Heavyweight Prospect Magomed Abdusalamov Scores Easy Win In FNF Debut, Needs Stiffer Tests

By James Slater: Unbeaten Russian big man Magomed “Mago” Abdusalamov has been getting a fair amount of ink just lately, and fans were anxious to see the 6’3” southpaw’s Friday Night Fights debut last night on ESPN. Magomed won, improving his pro record to 13-0(13) - with nobody yet extending him beyond the 3rd-round - but his victory was less than impressive due to the awful physical condition of his opponent, blown-up cruiserweight Pedro Rodriguez of Cuba, who is now 8-1(6).

After a slow start in the 1st-round, during which the somewhat lumbering Magomed was caught by a couple of right hands to the head, the southpaw turned up the heat in the 2nd. A series of heavy-looking lefts and rights to the head had Rodriguez stuck on the ropes before a final shot sent the flabby Cuban to the mat. Upon this, referee Russell Mora waved the mismatch off. The time was just one minute and 4-seconds of the round.

Commentator Teddy Atlas sounded less than impressed with the latest Magomed win, and it’s true the prospect is in need of far, far tougher tests if he’s to develop into a serious heavyweight contender. In Team-Magomed’s defence, Sampson Lewkowicz has openly stated how a number of name fighters have been approached but want no part of his fighter. The Sampson Boxing boss says that he has trouble even getting decent sparring partners for Abdusalamov.

The Russian certainly has raw power in both hands, yet he has not been tested at all thus far in his pro career. “Mago” is keeping himself active, however, with a planned March 17th bout in New York, on the Sergio Martinez-Matthew Macklin card up on Boxrec (against 31-5-1(24) Brazilian Raphael Zumbano, who should provide a better test than Rodriguez did).

Fans will likely continue to watch Abdusalamov, seeing as how he is that commodity that will always attract attention: a heavyweight who can bang. But please, no more Pedro Rodriguez’s and no more blow-up former cruiserweights!

Some guys I’d love to see Abdusalamov in with in the coming months:

Tyson Fury. Would fellow unbeaten Fury want to risk his zero with a U.S debut against the southpaw?

Cedric Boswell. “The Boz” may want to attempt to get back into the picture for a decent payday after his recent KO loss to Alexander Povetkin. The veteran would provide a good test for Abdusalamov.

Oliver McCall. Another tough veteran. If McCall fights again, he’d perhaps be interested in testing the unbeaten hope.

Vinny Maddalone. This one, aside from likely being a great, all-action fight (Vinny is rarely involved in anything else) would tell us a lot more about the heart and stamina of Abdusalamov.

Article posted on 04.02.2012

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