Matchroom Boxing and DAZN had some shuffling to do after WBC super flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez withdrew from his August 15th main event against McWilliams Arroyo. Having done so, everything is once again official; former co-feature Cecilia Braekhus vs. Jessica McCaskill now headlines, while top super welterweight prospect Israil Madrimov co-headlines against Contender veteran Eric Walker.
Madrimov (5-0, 5 KO), one of several Uzbek amateur standouts alongside Murodjon Akhmadaliev and fellow August 15th competitor Shakhram Giyasov, looks among the most promising of the bunch. The 25-year-old “Dream” has been booked for 10 rounds in all five of his pro fights but has never needed more than six, most recently smashing Charlie Navarro in a February WBA eliminator.
“I’m very excited to fight on August 15 against such a formidable opponent in Eric Walker,” said Madrimov. “Many thanks to all of my fans worldwide for their support, I can’t wait to put on another great show for you.”
“We were initially planning to bring Israil back around September, but this opportunity came up and we all decided that this is a great step for his career,” said Vadim Kornilov, Madrimov’s manager. “We’re looking forward to a bigger test here with Walker then with previous opponents.”
“This will be another great performance by Israil,” said Andrei Ryabinskiy, World of Boxing Promotions. “His popularity is growing, and we are very happy working with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN, keeping him busy and moving another step forward on August 15.”
Walker (20-2, 9 KO) entered the Contender on the heels of a loss to Patrick Day, but managed to defeat John Jackson and John Thompson before falling to eventual winner Brandon Adams. He’s since won three consecutive eight-rounders and looks to be a decent step up up for Madrimov despite the latter being ranked #2 by the WBA.
“Madrimov had a great amateur career but, as a pro, he makes a lot of mistakes and I’ll be the guy to give him his first loss,” said Walker. “Despite the restrictions from the pandemic, I’ve been training and staying in shape. I’ve been in the gym since May and I just got back from sparring with Shawn Porter. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this, my mind is focused, and I’m ready to take care of business on August 15.”