Arslanbek Makhmudov: 'I will do my job and destroy'

On Saturday night live on ESPN, heavyweight contender Jared ‘Big Baby’ Anderson (14-0, 14 KOs) will face former heavyweight champion Charles Martin (29-3-1, 26 KOs) in what is a homecoming for the young Anderson. On the undercard, more heavyweight action will be featured as the 6’6” heavyweight prospect Arslanbek Makhmudov (16-0, 15 KOs) will be making his U.S. debut as he faces the undefeated Raphael Akpejiori (15-0, 14 KOs) who was born in Nigeria but now resides in Miami, Fl.

The 33-year-old Makhmudov is a massive heavyweight and looks the part of a fighter that can be a real player in the division. Makhmudov is from Mozdok, Russia, and described his surroundings as “hard” and “filled with a lot of crime.” His mother was a School Teacher and, during the tail end of the Soviet Union, earned a good living as that profession was considered a good job at that time, while his father was a driver. Once the Soviet Union was split into independent territories, his mother’s job as a teacher no longer had the value it once had, forcing her and Makhmudov’s father to go into business for themselves and open up a Pharmacy.

Makhmudov was introduced to the sport of boxing at the young age of nine by his uncle, who was an athlete himself in karate. It wasn’t by choice as he often found himself fighting in the streets, but to him, that was what he had to do. “My uncle brought me into the gym and told me I would be like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. I didn’t understand who he was talking about at the time (Laughs).”

The heavyweight prospect from Russia continued, “I was a fighter in the streets. In our culture, if you didn’t fight, you were sh*t. You have to fight when you are in the streets and face someone. I fought almost every day in the streets, and my mother was worried, so she told her little brother (my uncle) that I fought too much and that he needed to get me into boxing. I stayed in boxing for about a year or two but got kicked out for fighting with someone.”

It wasn’t until he was 13 years old that he asked himself whether boxing was something he wanted to do after not finding the same joy in other sports he participated in. After going to Moscow to attend the Russian State University, where he would study Physical Education, Sports & Tourism while also being on the Russian National Boxing Team, Makhmudov was brought to Canada, where he would turn Pro in December 2017.

He's now undefeated in his sixteen appearances and has stopped fifteen of his opponents. As a Promoter, you have to see what you have, and on Saturday, Makhmudov will face a tough test in Akpejiori. He doesn’t care to know much about his opponent, but he did tell ProBoxTV, “He is a good guy with a good record and big punch. I will do my job and destroy.” Makhmudov knows that a win on Saturday could land him a date with Anderson in the future as they both climb the rankings. “Yes, for sure. We have the same company and are the same weight, so one day, it will happen.”

Makhmudov is a fighter to watch, but anything can happen when it comes to heavyweight boxing, so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs on his U.S. debut against a tough undefeated fighter. When asked what the expectations should be for Saturday night, Makhmudov said, “I’m going hunting, and when I hunt, I destroy. That’s it.”