On December 23rd, Saudi Arabia is gearing up for a knockout night in the ring, headlined by a heavyweight showdown that’s sure to shake things up. We’re talking about Deontay Wilder, the knockout king with a record that speaks volumes (43-2-1, 42 KOs), going toe-to-toe with Joseph Parker (33-3, 23 KOs). That’s not all – British powerhouse Anthony Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) is set to duke it out with Sweden’s towering force, Otto Wallin (26-1, 14 KOs).
After blitzing through Junior Anthony Wright in a mere 70 seconds last October, Arslanbek Makhmudov (18-0, 17 KOs) is headed back to Riyadh. This time, he’s squaring off against the unbeaten Agit Kabayel (23-0, 15 KOs) in what’s shaping up to be the fight of his life.
Camille Estephan can’t contain his excitement, “Returning to Riyadh to face a top-contender like Kabayel is a golden chance for Makhmudov to prove he’s the real ‘Lion’ of the jungle. We’ve been grinding in the gym, and now it’s showtime.”
Makhmudov’s rise to fame has been nothing short of explosive. Since landing in Montreal, he’s been tearing through the ranks, grabbing titles left and right. He snatched the WBC Continental Americas title in 2019, added the NABF and NABA titles to his trophy case, and last year, clinched the WBC Silver title. Currently the WBC’s third-ranked heavyweight, behind only Wilder and Joshua, Makhmudov is on a warpath to the top. His knockout streak includes toppling Raphael Akpejiori in his U.S. debut and demolishing Junior Anthony Wright in Riyadh, winning over Saudi fans who can’t wait to see him back in action.
Makhmudov’s psyched about the rematch in Saudi Arabia, “I’m thrilled for this rematch. Kabayel’s tough, but I’m ready for the challenge. This fight’s going to be electrifying.”
Kabayel, standing 6’3” and weighing in at 240 pounds, hasn’t faced defeat in over a decade. A two-time European champion, he’s taken down big names like Derek Chisora, Andrii Rudenko, and Agron Smakici. Currently ranked in the top four federations, he’s pounding at the door for a shot at the elite.
Marc Ramsay, Makhmudov’s coach, knows they’re up against a tough challenge, “Kabayel’s no walk in the park. He’s a power puncher and took down Derek Chisora. We’re out to prove we’re playing in a league of our own.”
The event, a highlight of Riyadh Season, is brought to you by Queensbury, Matchroom Boxing, Top Rank, and Eye of the Tiger. Expect the full fight card to drop any minute now, and trust me, it’s going to be a night to remember.