Home Boxing News Israil Madrimov rated a real chance up derailing the Terence Crawford train...

Israil Madrimov rated a real chance up derailing the Terence Crawford train by some experts

Terence Crawford and Israil Madrimov

WBA junior middleweight champion Israil ‘The Dream’ Madrimov 10-0-1 (7) represents a genuine threat to the undefeated run of former two-weight undisputed champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford 40-0 (31).

Omaha, Nebraska’s Crawford, 36, is gunning for a world title in his fourth straight weight class when he moves up to 154-pound to challenge Uzbek Madrimov, 29, at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles on August 3.

The American southpaw won his first world title at lightweight before collecting all four major sanctioning body belts at junior welterweight and welterweight. His record in world title bouts is 18-0 with 15 knockouts.

Crawford is a sizeable favourite with bookmakers going in to this bout, but there are some voices in the sport who are cautioning that the challenger is unlikely to have it all his own way.

“I think it’s a big threat. He doesn’t have that much pro experience, but he’s got a tremendous amateur background,” retired former world champion Chris Algieri said to ProBox TV.

“He’s physically strong and a good sized junior middleweight. He’s super athletic. He’s one of those guys who does backflips after his fights.

“I’ve seen him do things in the ring that speaks to his athleticism, his strength, his physical power and obviously, he has the boxing skill.

“He’s very confident. As he said, ‘He’s coming up to my weight class.’

“This is Crawford’s fourth attempt at a different weight class, fighting for a world title, and he’s got a guy there who wants to defend what he’s got.”

Algieri added that Madrimov’s coach Joel Diaz could well be the X-factor in the fight.

“I think Israil Madrimov has the right idea,” Algieri said. “The Joel Diaz aspect is really important. If he brings his best version of himself, he’s very much a threat to even the great Terence Crawford.”

Algieri’s co-host and fellow ex-champ Tim Bradley concurred.

“You talk about inexperience. Stop. Everybody is saying, ‘He only has ten fights, Crawford is fighting somebody with ten fights.’ This dude had 300 amateur fights. He’s a pro,” said Bradley.

“The Cubans, Uzbekistans, and Russians, they stay in the amateur game for a very long time. They’re pretty much pros.

“This guy’s first professional fight, he went ten rounds. Who does that? Nobody.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn fell short of tipping the upset, but warned Crawford against looking to far ahead to a potential challenge to undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 61-2-2 (39).

“I think they’re underestimating him. He’s extremely tough, he hits very hard and it’s all like, ‘Canelo after this’,” the Matchroom Boxing boss said to FightHype.

“Don’t get me wrong. Crawford is the favourite in the fight, but Madrimov is a very, very tough fight. He’s got great movement, he’s a fit, strong guy in his prime, and as I said, he punches very hard and that’s not an easy fight.”