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Israil Madrimov and Magomed Kurbanov reportedly agree to title fight

JJ Metcalf previously turned down the fight with Israil Madrimov

Derek Chisora and Kubrat Pulev - 02 Arena Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

Jalol Akhmedov, the best source for Uzbek boxing news, brings word that Israil Madrimov and Magomed Kurbanov have agreed to fight for the WBA super welterweight title. An official announcement is “coming soon.”

Since this is the WBA we’re talking about, it’s unclear whether this means Jermell Charlo vacated or got stripped. That said, they’ve been pretty good about phasing out the “world” belt of late and Charlo already threw away his IBF belt rather than fight an unappealing mandatory in Bakhram Murtazaliev.

Madrimov (9-0-1, 6 KO) was inches away from a title shot when he stopped Michel Soro in a late-2021 eliminator, but the severe referee error that made said stoppage possible prompted a rematch. That rematch ended seconds into the third due to a clash of heads, and though the WBA did end up giving Madrimov the top spot in their rankings, the queue between him and Jermell Charlo left him to stay busy against Raphael Igbokwe instead.

Two dud fights in two years doesn’t make for red-hot momentum, but he’s still got a better track record than Kurbanov (25-0, 13 KO), who received this opportunity when JJ Metcalf turned down a January 27th shot at Madrimov due to a lack of prep time. Kurbanov famously escaped with a robbery over Liam Smith in 2021 and was even more egregious in last May’s win over Soro, which saw him lean on a team member’s arm to make weight before claiming a bogus split decision.

It was so bad that even the Cyrillic comments on that video say Soro got shafted.

We’ll let you know as soon as there’s an announcement and/or Charlo’s title status is clarified.

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