When Warriors Boxing Promotions learned that number two IBF Heavyweight contender Ray Austin had decided that he would rather wait around and hope for the best than fight unbeaten # 5 contender Sultan Ibragimov for the sanctioning body’s number one mandatory contender’s spot, the IBF was forced to look elsewhere to appoint a worthy challenger.
Next on the IBF’s list will be number six contender and former World Champion John Ruiz, who has until Wednesday to decide whether he will face the heat of Ibragimov. Sultan’s cousin Timor already scheduled to fight number three contender Calvin Brock in June, Ibragimov wants the leading available contender, number four ranked Samuel Peter.
“I will knock out Samuel Peter and then the whole world will know what I already know,” said Ibragimov, 19-0, 16 KOs. “That I am the future Heavyweight Champion and the best in the division. If Ray Austin won’t fight me, I want the next in line – that’s Samuel Peter.”
Ibragimov’s manager, Boris Grinberg, agrees. “It is time to show that Sultan Ibragimov is the best Heavyweight in the world, and we’re ready for anyone in the division right now.”
The pride of Rostov-na-Donu, Russia, Ibragimov is fresh off the most impressive win of his young career as he stopped Lance Whitaker in the seventh round on December 15th. It was such an emphatic victory that other Heavyweights are understandably hesitant about facing him.
“I cannot blame fighters like Ray Austin for wanting to take the easier road,” said Ibragimov’s co promoter Sampson Lewkowicz. “Sultan is a machine in the ring who can’t be stopped, and that’s an intimidating prospect for any fighter to face.”
But despite Austin’s refusal to fight, Warriors Boxing Promotions’ Leon Margules is confident that his fighter will eventually find someone willing to step up to the plate and face Ibragimov. Hopefully, that someone will be Samuel Peter.
“Warriors is very excited about promoting the next great Heavyweight Sultan Ibragimov,” said Margules, “and a fight between him and Sam Peter would be one of the best Heavyweight fights you will ever see. Both guys can bang, both come to fight, and the winner will undoubtedly be the true number one Heavyweight contender. It’s a fight boxing needs.”
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