Shavkat Rakhimov-Zelfa Barrett title battle being finalized

A supply instructed ESPN that Shavkat Rakhimov and Zelfa Barrett are within the means of finalizing a deal to struggle for the IBF’s vacant junior light-weight title on November 5 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Rakhimov (16-0-1, 13 KO) was slated to struggle Joe Cordina for the title on that date, requiring surgical procedure earlier than the champion pulled out of the bout with a hand damage. The IBF knowledgeable Cordina (15-0, 9 KO) on Monday that he was being stripped of the title.

“Completely disenchanted,” ESPN’s No. 7 130-pounder Cordina tweeted Tuesday. “Labored my entire life to be a world champion and I did not even get an opportunity to defend the title. Really feel like I have been robbed!”

The 30-year-old Welshman would be the inevitable challenger for the winner of the Rakhimov-Barrett struggle. He’s anticipated to be sidelined by March.

When the IBF sanctioned a struggle between its then-champions Kenichi Ogawa and Cordina, it did so beneath the availability that the winner fought Rakhimov till 2 September. Cordina, an Olympian, gained the title in June with a highlight-reel KO. Second step.

In July, the IBF granted Cordina a medical extension to permit a struggle in opposition to Rakhimov, a compulsory challenger on 5 November. The IBF granted Cordina one other medical extension that expires on January 4, however he is not going to be out there to compete. By about March, based on an orthopedic hand surgeon consulted by the group.

Rakhimov, ESPN’s No. 2 junior light-weight, was set to struggle Ogawa final 12 months, however withdrew because of damage. In his lone title problem, the Tajikistan-born fighter was drawn to a draw in opposition to Joseph Diaz Jr. in February 2021. Diaz did not drop extra pounds earlier than the struggle, so the belt was vacated, setting off 28-year-old Rakhimov to primarily shoot.

Barrett (28-1, 16 KO) just isn’t rated by ESPN, however the 29-year-old from Manchester has impressed in a current struggle in opposition to European stage protests.

A lightweight heavyweight title match between Dimitri Bivole and Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will headline the November 5 occasion of Matchroom Boxing in Abu Dhabi.

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