WBA/IBO junior welterweight champion Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-0) is currently in the final stages of his training camp for his April 12th defense against Jessie Vargas (23-0). The fight takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV on the Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley 2 pay-per-view undercard.
BoxingScene.com was on hand for one of Allakhverdiev's recent training sessions at the Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas. The Russian fighter started his camp in New Mexico for two weeks before moving on to Las Vegas. He said that altitude was one of the key factors in deciding on training in Albuquerque and Las Vegas.
"I have had a great training camp. We started in Albuquerque and then we came out here to Vegas. We have enjoyed the altitude for training," Allakhverdiev stated.
Allakhverdiev jumped on the radar of American fight fans when he handed former champion Joan Guzman his first professional loss in November, 2012. Khabib had won the IBO title in his previous fight but the victory over Guzman netted him the WBA title in his first fight televised on American television.
"The Guzman fight was important for me. I trained very hard for the fight. I was given the opportunity for the fight and the fact that it was for a title gave me even more motivation. I always work hard but it motivated me even more," Khabib revealed.
The 31-year old Allakhverdiev said that he is taking Vargas very seriously and expects his unbeaten challenger to be in top form on fight night. Vargas is known to be an aggressive fighter and Allakhverdiev rarely takes a step backwards. For those reasons the Russian feels that their match up of styles will produce fireworks and the fans will be the real winners.
I know that (Jessie) is a young guy. He is 24 years old I think. He is hungry and he wants the title. We are working hard and we will see what happens in the ring.
"This should be a really good fight for the fans. I want to be aggressive and he wants to be aggressive. Nobody is running in this fight. We will both be in there fighting and the fans will get a really good fight," said Allakhverdiev.
Allakhverdiev finished our conversation by saying that he plans on implementing his game plan and forcing Vargas to adjust to what he brings to the table.
I don't really think about what Jessie Vargas is going to do in the ring because I know what I am going to do in the ring. He wants to be champion and I want to stay champion so when we get in the ring we will see who wins," Allakhverdiev told BoxingScene.com.
Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriterTags: Jessie Vargas , Khabib Allakhverdiev , Khabib-Vargas , Khabib vs. Vargas