Last week news filtered out that Qudratillo Abduqahorov will face Dmitry Mikhaylenko on July 10 in Ekaterinberg, Russia.
The bout between the heavy handed welterweights is the co-main event alongside Denis Lebedev’s WBA cruiserweight title defense against Mark Flanagan.
In late March, Abduqahorov (11-0, 8 knockouts) gate-crashed the talented 147-pound division with an eye-opening first-round demolition of pre-fight favorite Charles Manyuchi.
The win saw the 23 year old inherit then-WBC silver champion Manyuchi’s mandatory challenger Mikaylenko.
“I think Mikhayleno is a good fighter,” Abduqahorov said through his trainer IIgar Aliev. “He is technically good and comes forward. I am looking forward to the fight.”
The laid back Uzbekistani isn’t unduly concerned with having to go on the road and defend his title.
“A boxing ring is a boxing ring,” he said. “I don’t mind where I fight. I want to show my skills to the people in Russia.”
His manager Vikram Sivapragasam believes fighting behind enemy lines will help his fighter in the long run.
“I decided to take the fight in Russia because I think it is a good learning curve for my boy,” said the young manager. “We know it won’t be easy but nothing that is easy is worth fighting for.”
To ready themselves, Sivapragasam took Abduqahorov as well as his middleweight contender Azizbek Abdugofurov (6-0, 4 KOs) to Las Vegas for an eight-week training camp.
During this time he’s had both working with venerable old sage Kenny Adams.
“We decided that to improve the boys we needed to do something different,” said Sivapragasam. “After speaking with his coach IIgar we felt it would be best to go to America and what better place than the capital of boxing, Las Vegas.
“We started to work with Kenny, who has been a great help. We are working on so many things for this fight which we hope will make Qudratillo a more rounded fighter. It will be tough but I believe in my boys.”
At a sprightly 76, Adams has been involved in the pros since 1988. Prior to that he was the head-coach of the famed ’88 United States Olympic team that included Riddick Bowe, Roy Jones Jr. and Kennedy McKinney.
Since making the transition Adams has worked with in the region of 25 pro fighters, including McKinney, Edwin Valero, Vince Phillips and Diego Corrales. He had started to wind down and enjoy life.
“This boxing game reaches out and drags you back in,” Adams said laughing. “I was asked if I’d take a look at these guys. I did, and they have good technical skills. I liked what I saw and am enjoying working with them. They’re good kids.”
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing