The Russian is the US boxing champion! Now Izmailov will come for Beterbiev?
Alexander Frolov Jun 10, 2023 07:27 UTC Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Ali managed to defeat the American, who fought extremely dirty.
The light heavyweight division of professional boxing is under the complete control of Russian athletes. The famous Artur Beterbiev has three championship belts at once, another title is held by Dmitry Bivol. But ruthless puncher Arthur and brilliant technician Dmitry are far from the only tough Russians in the light heavyweight division. For example, today Ali Izmailov had his 11th fight in his professional career. It is interesting that our compatriot promises to one day remove Beterbiev and Bivol from the throne.
But for now, he needed to get past a simpler boxer: an experienced American Charles Foster with a 22-0 record. Yes, Foster’s numbers might spark the imagination of an inexperienced fan, but most of Charles’ victories came in fights with farmhands. However, a difficult test awaited Izmailov as the IBF USBA US championship belt was on the line. Yes, in professional boxing you can get the title of champion of the United States, being a citizen of Russia.
The first round turned out to be extremely boring, and through the fault of the American boxer. He didn’t let go of the ropes at all, and Foster’s only tactic was to push endlessly to the clinch. Izmailov advanced, but instead of an attacking battle, he was constantly in the arms of an opponent. However, already in the second round, Foster began to act more boldly, although he did not abandon the usual clinching tactics. The Russian, on the other hand, could not get close to a convenient distance for him.
Charles did not show anything special, but his slippery style did not allow Izmailov to control the fight. As soon as our compatriot hit well, he immediately found himself in a clinch. And then Foster immediately found a way to land a couple of clumsy hits on the target, scoring points in the eyes of the judges. Watching such a duel, to put it mildly, was not very interesting. On the other hand, Izmailov needs such difficult tests to get to really great boxers.
Towards the middle of the fight, the Russian started to get openly angry. He advanced more aggressively and Foster began to take more and more hard blows. Late in the fifth round, the American was dropped and missed a punch from the right. The American realized that he needed to save himself: he finally turned to dirty boxing, started hitting Ali on the back of the head and refused to get out of the clinch. But Izmailov suddenly slowed down, as if he was seeing what his opponent would come up with.
However, in the eighth round, our compatriot turned on again. He successfully trapped Foster with deuces, after which he barely stayed on his feet. In one of the episodes, Charles was completely thrown on the thigh, but it was, rather, a wrestling move from Ali. The final two rounds took place in a double-edged fight, with Izmailov appearing more precise and efficient. The Russian finally picked up the keys to the rivets from the American – he began to hit exactly at the moment when Foster began to approach.
Before the judge’s decision, there was some concern: Foster is a local boxer, who in most of the rounds imposed a fairly even fight, although dirty. The probability that the verdict would go in favor of the American was considerable. Luckily there was no theft. The Russian won via unanimous decision (96-93, 96-93, 95-94), retaining the IBF USBA belt! Next – Artur Beterbiev? It was he who owned a full-fledged FIB belt, and Izmailov pointed to him in an interview.