Ibragimov dominates Timo Hoffmann!

timur ibragimov24.06.07 - By Fritz Drexel: Heavyweight Timor Ibragimov (22-2-1, 13 KO’s) rebounded from two consecutive losses to defeat German heavyweight Timo Hoffmann (36-5-1, 20 KO’s) on Saturday night at the Stadthalle, in Zwickau, Germany. The final judges’ scores were 99-94, 98-92 and 97-93, all for Ibragimov. For many people, the win for Ibragimov, 32, came something of a shock, considering his last poor performances subsequent to this bout against Calvin Brock and Tony Thompson, both of whom totally dominated Ibragimov en route to unanimous decision victories.

However, clearly Timo Hoffmann, a huge 6’7 ˝”, 260 lb fighter, isn’t in the same class as Brock or Thompson, despite his superior size, which perhaps explains why Ibragimov was able to look so good in the process of beating him.

Early on, it was apparent that Ibragimov had the much quicker hands of the two, as he was often able to land three-punch combinations to the face and midsection of the much slower Hoffmann before the German could get set to attempt a punch of his own. For his part, Hoffmann was mostly limited to jabbing as his main weapon, mostly because when he did attempt right hand shots, they were so slow and badly telegraphed that by the time they reached Ibragimov, he would duck under them and counter punch.

After getting countered numerous times in the first three rounds, It didn’t take long for Hoffmann to learn his lesson and avoid using his right hand until he was absolutely certain he had a chance of landing it. His jab, however, was actually an excellent weapon for him, though, as he was able to land quite a few of them during the fight.

timo hoffmannIn rounds 1-4, Ibragimov controlled the pace with his combinations and in and out movement, thus preventing Hoffmann from having stationary target which he desperately needed because of his large size and painfully slow movements. Several times during the early going, Hoffmann fell to the canvas, seeming to trip over his own two feet. It would looked bad, as if he was uncoordinated and new to boxing.

In rounds 5-7, Ibragimov continued with his domination, landing powerful hooks to body and head, and stinging Hoffmann with fast jabs. By the 7th round, Hoffmann looked exhausted, and began to resort to pushing Ibragimov around the ring and leaning on him constantly. At this point, he looked more like a football player than a boxer due to the continuous pushing. He was warned about this quite a bit by the referee, but he was never penalized for the offence, which ensured that the action would be repeated for the remainder of the bout. Hoffmann slipped and fell to the canvas again in the 7th round, after Ibragimov ducked one of his wild haymakers.

In round 8, Hoffmann started a new tactic, in which he would run at Ibragimov and slam into him, sending him into the ropes where Hoffmann would then attempt to maul him like a giant bear-like creature. He wasn’t doing in real punching during these episodes, which made it all the stranger seeming. He also wasn’t pushing him with his hand, but instead was slamming into him with his chest like a football player. It looked bad, no doubt, and kept the referee busy trying to keep him from doing more of these tactics. In this round, Hoffmann fell to the canvas yet again, this time after getting hit with a rabbit punch by Ibragimov, who appeared to be counter punching at the time after one of Hoffmann’s many wild charges forward.

timor ibragimovIn between the 9th and 10th rounds, Hoffmann’s corner told him that he should try for a knockout, knowing that he was hopelessly behind in the fight. In response, Hoffmann just grunted and looked worried, as if he didn’t think he was capable of doing it.

In the 10th and final round, Ibragimov continued blasting Hoffmann with lefts and rights, timing him perfectly as he would come charging forward. Hoffmann showed no sign of wanting to follow his corner’s advice, continued to fire off mainly jabs with few power shots. And, of course, he continued to push Ibragimov around the ring and rough him up.

In the end, the fight was never close, largely due to Ibragimov’s speed and ability to throw combinations in comparison to Hoffmann’s slow shots and poor work rate. It would be nice if this victory was an indication that Ibragimov had improved, that he would suddenly show that he wasn’t the same fighter that many of us witnessed in his poor performances against Calvin Brock and Tony Thompson. However, as I mentioned previously, this bout only showed what a terrible fighter Hoffmann is more than anything else. I fully expect Ibragimov to continue to have problems when he steps it up against the better fighters in the heavyweight division, simply because he lacks power and he’s not particularly fast, either, compared to the quicker heavyweights. However, he was fast enough for Hoffmann, which enables Ibragimov to break his losing streak and thus give him a glimmer of hope for his future.

In Hoffmann’s case, his potential has been thoroughly unutilized, as he had good basic skills to begin with, but has languished in Germany for the past seven years, mostly fighting European fighters, ones that he could look good against. If he had been brought to America early in his career, I believe he would have been a heavyweight champion by now. Not that he would have remained a champion for long, mind you, but he would have had a decent run as a champion for short while. Personally, I think he compares favorably to Andrew Golota, whom I believe he could probably beat at this point in his career. Hoffmann is still only 32-years-old, and there’s time left to salvage what’s left of his career but he needs to move to the states and get better sparring partners.

Article posted on 24.06.2007

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