Lou DiBella commended Curtis Harper for taking what figures to be a difficult fight Saturday night with Bakhodir Jalolov, the heavyweight DiBella’s company promotes.
It has been “ridiculously hard,” according to DiBella, to get veteran heavyweights to box the 2021 Olympic gold medalist for reasonable purses. Jalolov is a 6-foot-7 southpaw with power and speed, and he brutally knocked Jack Mulowayi cold in the eighth round of his most recent fight five months ago.
The 10-round bout between Uzbekistan’s Jalolov (11-0, 11 KOs) and Harper (14-8, 9 KOs), of Jacksonville, Florida, will be one of three televised bouts on the Regis Prograis-Jose Zepeda undercard. That four-fight pay-per-view show is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California and costs $59.99.
“Right now, we’re trying to keep him as active as possible,” DiBella told BoxingScene.com. “And the opportunity to get him on this undercard of Prograis and Zepeda is really good exposure for him and an opportunity to fight again this year. But it’s gonna take some investment, and we’re gonna make it, in terms of finding the right guys for him to fight.
“The challenge is finding guys that fit the bill of a learning experience and overcoming the economic demands of people that are really scared to take an almost certain loss against a guy that’s not yet a champion. So, the development process is going to be difficult.”
The 28-year-old Jalolov has tried to remain patient, but he wants to fight ranked heavyweights next year. If DiBella can get those types of opponents to face his highly touted prospect, the International Boxing Hall of Fame promoter predicted 2023 will be the year Jalolov becomes one of the most talked-about boxers in the sport.
“I think this guy’s got some special stuff physically, but also in terms of his makeup,” DiBella said. “I think that he’s a name that’s gonna be on everybody’s lips by sometime next year.”
DiBella likened Jalolov to Tyson Fury, the unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion whose athleticism and movement defies his 6-foot-9, 265-pound frame.
“He’s very good,” DiBella said. “He’s sort of physically a phenom, honestly, in the sense that he’s huge, with significant one-punch power, but he also moves like a much smaller guy. In that sense, you could see some similarities to Tyson Fury. Jalolov’s maybe not as slick, but maybe a harder puncher. I think anyone who’s ever sparred him – guys who are major heavyweights or heavyweight contenders or were great amateurs – know that this guy has all the tools and the skill set.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.