Magomed Kurbanov Bests Patrick Teixeira; Liam Smith In Title Eliminator Next?
On July 9, the junior middleweight division deck of cards got reshuffled as Magomed “Black Lion” Kurbanov (23-0, 13KO) took on former WBO champion Patrick Teixeira (33-4, 22KO).
Teixeira came into the fight with championship experience, and is barely hanging on in the WBC rankings at #15. The Brazilian fighter worked his way up through the rankings and defeated Carlos Adames for the Interim title in 2019. He would later be elevated to full champion when Demetrius Andrade moved up to middleweight. This was a must-win situation for the former champion coming off of two back-to-back defeats.
Kurbanov has spent his entire career fighting solely in Russia and will enjoy a home-field advantage in this fight. As an amateur, he won a gold medal in the 2008 Youth World Champions, and has successfully transitioned to the professional level. In 2017, he won the WBO Inter-Continental title after defeating Szabolcs Szabo. He scored the biggest win of his career against former WBO champion Liam Smith back in 2021.
FINALLY, THEY ARE READY TO FIGHT
These two were scheduled to fight twice in the past. Once was when Kurbanov got sick hours before the fight in 2021. Next, their March 26 showdown was canceled when the sanctioning bodies refused to authorize any fights in Russia due to the Ukraine invasion.
When fighting a southpaw, the most effective punch is the straight right hand, and the Black Lion saw to that. He landed the right hand at will. In round one, he started the fight with a powerful right-hand counter that dropped Teixeira, who narrowly survived the round.
As the fight went on, it turned into a sparring session as Kurbanov was landing that right hand as if it was a homing missile locked in on Teixeira’s face. The former world champion would have moments landing the jab and left hand to the body.
Nonetheless, Kurbanov was clicking on all cylinders. He used his defense up against the ropes while dodging all incoming punches only to land the counter right-hand.
A REMATCH WITH SMITH COULD BE NEXT
Down the stretch, both men fought in a phonebooth. Teixeira showed heart by coming forward with punches to the body. Kurbanov continued to respond with different variations of the straight right hand. He was mixing up the attack with uppercuts and crisp body-to-head combinations.
At the final bell, all three judges scored it for Black Lion. Looking ahead, there are some options for the undefeated contender. The logical assumption is the WBO could order a rematch with #2 ranked Liam Smith for a title eliminator.
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By: Garrisson Bland