Khabib vs. Novikov Bout is Not an Option, Says Hryunov
By Yuri Tarantin (Allboxing.ru)
WBA light welterweight champion Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-0, 9 KOs) is scheduled to return in February or in March of 2014, reported his manager Vladimir Hryunov to Yuri Tarantin of Allboxing.ru. According to Hryunov, Khabib, 30, has successfully recovered after arm surgery and is already in the gym. Allakhverdiev fought once in 2013, scoring a dominating stoppage of a two-time titleholder Souleymane M’Baye in the eleventh round of their July fight.
Allakhverdiev is promoted by Top Rank, and so is another undefeated 25-year old Russian - Anton “Pick Hammer” Novikov (27-0, 10 KOs). Earlier yesterday, Alexey Vasiliev, the director of the Ural Boxing Promotions, the co-promoter of WBC #11 Novikov, indicated that Anton is among candidates for Allakhverdiev’s next fight.
“Top Rank is looking closely for a possible fight between Anton and Khabib. I think that we will know more in the near future”, said Vasiliev.
This news hasn’t been confirmed by Hryunov.
“We have a list of possible opponents for Khabib, but Anton Novikov is not a part of this list”, said the manager.
Meanwhile Novikov, who started at 18 as a welterweight, then moved north to the middleweight and came as light as 142 for his Top Rank debut (a convincing decision over Robert Frankel in August), and getting multiple WBC minor titles on his road back and forth, is set to fight tough American Manuel Perez (20-9-1, 4 KOs) next. The bout will most likely land on Dec. 14 in Caguas, PR.