IBF Super Featherweight World Champion Shavkatzhon Rakhimov will take part in his first ever fight on UK soil when he comes up against Joe Cordina tomorrow night in Cardiff, Wales.
The man from Tajikistan built his career in Russia until 2019. Since then, Rakhimov (17-0-1, 14 KOs) has fought Joseph Diaz for the world title in Indio, USA, resulting in majority decision draw, and won the the world title over Zelfa Barrett on the undercard of Oleksandr Usyk Vs Anthony Joshua in Abu Dhabi.
The undefeated southpaw jumps into the dragon’s den this weekend to defend his title in Cordina’s hometown.
In an exclusive interview for ProBox TV News Rakhimov gave the low down on his upcoming fight.
“Cardiff is a very nice city, I’m very happy to be here.” Said Rakhimov via an onsite translator. “This is the first time I came to the UK. I never dreamed that this would happen during my career, I never thought I would be fighting in the UK.
“I recently went into the history books as the first world champion from Tajikistan. But now, I’m focused on defending my world title. It’s great to go down in history for myself and my personal journey.”
Rakhimov stood at the press conference surrounded by quite an impressive backroom staff. So called ‘super manger’ Egis Klimas keeps a watchful eye over the business end of things as renowned trainer Freddie Roach takes care of the technical side at the Wild Card Gym.
“What can I say? We are ready to fight.” Rakhimov shrugged. “Me and my coaching team know the keys to the victory, I have a great coach in Freddie Roach. But I would like to keep my plan a secret. Why would we tell you before the fight!”