Matt Korobov has informed BoxingScene.com that he is determined to secure a spot in the “World Boxing Super Series” super middleweight tournament, recently announced by Sauerland Event and RingStar Sports.
“I know I am the best fighter in the world between 160 and 168,” Korobov said, “and this tournament will give me the opportunity to prove it.”
The Russian-born Korobov (27-1, 14 KOs) sees this super middleweight tournament as a means to secure a steady stream of big fights.
“This tournament would benefit me the same way the “Super Six” tournament benefited Andre Ward,” Korobov said. “No one wanted to fight Andre Ward, but the best were forced to fight Andre and he became a big star. No one wants to fight me, and I’ll do the same thing as Ward and win it all!”
The decorated amateur is ranked No. 6 by the WBO at super middleweight. He also is ranked by two sanctioning bodies at middleweight – the WBC (No. 6) and IBF (No. 10).
Despite those high rankings, big fights continue to evade Korobov.
“A few months ago, Bob Arum called my manager and offered a title fight against Gilberto Ramirez at 168,” Korobov said. “I was so happy, so I accepted immediately for low money. But then, a few days later Bob said he was very disappointed, but Ramirez wouldn’t fight me. I am ready to become champion, but I can’t force people to fight me.”
Korobov, 34, went 300-12 as an amateur before he signed with Arum’s Top Rank Inc. amid a lot of fanfare in 2008. The veteran southpaw is now campaigning as a free agent.
“I believe that I am a free agent at the right time in my career,” Korobov said. “I’ve turned down good money offers because I am more interested in fighting the best.”
Korobov has won three straight fights, including a win against rugged Brian Vera, since his lone loss as a pro against Ireland’s Andy Lee (34-3-1, 24 KOs). Korobov was winning that fight on all three scorecards when it was stopped in the sixth round in Las Vegas (50-45, 50-45, 48-47).
“I am much more than one bad round in my life,” Korobov said. “Look at my career – as a professional I barely lost a round. I beat Jose Uzcategui (then 22-0) easily [Uzcategui recently suffered a controversial disqualification defeat against Andre Direll]. And I knocked out Danny Jacobs in the amateurs. I am the fighter every other fighter from 160-168 wants to avoid. In the World Boxing Super Series Tournament, they will have no choice but to fight me.”
Click this link for highlights of Korobov’s victory over Uzcategui: Korobov vs. Uzcategui Highlights: HBO Boxing After Dark