Israil Madrimov makes a successful homecoming defeating Emmany Kalombo!
On the undercard of IBF/WBA super bantamweight champ Murodjon Akhmadaliev’s mandatory defense against Ryusoke Iwasa, we have a fascinating ten-round contest between junior middleweight power-puncher Israil Madrimov (7-0, 5 KOs) and Emmany Kalombo (14-1, 14 KOs). With the bout taking place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, this is a homecoming for Madrimov.
The 26 year-old from Khiva, Uzbekistan had a decorated amateur career that included gold medals at the 2017 and 2018 Asian Games. As a pro, he often switches from southpaw to orthodox, throwing punches from all angles. He uses his awkwardness and footwork to create openings and has exhibited power in both hands. The style is high risk but has been successful so far.
This is a high-stakes battle. Ranked #1 by the WBA at junior middleweight, Madrimov is on the verge of a possible world title shot.
Kalombo doesn’t have near the decorated amateur pedigree. He only fought six times in the amateur ranks. However, as a pro, the 28 year-old from the Democratic Republic of Congo has steamrolled the competition with perfect win to knockout ratio. This is why he was expected to be a serious challenge to Madrimov on paper.
GETTING THE JOB DONE
After a cautious opening round, Madrimov starting to pick things up in round two. He used his footwork to find openings in which he promptly punished his opponent. Kalombo seemed content keeping the fight on the outside behind the jab.
However, Madrimov was fighting at his own pace. He was also the more comfortable fighter and continued to find the range. Fighting mostly from the southpaw stance, the speed and better body coordination were more evident. The Uzbek was in control early and landing more shots.
Kalombo started to find a home for shots in the middle rounds as his opponent would occasionally leave himself open. As a result, the man from the Congo was able to land with left hooks and right hands. This is the biggest concern about the Madrimov as he excels into bigger challenges. The footwork is there but he must learn to keep his guard tight. Furthermore, he needs to learn how to use his footwork not only to mount an offensive attack but to evade incoming shots.
With 20 seconds to go in round eight, Madrimov put Kalombo on the deck with a left hook to the chin. The home-area fighter went for the finish early in the ninth, but Kalombo stayed resolute and fought back hard.
Confident of victory, Madrimov fought in cruise control in the final round. In the end, it was a decisive victory for the hometown fighter by unanimous decision. Moving forward, it was a solid win and he’s ready to take the next step in his career. Although he is maxed out in the WBA rankings, he is still way too green for the likes of unified champion Jermell Charlo!
By: Michael Wilson Jr.