Andrey Ryabinsky’s World of Boxing recently signed two of Uzbekistan’s brightest standout amateur stars who both medaled at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.
Welterweight Shakhram Giyasov, who won the silver medal and bronze medalist Murodjon Akhmadaliev will each make their professional debuts tonight at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn as part of Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Promotions card.
The 24-year-old Giyasov lost the gold medal bout to Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Yeleussinov, whom Giyasov defeated in past tournaments. In 2017 Giyasov won the gold medal at the AIBA world championships in Hamburg, Germany where he defeated 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Roniel Iglesias from Cuba. Giyasov was named the most outstanding boxer of the tournament.
“A lot of the Olympians were in high demand after the Olympics,” said Giyasov’s manager, Vadim Kornilov. “I focused on Giyasov because I saw something special. There was a fire in his eyes when he fights.”
Kornilov, who also manages WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, helped set Giyasov up with trainer Joel Diaz in Indigo, California before also signing Giyasov’s friend and Olympic teammate Akhmadaliev who is one year younger than Giyasov and competes at Bantamweight.
“The way these kids train and the way they give it their all every day is what impresses me,”added Kornilov. “They want to be number 1 in everything they do. When they exercise they want to be the quickest, the fastest and the best. If these kids are going to give it their best then we have to do the same to support them.”
Kornilov added that when Akhmadaliev saw the way Giyasov was training with Diaz in California and the things he picked up in sparring that he too wanted to join his friend and take the journey to making the transition to the professional ranks together.
“Akhmadaliev is like a little powerhouse,” said Kornilov. “In sparring there is no going backwards. He reminds me of Ruslan Provodnikov when he was younger. He just wants to go through you. He’s unstoppable.”
Kornilov added that the plan was always to have their first bouts in the United States and when the opportunity arose to fight in Brooklyn, the home to a large Uzbek community, the decision was an easy one.
In a pair of six-round bouts Giyasov will take on Argentina’s Nicolas Velazquez (10-2, 3 KOs) in a six-round bout while Akhmadaliev will meet David Paz (4-4-1).
As evidenced by Giyasov’s first opponent he will be on a fast track through the Welterweight ranks similar to Bivol’s rise in the Light Heavyweight division where he won the world title in only his 12th professional bout.
“With Bivol we did what was right for him at the time,” Kornilov added. “He was mature and confident and was ready for the opportunity. We can’t predict what any fighter will be but Giyasov is very accomplished and he does not want to waste time fighting guys who won’t give him a challenge or experience.”
Kornilov and Ryabinsky believe the popularity both fighters have back home in Uzbekistan will translate to New York where they can start building a fan base for them as the wins start piling up.
“I have talked to World of Boxing about bringing them to Uzbekistan where they are popular and recognizable but we realize how important it is to get them exposure in the United States as well,” said Kornilov.