Israil Madrimov will be battling Magomed Kurbanov for the vacant WBC junior middleweight title this Friday, March 8th, on the Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou card on DAZN PPV at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Madrimov vs. Kurbanov ringwalks will be at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. UK.

The Opportunity

Madrimov-Kurbanov will fight for the WBA 154-lb belt that was recently stripped from Jermell Charlo, who hadn’t defended the title since winning it in 2020. He was sitting on it all these years, and World Boxing Associaiton finally chose to strip him.

Unfortunately, Madrimov (9-0-1, 6 KOs) never got the chance to fight for the WBA belt when Jermell still held it, as that was a fight that a lot of fans wanted to see. Jermell has other priorities, fighting Brian Castano twice and then moving up to 168 to challenge Canelo Alvarez for his undisputed championship.

The nine-year pro, Kurbanov (25-0, 13 KOs) has wins over Michel Soro, Liam Smith and Patrick Teixeira. Some boxing fans believe that Kurbanov’s narrow 12-round unanimous decision win over Smith in 2021 was controversial and that he should have lost that fight, which took place in Russia.

Promoter Eddie Hearn believes unification is possible for Madrimov against WBO champion Tim Tszyu if he’s victorious this Friday.

The Path to Unification

“It’s on. I know there was some paperwork that was needed by the commission and it’s been dealt with,” said Eddie Hearn to the Punch Podcast about the Israil Madrimov vs. Magomed Kurbanov fight being back on for this Friday on DAZN PPV in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“It’s a sleeper on the card. Israil Madrimov is a beat. He’s an Uzbekistan guy who has been widely avoided, and Kurbanov is a Russian and is an absolute animal as well. That fight is going to be a thriller.

“The WBA super welterweight world for the regular title because you got [Jermell] Charlo there, but basically, Charlo is going to be evaporating those belts. This is really for a piece of the world championship. It’s a potential for Tim Tszyu as well in a unification coming up soon,” said Hearn.

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