Zab Helps Khabib, Judges Set, More June 20th Event Bits
By Alexey Sukachev / Photo: Grigory Stangrit
Moscow prepares for its third big boxing event in 2012. For the second time this year, WBA #11 junior welterweight Khabib Allakhverdiev (16-0, 7 KOs) takes his part in the event as the headliner.
Allakhverdiev, 29, was previously scheduled to take on former WBO world champion Kendall Holt in an important match-up for the right to face Zab Judah in what very well could have been a fight for a vacant IBF crown. However, Holt experienced severe visa problems which prevented him from making the trip to Russia. It was then reported by BoxingScene that Kaizer Mabuza (24-8-3, 15 KOs) had been chosen as a substitute for Holt, taking on Allakhverdiev on June 20 at CSKA sports arena in Moscow, Russia.
Mabuza, 32, had his Golden age two and a half years ago, when he first travelled to Ukraine to upset previously undefeated Sergey Fedchenko on his home turf and then did the same to Holt, and much more confidently this time – by stopping him in six rounds in an IBF light welterweight eliminator. Mabuza’s next opponent was Zab Judah, who derailed the South African and shocked him badly to get a vacant title last year. Mabuza was 1-1 since then, losing a hairline unanimous decision to countryman Chris Van Heerden at welterweight and then winning a vacant IBO 140lb title against unbeaten Australian Steve Wills this past March. The IBO light welterweight title will be on the line for both Kaizer and “King” Khabib on June 20.
In the news, the referee for the contest will be 67-year old British veteran of the ring Dave Parris, who accidentally was the third man in the ring in a famed Ricky Hatton versus Kostyz Tszyu showdown in 2005. That bout marked the end of the road for Tszyu. Ironically, Tszyu is now working as Khabib’s head coach. Parris will be supported outside the ring by his countryman Howard John Foster, Polish judge Pawel Kardynyi and Lahcen Oumghar of Netherlands.
Meanwhile, Judah, a kayo victim of the Tszyu’s right hand and still the highest-ranked IBF 140lb ,is presently in Moscow and taking part in a promotional tour around the city. Judah also delivered some useful tips to Khabib on how to beat Mabuza and also worked mitts with his brother Shafiddin and showed the brothers some tricks to be applied in future fights.
Cruiserweight contender Grigory Drozd (34-1, 24 KOs) and lightweight Eduard Troyanovskiy are expected to fill in the undercard of the evening, organized by Vladimir Hryunov. No opponents have been officially announced but Brazilian journeymen are rumored to be in line for both Russian fighters.