Oliver McCall vs Timur Ibragimov Fight For The Vacant NABA heavyweight title

mccallby Pavel Yakovlev - Oliver McCall and Timur Ibragimov will fight a scheduled 12 round bout Tuesday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Hollywood, Florida. At stake is the vacant NABA USA heavyweight title belt, and the winner will almost certainly emerge as a top 15 or top ten contender in the WBA world ratings. Industry pundits regard the bout as unusually competitive and important for an off-television fight. Both boxers are promoted by The Heavyweight Factory, and according to Henry Rivalta, the firm’s Director of Boxing, “I would like to see Oliver or Timur fight one of the Klitschkos after this.”

Both boxers looked fit at today’s weigh-in. McCall, at 246 lbs, appeared powerful and seems to have trained for a puncher’s fight. Ibragimov tipped the scales at a lean, muscular 224 ˝ lbs. McCall (54-9; 37 kayos) and Ibragimov (27-2-1; 15 kayos) exuded confidence at today’s event. Each fighter is on a winning streak and has not lost since 2007..

The bout is a classic matching of a powerpunching infighter against a mobile boxer/counterpuncher. McCall is the stronger, harder hitting fighter, and will have an advantage at close quarters combat. Ibragimov, by contrast, is regarded as the superior technical boxer and is expected to control the action if the fight remains at long-range. Clearly, whichever pugilist succeeds in imposing his style on the other will win. At 45, McCall is ten years older than his opponent, which explains why oddsmakers have set odds of 1/3 and 3/10 favoring Ibragimov to emerge victorious.

But McCall is a very live underdog. As explained by Rivalta, “Oliver is most dangerous when cornered. He could fall behind on points and still score a one punch knockout at any time. The guy is indestructible. Sparring partners say that hitting him feels like punching a tree trunk.”

McCall is unquestionably focused. “Right now I just want to take care of business and knock him out. I’ve had three good comeback wins so far, and I plan to get another. I want to be judged by this upcoming performance,” explained the former WBC world heavyweight champion.

For his part, Ibragimov enters the bout with supreme confidence. When the NABA USA belt was displayed to the crowd during the weigh-in, Ibragimov looked at his cornermen and fiercely declared, “That belt is going to be ours!” Noteworthy is that McCall and Ibragimov have sparred frequently since 2006, and are very familiar with each other’s style. “He’s really strong...he’s got a great uppercut," stated Ibragimov of his opponent. “But trust me, I know what to do about him.”

Impressive also is that Ibragimov recently declined an easy opponent in Russia in order to fight McCall. “I want a tough fight, I want someone with a name,” stated Ibragimov. “I don’t want easy fights because then everyone will say I fight nobodies.” Indeed, the bout is a risky, cross-roads meeting for both men. Rivalta assessed the bout’s value by declaring, “This is a match that shows heavyweights are not taking easy fights.”

The McCall-Ibragimov match headlines a card consisting of eight heavyweight bouts. The semi-final pits Henry Fuentes (10-1; six kayos) against Deuily Aristilde (7-2; one kayo) in a scheduled eight rounder for the WBF US heavyweight belt. In other matches, former Cuban amateur stars Yasnay Consuegra (2-0; one kayo) and Luis Ortiz (1-0; one kayo) appear in separate bouts. The card also features former University of Miami football standout James Bryant (2-0; two kayos) in a scheduled four rounder.

The fights will be staged Tuesday, June 15th, at The Hard Rock Live Arena, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. The first bout begins at approximately 7pm. Tickets are priced at $30 to $100, and can be obtained by calling 305-917-5656. A near-capacity crowd of 4,000 is expected to attend the event.

Article posted on 15.06.2010

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