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Kudratillo Abdukakhorov signs with Sampson Boxing, targets Errol Spence Jr.

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Abdukakhorov beat Keita Obara in a 2019 eliminator

Welterweight boxing bout Abdukakhorov vs Collazo in Philadelphia, US Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

After spending a year on the shelf with visa issues and parting ways with Top Rank, IBF #1 welterweight contender Kudratillo Abdukakhorov has joined forces with Sampson Lewkowicz in preparation for his mandated crack at champion Errol Spence Jr.

“I’m every excited to sign with Sampson Lewkowicz and Sampson Boxing,” said Abdukakhorov. “I’ve been the mandatory for Errol Spence for the past 19 months. I want to fight the best and working with Sampson and the PBC, I will get the shots I’ve been waiting for.”

Abdukakhorov’s Malaysia-based manager, Vikram Swapragasam, says the move to Sampson will open new doors for his young fighter.

“Sampson can provide us more opportunities to have more fights and work with the PBC,” he said. “That’s where all the welterweight champs are. I’ve known Sampson for years and he has a great reputation. He keeps his word.”

Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9 KO) went 2-0 in 2019, beating Keita Obara in a March eliminator and staying busy with a technical decision over Luis Collazo in August. Then came multiple ill-fated attempts to face Sergey Lipinets in another eliminator; a May 16th date collapsed due to COVID, and the aforementioned visa issues led to Custio Clayton replacing Abdukakhorov on October 24th.

Lipinets and Clayton ended up fighting to a draw, leaving Abdukakhorov safe atop the queue.

The current plan is to “give Abdukakhorov one keep-busy fight around March and, after that, face Spence or fight for the interim championship if Spence declines the bout.” Should the latter occur, Abdukakhorov would presumably face #2 Shawn Porter.