This Saturday, October 16, IBF #11, WBC #14 and WBO #15 light heavyweight Ali Izmailov (5-0, 3 KOs) returns to action against capable hometown veteran James Ballard (10-3, 3 KOs) in the eight-round main event of promoters Kenny D Moore and Vi Tran’s of Second 2 None Promotions’ “Best of Tomorrow 12” event at the Performance Arts Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
The 28-year-old Izmailov, from Malgobek, Russia, is a former amateur standout who won multiple elite international tournaments. Already world-rated as a professional at just 5-0, 3 KOs, Izmailov recently started working with world-famous Florida-based trainer John David Jackson at his Action Jackson Boxing Academy in Fort Lauderdale.
Jackson, who has spent the last three weeks sizing up his new protegee, says Izmailov is a diamond in the rough waiting for polish.
“The sky is the limit for him with his punching power,” said Jackson of Izmailov. “He’s a tremendous puncher, but he’s also got natural boxing skills. As a fighter, I don’t think he realizes his potential. I’m getting him to move his head more and throw more combinations, instead of one power punch at a time. Nothing against his old trainers, but once he learns to throw three or four shots to set them up and camouflage the hard ones, he will be unstoppable.”
Jackson says the 32-year-old Ballard will be a good test for Izmailov and his newfound skills, but shouldn’t be able to derail any of their plans.
“Ballard is good, but Ali just has to pressure him and go to the body to break him down. Once his opponents feel his power, they all have a change of heart. Once Ali hits him with some good shots, it’ll be a matter of time.”
“Ali has amazing potential to be a star and John David is the perfect trainer to bring that out of him,” said Izmailov’s promoter, Dmitriy Salita. “I think you’ll see the improvements immediately under his expert tutelage. Ali was already the best prospect in the light heavyweight division.”