, was supposed to face Sergey Lipinets for the Interim IBF title in May 2020 because reigning beltholder Errol Spence was involved in a high-speed car accident, leaving Spence’s career, at that point, in limbo.

However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the fight was postponed. Abdukakhorov and Lipinets were then scheduled to clash in October 2020. With travel restrictions at an all-time high, Abdukakhorov was unable to leave Uzbekistan and return to America. Despite several long-winded processes, Abdukakhorov was left frustrated and Lipinet sultimately faced Custio Clayton.

“I regret very much that I couldn’t participate in that match,” Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9 knockouts) told The Ring through his manager Vikram Sivapragasam. “It was my first world title shot. I knew I could beat Lipinets.”



The situation was compounded two days before the scheduled Lipinets-Clayton fight took place when Abdukakhorov received his P1 visa.

“It was frustrating, as I had to fly to Kuala Lumpur and spent 14 days in a hotel quarantined,” said the 27-year-old. “I trained in my room to maintain my weight cut.

“Even after all that, I got the visa but it was too late for the fight. I was very disappointed and felt fate had conspired to deny me my maiden title bout.”

Abdukakhorov will end his extended hiatus when returns to action against Puerto Rican puncher Javier Flores at Mohegan Sun Casino, in Uncasville, Connecticut, on Saturday.

“I am very happy now that I got to fight after 17 months lay off,” said Abdukakhorov. “I want to get back on track and want to thank my promoter Sampson Lewkowicz for giving me this opportunity. I know he has worked hard behind the scenes to get this fight for me.”

Sivapragasam is pleased to finally get his fighter back in action after a testing period.

“We are happy that Kudratillo gets to fight again and be active,” said the venerable manager. “2020 was a frustrating year. We almost let our mandatory position slip. We went through a lot as a team and are glad that things turned out the way they did.”

Since Abdukakhorov last fought, Sivapragasam has aligned himself with Lewkowicz, a veteran famed for his work with former middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, among others.

“I have full trust in him to show why he is the IBF mandatory with Spence,” said Lewkowicz. “To get to that goal, he has to put in a spectacular performance and maybe another fight and then he can fight for the world title.”

Flores turned professional in 2009. The Aguadilla native won his first 12 outings before tasting defeat for the first time against Jaime Herrera (UD 10) in November 2015. After returning to the winner’s circle, Flores was widely outpointed by Ronald Cruz (UD 10) in April 2019. However, last time out, the 34-year-old southpaw scored a career-best win over previously unbeaten prospect Angel Ruiz (KO 2) in October 2019. “El Chino” sports a record of 15-2, 13 KOs.

 

 

You may have missed:

KUDRATILLO ABDUKAKHOROV WILL FACE JAVIER FLORES ON MARCH 13

KUDRATILLO ABDUKAKHOROV SIGNS PROMOTIONAL DEAL WITH SAMPSON LEWKOWICZ

KUDRATILLO ABDUKAKHOROV EARNS TECHNICAL DECISION OVER LUIS COLLAZO ON GVZODYK-BETERBIEV UNDERCARD

 

 

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright.

 

 

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