Ali Izmailov successfully maintained his undefeated record. In what many are calling the biggest test of his young career, he secured a close unanimous decision victory against the unbeaten Charles Foster. The pair clashed in the main event on SHOBOX: The New Generation at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Izmailov, (11-0, 7 KOs), hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Foster (22-1, 12 KOs), a New Haven, Conn. native, engaged in a gripping 10-round match. Many believed the fight could have swung either way, but in the end, the three judges concurred that Izmailov’s body work and a last-minute knockdown in the fifth round were sufficient to give him the win. The scores came in at 95-94 and 96-93 twice in Izmailov’s favor.
Following the fight, Izmailov, a protégé of John David Jackson, expressed his unwavering confidence in the outcome. He stated, “I didn’t even listen to the scores. I knew it wasn’t close. I knew I won. I wasn’t even thinking it was even close.”
In an evening that showcased six fighters with pristine records, Foster became the third to see his perfect record tarnished. Furthermore, he became the 228th fighter in the 22-year history of SHOBOX to lose his unbeaten streak.
During the closing seconds of the fifth round, Izmailov landed a powerful right jab that sent Foster to the canvas. Foster revealed to his trainer, Luis Rosa, Sr., that he had injured his right shoulder at the beginning of that same round. Izmailov shared his frustrations about Foster’s tendency to clinch, remarking, “He didn’t want to fight. That’s why he held so much. He knew what would happen if he fought me.”
Interestingly, the fight was so evenly contested that both Izmailov and Foster landed the same total number of punches. Izmailov’s 113 out of 385 (29%) equaled Foster’s 113 out of 532 (21%). The game-changer, however, was Izmailov’s superior power punching, which gave him a 94 to 72 advantage, along with the crucial fifth-round knockdown.
The co-main event featured a thrilling light heavyweight match between Colombian Olympian Juan Carrillo and Richard Vansiclen, a University of Washington graduate. Carrillo landed more substantial punches throughout the tense 10-round fight, securing a majority decision win with scores of 95-93 twice and a 94-94 tie.
In a match-up of two southpaws, Carrillo (11-0, 8 KOs), now training in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., used well-placed power punches to best Vansiclen (13-1-1, 6 KOs), currently living and training in San Diego, Calif., and originally from Seattle, Wash. Both fighters found themselves on the canvas for the first time in their careers during the action-packed battle. In the third round, Carrillo managed to drop Vansiclen with a couple of right hooks, but in the following round, Vansiclen retaliated by flooring Carrillo with an overhand left.
Reflecting on the knockdown, Carrillo admitted, “I felt the shot, but I recovered right away. It was definitely a rabbit punch. My game plan was to go for the knockout. Unfortunately, I tried too hard and gave him enough time to fight back. That was the toughest guy I ever fought.”