Heavyweight monster Arslanbek “Lion” Makhmudov (11-0, 11 KOs) will make his highly anticipated United States debut as he defends his NABF title against Nagy “Dominican Dynamite” Aguilera (21-10, 14 KOs) in the 10-round co-main event of Munguia vs. Ballard. The bout will be presented in association with Eye of the Tiger Management.
The event will take place on Friday, April 23 at The University of Texas at El Paso’s Don Haskins Center and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, excluding Mexico, beginning at 6:00 p.m. PT/7:00 p.m. MDT/9:00 p.m. ET.
The event will be held under strict COVID-19 fan safety protocols and with a reduced event capacity below 40%. For detailed COVID-19 event safety fan protocols, click here or visit http://www.utepspecialevents.com.
“Arslanbek Makhmudov is perhaps the most dangerous fighter in the heavyweight division,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “We are very proud to be working with our partners at Eye of The Tiger Management as we enter a new phase in Makhmudov’s career, one which will see him become a world champion and dominate the biggest names of this weight class.”
Standing at six feet five and a half inches tall, Makhmudov is a Russian monster who weighs as much as 260 pounds when stepping into the ring. Before turning professional in 2017, he was an international amateur standout, where he competed in various tournaments, including the World Series of Boxing. As a professional, the 31-year-old contender has ended all of his fights by knockout, including a first-round win against former world champion Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter to win the NABF Heavyweight Title. Makhmudov, who now calls Montreal, Quebec, Canada his home, has no doubts about what he wants do with his professional career.
“The ‘Lion’ is coming to destroy everyone in the heavyweight division,” said Arslanbek Makhmudov.
“We are excited to show America the biggest threat to the heavyweight division,” said Camille Estephan, President of Eye of the Tiger Management. “Arslanbek is a consummate professional. He is dedicated and skilled—the total package.”
Aguilera is a 34-year-old boxer who made his professional debut in August 2007. The native of Newburgh, New Jersey has faced the likes of Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver, Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola and Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale. Aguilera is coming off a unanimous decision win against Terrel Jamal Woods in November 2020.
”Training camp is going great,” said Nagy Aguilera. “The time off really helped me heal. People don’t know I had a lot of injuries in my career but no excuses. I always showed up to fight. I am coming to win. I’m not coming to lay down.”
Additionally, Ibeth “La Roca” Zamora (32-6, 12 KOs) of San Cristobal Huichochitlan, Toluca, Mexico will defend her WBC flyweight world championship against Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (9-1, 1 KO) of Houston, Texas in a 10-round fight.
“I am so excited for this world title defense against Marlen Esparza,” said Ibeth Zamora. “It will be my first fight in the United States, so this is a great chance to show everybody what I am capable of by fighting on a massive stage on a Golden Boy event live on DAZN. I´m proud to bring my title and defend it against a fighter with Esparza’s experience. I am fully confident that my skills will help me come out on top, and I will prove to everybody why I am the WBC reigning flyweight champion and the best in the division.”
“I’m excited,” said Marlen Esparza. “I want to offer my thanks and appreciation to the WBC and Golden Boy for the opportunity to fight the world title. It’s been a dream and vision of mine to fight representing the WBC. I want people to see another great fight. I’m proud to be on the stage again with a great fighter, and I know there are a limited amount of major women’s fights, so I’m honored to have this opportunity. I am training hard and I am bringing my best. I can’t wait for the opening bell!”
Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (14-0-1, 9 KOs) of Las Vegas, Nevada will put his undefeated record on the line in the opening bout of the DAZN stream against James Bacon (26-4, 17 KOs) of Cebu City, Philippines in a 10-round welterweight clash.
Additional undercard fights will be streamed live via Facebook Watch, including a highly competitive 10-round welterweight showdown between Ferdinand Kerobyan (14-0-1, 9 KOs) of North Hollywood, Calif. and Brad Solomon (29-3, 9 KOs) of Douglasville, Georgia.
Irish prospect Aaron “Silencer” McKenna (11-0, 7 KOs) will fight in an eight-round middleweight clash against Carlos Ortiz (12-5, 12 KOs) of Torreon, Mexico.
Evan Sanchez (8-0, 6 KOs) of Parlier, California will return in a six-round bout in the 147-pound division.
Chris “Milly” Ousley (12-0, 9 KOs) of Chicago, Illinois will participate in a six-round junior middleweight battle against Sanny Duversonne (11-3-2, 8 KOs) of Avon Park, Florida.
Yahu Blackwell (3-1, 2 KOs) of Baltimore, Maryland will initiate the night of action in a six-round heavyweight bout. Opponents for Sanchez and Blackwell will be announced shortly.