Boxing


Sultan Ibragimov Ready For Ray Austin

HOLLYWOOD, FL, July 20 – For many European fighters, boxing is simply a sport, a competitive contest between two athletes, and nothing more. Unbeaten heavyweight contender Sultan Ibragimov doesn’t subscribe to that school of thought. For him, boxing is his life – it’s what has allowed him to rise from the streets of Russia and be one victory away from fighting for the sport’s most prestigious prize, the world heavyweight championship..

So don’t expect him to go away quietly if things aren’t going his way in the ring, chalk it up to a bad night and move on. Ibragimov is a fighter, and he will fight with every last ounce of his strength and will to be victorious. It’s something that separates him from his peers in the fight game.

“People talk about my size, saying I’m too small to fight the giants,” said the 6-2, 220 pound Ibragimov. “But my heart is bigger than all of them combined and I will not stop until I am heavyweight champion of the world.”

Born in Tlyarata, Dagestan in Russia, Ibragimov was always one of the toughest and strongest children in his neighborhood, and he gravitated to wrestling early on. But by the age of 14, he was bitten by the boxing bug and began a lifelong quest to become the world heavyweight champion.

In 2000, Ibragimov won an Olympic Silver medal for Russia, losing only to Cuban legend Felix Savon via decision, and he then entered the pro ranks two years later.

Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of fights, knockouts, and impressive victories. Ibragimov’s record stands at 19 wins without a loss, with 16 KOs, and on Friday, July 28, he will look to make it 20-0 when he faces tough veteran Ray Austin in a 12 round IBF championship eliminator. The winner gets a shot at current champion Wladimir Klitschko.

“I’m not thinking about Klitschko now,” said Ibragimov. “Ray Austin is the one man standing in my way, and until I remove him on July 28, nothing else matters.”

To prepare for Austin, Ibragimov has been putting in long hours in Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s Contender’s Gym, sparring with the likes of Al Cole, Corey Sanders, and Przemyshlaw Saleta. It’s a long way from home for Ibragimov, but the work is no less grueling.

“Nothing good comes without hard work,” said the 31-year old southpaw. “Some of the fighters in this division think they can just show up and win. They can’t – not against me at least. I will outwork anyone I fight, in and out of the ring.”

It’s the philosophy that the greats have had, and one that Sultan Ibragimov lives by. He’s not flashy, he doesn’t talk trash, and he’s as quiet outside the ring as he is aggressive inside of it.

But one thing’s for sure…on July 28, people will know who Sultan Ibragimov is.

Ibragimov-Austin, part of a hard-hitting night of boxing presented by Warriors Boxing Promotions, Golden Grain Promotions, Sampson Lewkowicz in association with the Seminole Tribe of Forida, will be televised live on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights beginning at 9pm ET / 6pm PT. Tickets, priced at $25, $50, $100, and $150, are available by calling 954.523.3309 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.

Article posted on 20.07.2006



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