Tuesday, April 23, 2024  |



Jack Culcay eager to leave frustrating wait behind to face Bakhram Murtazuliev

Jack Culcay (left) - Photo courtesy of AGON Sports / Torsten Helmke
Fighters Network

Like several others, Jack Culcay was left in a holding pattern due to the inactivity of Ring and undisputed junior middleweight Jermell Charlo. The German veteran had to bide his time and wait for his shot at the IBF title.

Ultimately, Charlo jumped to super middleweight and lost to boxing’s biggest star, Canelo Alvarez. In the aftermath, the IBF title became vacant and went to purse bids. AGON, who promote Culcay, won the rights to Culcay versus Bakhram Murtazuliev, with a winning bid of $666,300.00.

That fight will take place on Saturday. But Culcay, The Ring’s No. 10-rated junior middleweight, admits the delay that has held up his career hasn’t been ideal.

“I’ve been waiting for the fight for a long time and I’m angry that it took so long,” Culcay (33-4, 14 knockouts) told The Ring through Jonny Orban. “But at the end I finally get my chance and I am happy that I can fight in front of my German fans in Falkensee, near Berlin. It’s dream come true.”

Jack Culcay – Photo courtesy of AGON Sports / Torsten Helmke

It’s been a long road for Culcay, who first gained notoriety by claiming gold at the 2009 World Championships. He turned professional amid considerable fanfare in his native Germany and made his way through the ranks.

His career hit a speedbump when he came unstuck against gritty Argentine fighter Guido Pitto (SD 12) before making amends in a direct rematch (UD 12). The European title followed. However, he lost to Demetrius Andrade (UD 12) when he tried to grab a world title in March 2017.

Culcay was held back by dropping a decision to Maciej Sulecki (UD 10). After that, “Golden Jack” reestablished himself at middleweight before narrowly losing to Sergiy Derevyanchenko (UD 12) in April 2019.

Since then, Culcay has reverted back to 154-pounds and won eight fights in his homeland, notably taking the unbeaten records of Jama Saidi (UD 12) and Abass Baraou (SD 12) as well as working his way up the IBF ranks.

“The 2009 World Championships has passed and that doesn’t matter to me… what counts is April 6th, 2024,” he said. “I worked hard to get the position in the IBF ranking to challenge for a world championship and waited to long for that. But now I can finally fight for gold again.”

Now, Culcay, who has been in Mallorca with his Cuban trainer Franky Aldama, feels this is his moment and is adamant he can make the most of it.

“I train and try to improve my strengths and don’t look at what my opponent can or can’t do,” he said of Murtazuliev. “At this level, every boxer is strong.

“I’ve never been so motivated in my life and I know that I can do it,” he said. “The fight is very important for me and my legacy as a world-class fighter.”

This is an excellent opportunity for both fighters. Culcay is favored because he has home advantage but Murtazuliev is unbeaten and won’t go lightly. I expect a close fight that goes the distance but Culcay to prevail on points.

Murtazaliev (21-0, 15 KOs) turned professional in his native Russia in May 2014. After six wins he switched his base of operation to the U.S. and moved his way through the ranks.

The 31-year-old beat Jorge Fortea (UD 12) in an IBF eliminator on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev in November 2019. Since then, he has ticked over with four stay busy fights while waiting for his title shot.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].