Is Ibragimov vs. Peter a possibility? Boris Grinberg speaks on Ibragimov/Briggs and much more!

16.03.07 Ė By Izyaslav ďSlavaĒ Koza: With the confirmation of the WBO championship title bout between defending champ Shannon Briggs and #1 contender Sultan Ibragimov currently slated for Moscow, Ibragimovís manager Boris Grinberg was, as always, kind enough to give us a run down of the situation.

ESB: Greetings, Boris! First of all, congratulations on Sultanís terrific win. What did you think of the fight?

B.G.: Hey and thanks! Well, Sultan did a great job, showed up in the best shape of his life, and did what he was supposed to do. Mora was not smart to come at Sultan although I guess in retrospect that was his only chance since he took the fight on short notice. We appreciate that a great deal by the way. After the fight, he said he was not sure what exactly happened in the ring. Had it been Briggs in the ring, Iím not sure the result would have been much different.

ESB: Yeah, I think Mora gave it his best shot given the circumstance. Can you tell us where Sultan is now?

B.G.: Sultan flew back home to Dagestan for now. His trainers, Jeff and Jeremy, should have a fight plan and schedule prepared for the Briggs fight shortly so at that point I can tell you when he should be back here and back in the gym. We will begin training in Florida and if everything goes as it should we will be Moscow about a week or ten days before the fight to get accustomed to the atmosphere.

ESB: Is there any info regarding which channel in the US might show the bout?

B.G.: At this point no, because we are not even sure if Briggs will show up to defend his belt. Furthermore, part of the problem with HBO is they are afraid the fight may be too short to cover. I mean we train for a 12 round fight but as you saw here it didnít matter.

ESB: Yes there has been some concern that Briggs will give up the belt in search of a bigger payday.

B.G.: He wonít give it up because the WBO will strip him, but I see your point. If that happens, we would face somebody ranked in the top 15 for the vacant title.

ESB: Well if the card does come off, who else can we expect to see fighting that night?

B.G.: Probably our guys from Warriors and Golden Grain. Most likely Shimon Alvarez, who just signed with us, Khabib Alakhuerdiev who just made his debut on the MSG card. Also, I would expect some local talent on there.

ESB: Have the promoters of Klitschko and Maskaev tried to contact you in order to maybe have their fight on the same card or agree to move to a later date?

B.G.: No, there has been silence on their end but, of course, we can have a discussion if need be. I donít think the fights will be on the same card though. They are the type of bird that flies high in the sky, so to speak, so I doubt we could reach an agreement.

Also we have a problem with the mandatory periods and the schedules so we have to have the fight within a certain time frame. There was an extension granted but we donít really have an opportunity to move our date because of those constraints.

ESB: Do you want to say something on Sultanís behalf to all our readers?

B.G.: In roughly two months time, Sultan will be fighting and winning the WBO title. After that, we will look to unify the belts. We arenít the biggest guys out there but we have the most heart. These other fighters look at Sultan and think because of his size that he is easy pickings. Which current fighters have reached the same level after only 20 fights? Most of them have been kept on a strict Tomato Can diet.

I just found out two days ago about the Klitschko/Austin bout. Austin showed up for the paycheck, and you could see that he was petrified of Klitschkoís size, but when he fought us, he put in the effort because, as I said, they see Sultanís size and think he is easy to beat. Truth is, I just found out that Austin couldnít eat right for four months after his fight with Sultan and only started chewing normally in November.

It would have been worse for Mora if the fight would have lasted six rounds.

We train in the same gym with Miranda and after looking at Sultan in the gym, Edison said, ďHe is even faster than me,Ē and that is a middleweight talking about a heavy. Any trainer that has ever seen Sultan has said there is no more dedicated and loyal fighter to the sport.

Oscar De La Hoya believes that by the time Sultan has a belt or two, Samuel Peter will as well. Of the other fighters out there, Peter is the best. He and Sultan are the two most exciting and aggressive heavyweights right now, and that will be the one single bout that will revive boxing again. That is what we are hoping for as the final and ultimate unification bout.

ESB: Sultan vs Peter would be an absolutely amazing match. Well once again thanks for your time and the info.

B.G.: Anytime, Iím glad I can help.

I want to thank Boris for his time and hereís to hoping that Ibragimov vs Peter is a fight we can see in the future.

Article posted on 17.03.2007

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