Saturday, May 25, 2024  |



Israil Madrimov wants to close the Michel Soro chapter of his career on Saturday

Israil Madrimov - Photo by David Spagnolo/ Main Events/ World of Boxing.
Fighters Network

When Israil Madrimov defeated Michel Soro by controversial ninth-round stoppage last December, there were as many questions as there were answers.

The contentious nature of the fight has led to a rematch that is also a WBA junior middleweight title eliminator at the O2 Arena, London on Saturday.

Madrimov, who is ranked No. 8 by The Ring at 154-pounds, is only too happy allay any doubts this time.

“I’m glad that this fight is happening and I want to close this chapter,” Madrimov (8-0, 6 knockouts) told The Ring. “I told my team after the first fight, if there are any issues, I want to do this rematch, it has to happen.

“I’m a fighter and my job is to fight, and I don’t want any controversy in relation to my career, it’s not part of the sport.”

The 27-year-old Uzbek feels he has benefited from sharing the ring with Soro seven-months ago in Tashkent.

“For me, every single fight is a new experience – especially at this level,” he said. “It was the first time being the main event against a very good, top-level opponent.”

Madrimov, who has as usual prepared at Joel Diaz gym in Indio, California, is excited at the prospect of fighting in the UK for the first time and believes his French opponent will give him a tough night’s work.

“I always had a dream to go to the UK and to have the opportunity to fight in front of the British boxing fans,” he said. “Maybe some of the best fans in the world are there. To showcase my skills in front of the UK people is a dream come true.

“In my opinion Soro is one of the best boxers, right now, at 154-pounds without a world title belt. Experience, style, power, his entire resume in my opinion make him one of the best in the division.”

Although Madrimov has just 8 fights and boxed a total of 56 professional rounds, he has moved quickly and is on track to reach the top.

“My goal hasn’t changed since my debut – it is to become a world champion,” he said. “I will be after the titles, no matter who holds them. Right now, Soro is someone I have to defeat to get to my dream, and only one of us will come out victorious and move on. Inshallah “Everything is God’s will.”‘

However, while Madrimov’s manager, Vadim Kornilov, hopes to secure his client a world title shot, he appreciates it may not be next.

“It’s hard to predict right now, but many things change quickly,” said Kornilov, who also manages, amongst others, light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol and unified junior featherweight titlist Murodjon Akhmadaliev. “If we have to wait or have another fight before we fight for the title, it’s not a problem. It only gives the kid a chance to gain more experience and be better prepared when the moment comes.”

Soro, who is rated No. 9, turned professional in 2008. In the decade-plus since, he has regularly shown his ability, beating the likes of Glen Tapia (TKO 4), Javier Maciel (TKO 3) and Cedric Vitu (TKO 5). The Ivory Coast-born French resident has always given a good account of himself, even when losing to Zaurbek Baysangurov (UD 12), Brian Castano (SD 12) and most recently against Madrimov. Soro enters with a record of (35-3-1, 24 KOs).

The DAZN event will be headlined by Derek Chisora facing Kubrat Pulev. The broadcast will begin at 2 p.m. ET/ 11 a.m. PT and 7 p.m. GMT

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