Kurbanov-Madrimov Is On

“The fight is on,” said Robert Smith, general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control.

He was referring to the bout between Uzbek Israil Madrimov and Magomed Kurbanov of Russia for the WBA junior middleweight title in Saudi Arabia on Friday in Saudi Arabia, on the “Knockout Chaos” bill topped by the heavyweight attraction between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou.

Madrimov, 9-0-1 (6 KOs) and ranked first by the WBA, has not boxed since last April, when he won a 10-round fight against Houston southpaw Raphael Igbowke in San Antonio.

The 28-year-old Kurbanov is 25-0 (13 KOs) and ranked second, and was last seen winning a tight split-decision over Michel Soro in May. 

Soro, in his previous fight, had shared a three-round technical draw with Madrimov after a cut ended their fight prematurely.

There was speculation that Madrimov had a medical issue and that the Kurbanov fight was off, but Smith said that that was never the case and that any issues were likely only in the administrative process. Jermell Charlo, the previous champion, was recently declared by the WBA president Gilberto Mendoza to be "champion in recess".

“Why would it not be on?” asked Smith.

“He has not failed a medical – the fight is on.”

The British Boxing Board of Control is the governing body that oversees the major cards in Saudi Arabia.