ESPN+ Weights: Kholmatov vs. Ford & Lopez vs. Abe

By Rob Smith - 03/01/2024 - Comments

Otabek Kholmatov, Raymond Ford, Luis Alberto Lopez and Reiya Abe all successfully weighed on Friday in for their featherweight doubleheader this Saturday, March 2nd at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. The card will be shown live on ESPN+ at 5:20 p.m. ET/2:20 p.m. PT.

Main Event: Kholmatov vs. Ford for Vacant WBA Title

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Kholmatov (12-0, 11 KOs) faces Ford (14-0-1, 7 KOs) for the vacant WBA 126-lb title in the main event. In the chief support, IBF featherweight champion Luis Alberto Lopez (29-2, 16 KOs) defends against Reiya Abe (25-3-1, 10 KOs).

Weigh-in Results for ESPN+ on Saturday

Otabek Kholmatov 125.8 vs. Raymond Ford 125.9
Luis Alberto Lopez 125.3 vs. Reiya Abe 125.8
Brian Norman Jr. 147.2 vs. Janelson Bocachica 146.6
Bryce Mills 138.7 vs. Gerffred Ngayot 138.7
Troy Isley 159.3 vs. Marcos Hernandez 160.6
Rohan Polanco 142.9 vs. Tarik Zaina 142.4
Floyd Diaz 118 vs. Edwin Rodriguez 117.8
Nico Ali Walsh 156.9 vs. Charles Stanford 155.1
Brandon Moore 242 vs. Helaman Olguin 281.7

The southpaw Kholmatov is a powerful puncher from Uzbekistan, who is still largely unknown to the boxing public. He would have had a chance to fight Leigh Wood for the WBA title, but the British fighter chose to give up his belt and move up to 130 for a money fight against Josh Warrington.

It’s a pity because that would have been an interesting fight to see how Kholmatov would have done against Wood, who can punch and is popular in the UK.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is really high on Raymond Ford, and has predicted victory for him against Kholmatov. We’ll see if Hearn knows what he’s talking about on Saturday night.

“I’m anxious to step into the ring and anxious to deliver a great fight to the people,” said Luis Alberto Lopez. “We know he’s a fighter who likes to move a lot. He likes to be on his toes and moving backward. But if he wants to be the new champion, he’s going to have to come here and fight. We will do everything possible to win early.”

“I’ve been looking for a unification fight for quite some time.  The faster a unification fight happens, the better for me. It would be great for my career.”

“I think Lopez is a good champion. But this will be the day that I show that I’m the best at 126 pounds,” said Reiya Abe.