Abduqaxorov and Abdugofurov shine in Singapore

By Anson Wainwright

Last weekend, undefeated welterweight contender Qudratillo Abduqaxorov stunningly stopped the vastly more experienced Charles Manyuchi in one round.

Entering the bout, Manyuchi (20-3-1, 12 knockouts) was extremely confident and took that attitude into the fight, clowning Abduqaxorov (11-0, 8 KOs) from the opening bell.

The 23-year-old from Uzbekistan remained composed and, in the final 30 seconds of the opening round, landed a debilitating right hand. The cocky Zimbabwean froze and fell backward into the ropes from a combination.

He attempted to rise and, in doing so, brought back memories of Mike Tyson versus Trevor Berbick and Kostya Tszyu against Zab Judah when he toppled forward onto the canvas. Alhough he regained his feet, Manyuchi was clearly in trouble. Abduqaxorov was in no mood to let Manyuchi off the hook and pounced, throwing a combination that saw Manyuchi slump into the ropes and down to the floor in his corner, prompting referee Raymond Chang to call off the contest at 2:56 of the first round.

It was a stunning moment that saw Abduqaxorov’s fans celebrate. It was also an extremely special moment for the mild-mannered Uzbekistani.

“I feel ecstatic,” Abduqaxorov told RingTV.com through his manager Vikram Sivapragasm. “Although I had trained hard for it, it is still unbelievable. I slept with the (fringe) belt (that was up for grabs) after winning (laughs).”

As the underdog, a win was impressive but to do so as emphatically could cause a ripple effect at welterweight.

To win in such a manner wasn’t something he expected but he was only to happy to take the opportunity once it came.

“This is boxing. Anyone could get caught like that,” he stated. “I trained to go the distance but planned to catch him if he gave an opening. Manyuchi was full of openings. I didn’t expect it this early in the fight though.”

In the last Olympics and World Championships, Uzbekistan has been a dominant force, winning a cache of titles. However, pro boxing hasn’t enjoyed the same success in the Central Asian nation from the former Soviet Union.

The boxing-hungry country has gone wild at Abduqaxorov’s success.

“I have got too many messages that I keep reading and it is endless,” he said proudly. “This is a huge win for Uzbekistan. Everyone is proud and excited. The social media is going viral.”

While Abduqaxorov basks in his new status, his team is at the beginning of brokering a deal for its man to face Dmitry Mikhaylenko in the summer months.

“The dust hasn’t settled yet. We have yet to get a response from the big man himself, President Mauricio Sulaiman,” explained Sivapragasm. “We will begin negotiations as soon as that happens. I hope that it happens this summer in Uzbekistan.”

Abduqaxorov wasn’t the only fighter from Uzbekistan to win impressively last weekend. On the undercard, his teammate Azizbek Abdugofurov advanced to 6-0 (4 KOs) with a 10 round unanimous decision over wily Martin Fidel Rios (21-11-4, 11 KOs).

Azizbek dominated his grizzled, tough Argentinean opponent by official scores of 98-92 (twice) and 97-93.

“Martin was a boxer who tried to frustrate me a lot by hitting me at the back of my head at the clinches and he was constantly talking and taunting,” explained Abdugofurov. “He used every trick possible to throw me off my game. This is the first time I faced an opponent who tried to throw me off psychologically. I learnt that I have to face all kind of opponents on my way to the top.”

All in all, it was a successful night for Cartel International Promotions.

“The promotion did its best in terms of production and the quality of the matches,” said Sivapragasm. “Unfortunately, the crowd turnout was not as expected. We need to review on how to attract the crowd. Otherwise it was an excellent show and I am very happy on the outcome of the results. The two debutants (junior featherweight Shunkor Abdurasulov and light heavyweight Darryl Edmund Kho) fought exciting fights and the rest put on a great show.”

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at elraincoat@live.co.uk and you can follow him at Twitter @AnsonWainwright.

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Source:: The Ring – Boxing