Power-punching WBC #13 and WBO #14 light heavyweight contender Ali Izmailov returned to action last Friday night (January 7, 2022) with an impressive four-round stoppage of capable Panamanian veteran Israel Duffus on the untelevised undercard of the ShoBox: The New Generation event at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Fla.
One of the heaviest punchers in the world at 175 lbs., Izmailov (7-0, 5 KOs), from Malgobek, Russia, had things all his way against the determined but outgunned former WBC FECARBOX Light Heavyweight Champion Duffus (20-8, 17 KOs). Despite facing a long list of top prospects, the normally durable Duffus hasn’t lost to a fighter with a loss on his record since 2014 and hadn’t been stopped since 2016. Izmailov dropped Duffus in the third with a clubbing right hand and stunned him badly with another before Referee Chris Young halted the action mercifully at :34 of the fourth.
As promised, Izmailov concentrated much of his brutal attack on the body with both of his concrete hands, which softened Duffus up for the thudding finish. Surprisingly, Izmailov looks to have shored up his defense considerably as Duffus missed more than other opponents have previously in the Russian’s career.
The fight was Izmailov’s second with all-star trainer John David Jackson, with whom he now works and resides in Florida.
“I felt unbeatable,” said Izmailov, post-fight. “He couldn’t touch me and I was hitting harder than ever. Thank you to my trainer John David and Salita Promotions for this opportunity to stay active and show my improved skills.”
“Ali’s fight last Friday was a very good performance for him,” added John David Jackson. “He systematically broke his opponent down with a good jab, a great body attack and very good defense. Some people were concerned with the opponent we had chosen for him, but I knew that he would come through with flying colors. He is definitely ready for bigger and better boxing matches.”
Quickly gaining a reputation with his punching power as the next Russian Bloc strongman soon to make his considerable presence felt in the light heavyweight division, the 28-year-old Izmailov appears to be rounding into form for a championship challenge, despite just seven professional fights. The former amateur star has been fast-tracked by promoter Salita, who says he likes what he saw last Friday from his fighter.
“I was very impressed with the improvements Ali and John have already made together,” said Dmitriy Salita. “Ali is going from the hardest puncher in the division to a nightmare for anyone to try and face with John in his corner and it showed Friday night. That was a good opponent that Ali took apart easily and didn’t have to pay a heavy price for doing it with his improved defense. I am very happy with his performance, overall. He will be in an even bigger fight sometime this year.”