News October 2007

14.10.07 Ibragimov edges Holyfield!!

By Pete "Hitman" Bamforth

In a laboured 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night, Sultan Ibragimov edged Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield for the WBO Heavyweight title with scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111.

I thought the fight was more competitive than the judges scoring it 116-112 with both men scoring good combinations. It was Ibragimov however that was pushing the pace against the tiring 44 year old veteran with Sultan managing to keep Evander at bay most of the night with chopping lefts to both body and head. Holyfield on the other hand seemed happy to sit back and look for counter punches from Ibragimov's attacks and had very little urgency about his work in the opening few rounds.

Holyfield scores with a solid right hand

Most of the fight had an ebb and flow feel with both men scoring well with their jabs, the fight Picked up in Round 8 as Holyfield, maybe beginning to realise that things may be slipping away, came forward and throwing good jabs unloaded a beautiful 3 punch combination which ended in a solid left hook to the body. By Round 9 Holyfield was becoming desperate, his work became sloppy as he tried to bully Ibragimov and was warned for the use of his head, in Round 10 Ibragimov threw 2 solid straight lefts which hurt Evander and made the 44 year old even more cautious.

Ibragimov's very effective left hook

By now the crowd, chanting "Sultan Sultan", knew that their man had the fight in the bag and it seemed as though Ibragimov was content to sit on his lead as he went through the motions in the last two rounds.

Still WBO Heavyweight Champion

"It was a great fight. He got the decision and I have to go back to the drawing board," Holyfield said during the post fight conference. "He's a left-handed fighter, and moves a lot. I did the best that I could with the style that he had."

"He was able to move real well. He's a smart fighter. He did the right things. I am planning to continue my career. Sultan's a good boxer. Styles make fights and his was effective with me." explained a complimentary Holyfield.

For me the fight proved 2 things, firstly Evander can still hold his own at the top tier and he proved a good test for the champion and secondly Sultan Ibragimov isn’t the future of the Heavyweight division, he is however a solid champion who is still learning, lets not forget that this was only his 23rd contest.

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