Olympic Gold medalist Bakhodir Jalolov is always involved in any discussion regarding future heavyweight world champions.
The Uzbekistan superstar became an Olympic champion at the Tokyo 2020 games, which took place in 2021, but was also eight fights deep into his professional career at the time of his success in Japan with a win over USA's Richard Torrez Jr..
Jalolov (13-0, 13 KOs) turned over in May of 2018, he had claimed fifth place at the London 2016 Olympics and a bronze medal at the World Championships a year earlier in Doha. The vast majority of his amateur accolades have all come during a time while the 29-year-old has ran the early stages of his pro career alongside the heyday of his life as an amateur. Two gold medals followed in 2019 and 2023 at the World Championships and an Asian Games gold just a month ago.
His next pro bout comes against the little known South African Chris Thompson while also preparing to claim a second Olympic gold medal in Paris next year.
“My immediate goal is to get a second gold at the Olympic Games and then get straight back to professional boxing.” Jalolov said in an exclusive interview for ProBox TV. “My next professional fight is in Tashkent in November. Next year I am ready for a championship fight, whoever is holding the belt after Paris next year. Oleksandr Usyk, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, it really doesn’t matter to me, I am ready.”
Uzbekistan’s national sport in boxing, signified by the fact the country's hopeful heavyweight hero was the flag bearer at the last Olympic Games. He joins a number of recent Uzbek fighters planning a route to a world title, and quickly. However, the school that came through the Uzbekistan amateur system in 2016 did not run their early pro careers in unison with their most important amateur years.
Jalolov’s opponents are far from world championship level but a perfect 13-0 record exists while he can still represent his country. Recently signed with Top Rank, the 6ft 7in southpaw has his eyes on the heavyweight division’s top table in just one year.
“Uzbekistan has the best boxing school in the world, and because of it being a national sport in our country.” Jalolov added. “It is of huge importance for my country to win the highest prize in the biggest national tournaments. Uzbekistan has the chance to have a two-time heavyweight champion.
“I won a second gold medal this year at the world championships, my plan has always been to win two gold medals at the Olympic Games. But after that, I will focus on professional boxing to become a world champion there too. Like I said, I’ll happily fight any champion next year after Paris. All the names you can think of, I will be in position regardless of who has the belts. I’m fighting good opposition in the amateurs while I build my professional record, the recent changes in the laws for amateur boxing has made it much easier for me to have my career this way.”