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Shohjahon Ergashev: ‘I have to become a champion’

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Prospect Shohjahon Ergashev speaks on his last fight, and his upcoming April 28 bout.

One person stood out most on the January 12 show at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY and it wasn’t, all due respect, headliner Claressa Shields. She did what she was supposed to do, and that’s handle an inferior foe without getting pushed too hard.

Naw, the fighter who left the arena with more buzz on them than they’d come in with is Shohjahon Ergashev, a 26-year-old Uzbeki boxer who is promoted by Dmitriy Salita, and rose to 11-0 winning a bout that screened on ShoBox.

Shohjahon, who is trained by Rick Phillips and Sugar Hill, at the new Kronk in Detroit, mowed down Sonny Fredrickson, a prospect under the Roc Nation banner who boasted an 18-0 mark.

His 0 had to go when Ergashov started hammering with straight lefts in the third. It looked a bit like man strength versus young man strength, as Frederickson couldn’t keep the Uzbek off of him. The winner kept on bashing and Sonny stayed aloft, showing admirable stubbornness, but the official in his corner saved him from himself, and hopped up up on the apron.

Sho was the fighter I most wanted to see more of from that ShoBox, and don’t you know, he will be available for inspection come April 28, when he gloves up on the Matchroom show topped by Daniel Jacobs vs Maciej Sulecki at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The fighter told me about that win on ShoBox, and gave me a better idea of where he comes from.

“To be honest, it was not too difficult for me to defeat Sonny, I did not feel the pressure and strength from him,” Ergashev said. “I believe that soon I will show the whole world how talented I am and will raise my level in the world ranking. I had a great training camp for that fight and the fight was quite easy.

“For the sake of my trainers and team, for the sake of my family, for Uzbekistan, I have to become a champion,” he continued. “Professional boxing in America is very well developed. I feel the trainers I train with are some of the best in the world and know how to bring up professional boxers. I am excited about going to the gym and learning every day. I want to develop my skills and abilities and push myself every day.

“I had 250 fights (as an amateur), most wins by knockouts,” Ergashev said. “I was on the Uzbek national team for six years.”

If you haven’t seen him, to start off, his game face is snarly as hell and could intimidate someone doubting themselves. His foes should know he can be a fast starter, can fight in round one like he’s well warmed up. His stance is wide, he wants to sit down on shots and be powerful. His hand speed is above avergae, witness his ability to throw and land a lead left. Sometimes he sacrfices accuracy in search of power. Sho is pretty light on his feet, and much of that comes from being so experienced, he doesn’t freeze up.

The boxer lives in Detroit, moving there last year from Uzebkistan, after a stay in Brooklyn. His dad was an athlete and he became his first teacher in this field.

“Since childhood, I adored boxing, and started boxing with my dad,” he said. “The main reason that I decided to become a boxer is my dad, since he himself was one of the most talented boxers in his day. He was my inspiration and made me win more. I want to thank him for his constant support and help. He instilled in me the desire to train hard and I push myself in the gym every day to be the best I can be.”

One tidbit: Sho’s nickname is “Tamerlane.” Tamerlane, he tells me, “is a great warrior, the hero of our country, and played an important role in world history. Therefore my first boxing trainer Sayfullo Temirovich called me ‘The Descendant of Tamerlane,’ and then the name Tamerlane became my nickname all over the world.”

And looking forward…

“I told Dmitry to give me the best possible guys. I promise everyone that I will use this opportunity and become the world champion. My career in professional boxing has just begun, and in the future there will be many interesting fights and exciting victories.”

That could be bad news for his next rival, 10-2 Zhimin Wang, a 32-year-old boxer from China. He’s won two in a row after losing a decision to Manny Rojas. He’s stepped up before, against Ivan Baranchyk in 2016, and lost a decision after 10 rounds.

If Sho can do what Ivan couldn’t, stop the defensively mindful Wang, that would be another indication that he’s perhaps fated to hit his marks, and gain more prominence in the pro sphere.

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