by: Briar Schreiber: Bakhodir “Big Uzbek” Jalolov is a World Champion Uzbekistani boxer competing in the super-heavyweight division. As an amateur, the southpaw is best known as the 2019 Super-Heavyweight World Champion (Gold medal at Yekaterinburg) and also holds the 2017 and 2019 Asian Championship Gold medals. Jalolov was the Uzbekistan flag bearer at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he did not medal. Now boasting a 6-0 pro record, Jalolov is a strong contender for gold in the Tokyo Olympic Games, which are re-scheduled for July 2021. Training out of Indio, CA and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Jalolov has worked with his longtime advisor, Lina Lyuy, since his AIBA days and trains with the highly respected Ravshan Khodjaev. I caught up with Jalolov on his prep for Tokyo:
What did you learn from Rio? I was so proud to represent my country in Rio, but I quickly learned how highly competitive the international field was there. The energy level, the willingness to win…that was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. I definitely have a better idea of what to expect going into Tokyo.
How are you training differently this time around? Since Rio, I’ve gone pro, which really changed me as a fighter. As an amateur, I had a more technical style, but as a pro, I’ve won all my bouts by KO. Judges can’t miss those!
Do you have any big-name sparring partners? I’m coming out of a really strong camp right now, all of the guys have been super strong. I’ve also gone up against spsrring with all the have gone up against Filip Hrgovic and Luis “King Kong” Ortiz.
What are your thoughts on Tokyo? I don’t think any athletes thought the Olympics would be postponed, but I look at it as more training time! I am honored to represent my country again and go for gold.
Photo: Team Jalolov