Boxing will make a return to Saudi Arabia on December 23, and once again, the heavyweight division will take the spotlight with a double main attraction event. Former divisional champions Deontay Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) and Joseph Parker (33-3, 23 KOs) will clash, while British star Anthony Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) will face the Swedish giant Otto Wallin (26-1, 14 KOs).
Following his 70-second performance against Junior Anthony Wright on October 28, Arslanbek Makhmudov (18-0, 17 KOs), will return to Riyadh for what seems to be his greatest career challenge. He will face the undefeated world contender Agit Kabayel (23-0, 15 KOs).
'I am very happy to return to Riyadh for this opportunity to fight a substantial opponent like Agit Kabayel. This is a solid chance to showcase all the work Arslanbek Makhmudov has accomplished in the gym with the team. He can thus demonstrate that he is the 'Lion' of the jungle,' says Camille Estephan.
Since his arrival in Montreal, Makhmudov quickly proved he was one of the most dangerous and therefore one of the most feared boxers globally.
In 2019, he won the WBC Continental Americas title by becoming the first man to stop Jonathan Rice. That same year, he added the NABF and NABA titles to his collection.
In 2022, he defeated Carlos Takam to claim the WBC Silver title and solidify his place at the top of the rankings. Currently ranked 3rd by the WBC, behind Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua, the heavy hitter is on a quest for the world. He notably handed Raphael Akpejiori his first defeat in his American debut in July and then demolished former world title challenger Junior Anthony Wright in his first appearance in Riyadh's season, winning the hearts of Saudis who quickly expressed interest in having him fight on their upcoming card.
'I loved fighting in Saudi Arabia, and I am very grateful that the Saudis are giving me this opportunity again. He's a good opponent, and it will be a good test for me. I am very excited about this fight,' says Makhmudov.
Kabayel represents a significant challenge for Makhmudov. Standing at 6'3'' and 240 pounds, the German with Turkish origins has never tasted defeat in over 12 years as a professional. During this period, he was crowned European champion twice, notably defeating double world title contender Derek Chisora, Ukrainian Andrii Rudenko, and Croatian power puncher Agron Smakici. With his victorious record, he is knocking on the door of the division to fight the elite while being ranked in the top four federations: 9th IBF, 12th WBO, 12th WBA, and 13th WBC.
'Arslanbek will face his toughest opponent to date on December 23. Kabayel is well-rounded and hits hard with both hands. He also defeated the very dangerous Derek Chisora. The goal of the fight is clear: to demonstrate that we are in a different league,' comments Makhmudov's trainer and EOTTM's director of development, Marc Ramsay.